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Police organizations. Structure. Basic concepts. Social contract between public & police Public relinquishes authority to police ...in exchange... Demands that officers be properly guided Span of control: number of subordinates

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Basic concepts l.jpg
Basic concepts

  • Social contract between public & police

    • Public relinquishes authority to police...in exchange...

    • Demands that officers be properly guided

  • Span of control: number of subordinates

    • Field sergeants often too few, results inoversight rather than supervision

    • Officers are often not candid

  • Developing expertise

    • Rising through the ranks takes years

    • LAPD: Officer (multiple levels) Sergeant Lieutenant  Captain  Commander Deputy Chief Asst. Chief

    • To become an executive one must avoid prolonged street-level assignments, limits technical expertise


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Police -v- sheriffsdepartments

  • Sheriffs departments traditionally lessprofessionally-oriented than police

    • Political role

    • Sheriffs have great statutory latitude in selecting theirtop subordinates

  • Custody role limits the development of law enforcement skills

    • Policing is a craft learned through practice and experience

    • At each promotion deputies tend to go back to custody

    • Deputies who choose to stay in the field can’t promote

      • Those least experienced in policing are in charge of policing

  • BUT - in the eastern U.S., sheriff’s departments have separate job classifications and career tracks for custody and patrol deputies


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Police executives

  • Difficulties of leading a policing organization

    • Everybody likes a fireman (nature of policing)

  • Obtaining and keeping resources

    • Police usually half or more of local budget

    • Must take a hit in recessionary times

    • To get resources and retain their jobs must be politically savvy and influential

  • Reconcile competing interests

    • Community groups, political leaders, private businesses, police unions

  • Assure quality services

    • Controlling policing is very difficult (oversight v. supervision)

    • Must remain bonded to all levels of the organization


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Police chiefs

  • Appointed position

    • Under supervision of Mayor or City manager

    • Function makes oversight problematic

    • Job security varies; traditionally tenures are brief

      • L.A. City Charter was amended following the 1992 riots

      • LAPD Chiefs now have five year terms, can be reappointed once

  • Selection - California

    • Traditionally from within the ranks or from nearby agencies

    • Calif. does not require that chiefs complete a California academy

    • Disturbances and police-community issues led L.A. to reach outside

      • 1992-1997: Willie Williams (outsider - denied reappointment)

      • 1997-2002: Bernard Parks (insider - denied reappointment)

      • 2002-2009: Bill Bratton (outsider - reappointed 2007)

      • 2009 - : Charlie Beck (insider)

  • Other States are more open to outside Chiefs



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Sheriffs

  • Elected political position, usually also coroner

  • Lack meaningful supervision

    • California: subject to oversight by County Board ofSupervisors

      • But -- Boards are very reluctant to exercise that authority

    • Only real oversight is through the County budget process

    • Sheriffs have wide authority to select and appoint subordinates; can be abused

      • Example -- Carona’s appointments of Jaramillo and Haidl

  • Historically less professionally skilled than police chiefs

    • Loose experience requirements (need only be a peace officer)

    • No structured hiring process

    • No significant educational requirements

  • In the East some Sheriffs are now appointed by County administrators


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Police middle managers

  • In charge of larger organizational units

    • Geographical operational divisions

    • Administrative components

  • Normally supervise employees who are themselves supervisors

  • Distance from the actual work can promote ignorance

    • Of the workplace environment

    • Of how the job is actually performed

    • Of the qualities and reputations of field employees

  • Everyday tasks may be relatively trivial

  • Dispersed nature of policing affects middle managers’ ability to influence outcomes

  • Middle managers styles may influence supervisor and officer behavior


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Line (first-level) supervisors

  • Caught between management and the field

    • Officer demands

    • Management expectations

  • Limited ability to select or influence subordinates

    • Quality of “raw material”

    • Supervision is really “oversight”

      • Depends on officers telling the truth & voluntarily complying

  • Exercising control problematic

    • Discipline can threaten bond with employees

    • Managers may not back up potentially expensive or controversial personnel decisions

  • Supervisory styles said to influence officer decisions

    • Pro’s and con’s of “active supervisors” who lead by example



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Formal and informalcommunication

  • Formal communication

    • Expected, sanctioned interactions

    • Flow three ways:

      • Down, as policy, directives, supervision,evaluation and training

      • Laterally, between peers or units

      • Up, as reports and verbal feedback

  • Informal communication and the “grapevine”

    • Where policy meets the workplace

    • Used for venting

    • Not always accurate; can be malicious

    • Not always lateral: much informal communication between first-level supervisors and subordinates


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Barriers tocommunication

  • Authoritarian setting

    • Discourages free exchange of information

    • “line” vs. “staff”; superior -v- subordinate

  • Structure of policing

    • Most critical task is done by those lowest on the totem pole

    • Supervisors seldom in position to observe, depend on being told

  • Situational contingencies

    • Insufficient time for adequate communication

    • Insufficient time for reflection

  • POV - “Point of View”

    • Different environments  different pressures and constraints on the actors

  • Individual differences

  • Strained interpersonal relationships


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Why is good intra-organizational communication important?

  • Free, unhindered exchange of accurate information(not just what someone “wants to hear”) is crucial

    • Leads to better, well-informed decisions at all levels

    • Helps bond employees to managers and dept. goals

  • Personal styles of managers and executives are crucial:

    • Bernard Parks - aloof, cerebral, haunted by past slights

    • William Bratton - brusque, preferred to deal with managers,emphasized performance measurement

    • Charlie Beck - warm, oriented to street cops, lessenamored of Compstat approach

  • What might be the consequences of these differences?

    • For the organization?

    • For the community?



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Compstat:myth or reality?

  • Computerized pin-map

  • Frequent meetings to evaluate impact

    • Shift resources quickly in responseto changes in local crime trends

    • Short-term fluctuations can deceive

    • “Rapid focused deployment” unrealistic without surplus personnel

  • Claimed effects highly questionable

    • Crime declines have been experienced everywhere since the mid-1990’s

    • Reductions in crime influenced by social and economic factors

    • Pressures of Compstat might distort reporting

      • Blog post: Liars Figure

  • Using Compstat to evaluate subordinates

    • “Relentless follow-up and assessment” creates heavy pressure to demonstrate quantifiable results

      • Blog post: Liars Figure

    • Is quality easily measured? Is one rewarding “yes-men” or the most competent?

Click here to link to blog post video



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Law enforcementunions

  • Federal

    • Criminal investigators (GS-1811)cannot join “unions”. Can joinassociations but no right to bargain collectively.

    • No Federal employee can strike or engage in a work action.

  • State

    • Police unions OK, can collectively bargain

    • Cannot strike or engage in work actions

  • Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)

    • Powerful political force

    • Traditional foe of LAPD chiefs on matters of pay and discipline

    • Decisive factor in denying Parks a second term

    • Helped pass California bill that makes police disciplinary hearings private

    • Suing LAPD for prohibition on wearing helmets during a demonstration on 1/10/09. An officer was hit on the head with a sign and injured.

Union radio ad

Chief Bratton interviewed



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LAPD Chief Bill Bratton’spolitical endorsements

  • In the Presidential race (election 11/09) Brattonendorsed Hillary Clinton in the primaries, then Obama:“Democrats are much more supportive on policingissues. Republicans are just not good on local policing...”

    • Bratton comes from New York City, where there is strict gun control

  • In the L.A. County 2nd. District Board of Supervisors race (election 11/09) endorsed Mark Ridley-Thomas over ex-police chief Bernard Parks: “I endorse [Thomas] not because I consider him to be my friend – I support Mark Ridley-Thomas because I respect him and what he has accomplished...”

  • In the L.A. City Attorney race (election 3/3/09) endorsed Councilman Jack Weiss: “Nobody has worked harder...on issues of gangs, terrorism and forensics testing....It is important to have somebody who doesn't need to have on-the-job training and has a good relationship with other law enforcement agencies and works well with them...” *

    • * L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca earned the moniker “The Full Baca” for endorsing two in the same race: Weiss and Carmen Trutanich (a guy)

  • In the L.A. Mayoral race (election 3/3/09) endorsed Villaraigosa*


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Did Bratton goof?1991 Christopher Commission

  • Commission formed in wake of Rodney King beating to make a thorough review of LAPD. Its chairman was Warren Christopher, later U.S. Secretary of State.

  • One of its conclusions:

    • “The Independent Commission recommends that the Chief of Police not endorse candidates for public office...Because the chief's office is inherently powerful, it is unseemly for the Chief to use that position to influence the political process...It is particularly ironic to create a system to insulate the Chief from improper political pressure, and then have the Chief use that protected position to campaign on behalf of politicians who thereby become indebted to him. Such activity politicizes the Chief, and ultimately the Department.”


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L.A. County & Riverside Sheriffs hand outID cards and badges to donors

  • L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca issued official-looking “Homeland Security Support Unit” photo ID cards to political donors. Baca defended the practice by saying that it could save lives.

  • Riverside County Sheriff Bob Doyle issued badges to members of an “Executive Council” – actually, 17 persons who contributed to his re-election campaign. He said that members of the group had translated Arabic documents on two occasions. Two members of the group flashed the badges at law enforcement officers – one to get through airport security and onto the tarmac, another when police served a search warrant at his business on unrelated matters.

  • California law prohibits issuing realistic-looking police-type badges and ID cards to non-peace officers.

L.A. Times, 3/15/06


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2004: Jaramillo “immobilized”

In 2004 OCSD AssistantSheriff George Jaramillowas charged with multiplefelonies for conflict ofinterest and misusingdeputies, sheriff’s patrolcars and a helicopter forprivate gain. While employed as a consultant for CHG Safety Technologies Jaramillo promoted a car immobilizing device, staging demonstrations for the OCSD and other agencies.

Sheriff Mike Carona said that he had warned Jaramillo about a potential conflict of interest should he accept a position with CHG. Carona said that Jaramillo never brought it up again.He later fired Jaramillo.

Jaramillo eventually pled no contest to a felony and served six months. His sister-in-law, Erica Hill, supposedly was given a job with CHG as part of these shenanigans.

George Jaramillo

Ex-Garden Grove cop, left under a cloud and was then hired by his friend Mike Carona to be his number two man


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2004: Sheriff's Charity Group ProbedA federal grand jury subpoena seeks records from the Mike Carona Foundation.

In connection with an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, a Federal Grand Jury issued a subpoena for all financial records held by a non-profit charity established by Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona shortly after his election. According to the Los Angeles Times, the foundation supposedly raised only $22,000 between 1999, the year Carona took office, and 2000. But in 2001 it allegedly raised $625,050, giving $15,000 to the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund. In 2002 it reportedly raised $100,000, gave away $199,800 and declared an ending balance of $484,159. Stated benefactors in 2002 include the Hispanic endowment fund, the O.C. Rescue Mission and others.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating allegedly illegal contributions made to Carona in 2002. Evidence suggests that a business associate of Carona’s ex-assistant, George Jaramillo, laundered a $200,000 contribution to Carona by pretending that it came from multiple donors.

Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2004


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2005: Sheriff Mike Carona’s“Shake-and-Bake” Deputies

O.C. Sheriff Mike Carona’s grant of police powers to86 friends, relatives and campaign supporters wasrevoked by the State Commission on Peace OfficersStandards and Training, which ruled that they wereeither unqualified, untrained or had not passed necessary background checks. Those who got badges and guns included an assortment of doctors, lawyers and businessmen who hosted fundraisers and contributed funds to Corona’s campaign. Several others were friends and relatives of the person who established the reserve program, former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, whose son was recently convicted of rape.

Despite an official finding that these reserve “deputies” lacked necessary training, Sheriff Carona tried to get them reinstated. He didn’t succeed.

Los Angeles Times, 5/26/05


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2005: Political misconduct charges filed against Sheriff’s Captain

On 9/6/05 the California Attorney General filed 16misdemeanor counts against Sheriff CaptainChristine Murray for illegally soliciting donationsfor Sheriff Carona’s re-election from her OCSDcolleagues. State law prohibits employees of localor State Government from asking other employeesto make political contributions.

Cpt. Murray’s attorney said she was innocent andcalled the charges an attempt to smear Carona andhinder his re-election. A Sheriff’s spokesperson said that Cpt. Murray has an “exemplary record with this department and we look forward to resolving this matter.” It seems that the charges were eventually dismissed in return for Captain Murray performing community service.

Orange County Register, 9/7/05


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2005: Erica Hill Captainstrikes back

In November 2005 Erica Hill wentpublic, charging that she had sex withJaramillo as a teen-ager. She alsosaid that she had sex with SheriffCarona four times in exchange for apromise to make her husband a deputy.

Carona never hired the husband. For obvious reasons, the husband and Erica Hill separated.

Hill’s allegations were revealed when her Grand Jury testimony in the case against Jaramillo was released. Both Hill and Carona asked the California Attorney General to investigate.

Hill’s allegations ultimately went nowhere. After all, it was her word against “America’s Sheriff.” Who would you believe?


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The Feds go after CaptainO.C. Sheriff Carona

  • Carona, the Orange County Marshal, waselected Sheriff in 1998, then re-electedtwice. OCSD Lt. Bill Hunt ran against himin 2006 and was demoted after he lost.

  • When he first took office Carona brought in Jaramillo from GGPD as Assistant Sheriff for operations. He also placed Donald Haidl, a businessman with no law enf. experience in a sworn, unpaid position as Asst. Sheriff for the reserves.

  • 2004: Carona fired Jaramillo when the latter got in trouble for conflict of interest. In the same year Haidl resigned when his son was convicted of rape.)

In March 2007 Haidl and Jaramillo were secretly indicted on tax charges, Haidl for not declaring business funds he spent on his son’s defense, and Jaramillo for failing to disclose cash and other gifts he got from Haidl. They ratted on Carona, accusing him of selling his office by accepting cash and gifts from Haidl and doling out badges and gun permits to contributors. In October 2007 a Federal Grand Jury returned a multi-count indictment against Carona, his wife Deborah Carona and his mistress Debra Hoffman. (Charges against the women were later dropped.)


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Postscript: Convicted but Captainfeels “beyond vindicated”

  • On 1/16/09 Carona was convicted on one count of witness tampering, for coaching Haidl. He wasacquitted on one count of conspiracy and three counts of mail fraud by depriving the public of the honest services of a public official.

    • Jurors said they disbelieved the prosecution’s main witness, former Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl, who testified that he gave Carona cash payoffs, but that a secretly taped conversation between the two was enough to convict Carona for trying to get Haidl to lie to the Grand Jury.

  • On 4/27/09 Carona got 5 ½ years. He remains out on appeal.

  • On 9/15/09 Jaramillo got 27 months in Federal prison. According to the judge he didn’t accept enough responsibility.

  • Haidl is to be sentenced in March 2010 on his plea to filing a false tax return. No prison time is expected.

  • Blog post: Carona Five, Feds One


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