Archive for April 16th, 2009

Who Will Guard the Guardians?

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

In today’s "Physician, heal thyself" department, a look at drunk gun-toting cops:


Alcohol a Growing Problem in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Report Says

Liquor-related arrests of department employees have nearly tripled since 2004, watchdog agency finds. Baca and unions are at odds on new policy barring drunk deputies from carrying guns.
Los Angeles, CA.  Apr. 16 – There has been a dramatic upswing in the number of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies arrested for alcohol-related offenses in recent years, suggesting a growing drinking problem within the department, a county watchdog agency reported Wednesday.

Last year, 70 sworn and civilian employees of the Sheriff’s Department were arrested. The majority of those arrests involved employees driving off-duty while under the influence of alcohol, according to an annual report produced by the county Office of Independent Review. In many cases, drunk deputies were carrying firearms at the time of their arrests…
Sheriff Lee Baca sought to implement one of the nation’s toughest policies barring deputies from carrying firearms while under the influence of alcohol. The unions have opposed the policy, saying that it would endanger deputies. The matter is now with the county’s employee relations commission.

Baca acknowledged Wednesday that the number of alcohol-related arrests indicated that some deputies have a drinking problem.

"This is a personal failure that has public consequences," Baca said. "I don’t know how they can look anyone from Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the face."
 
Barring drunk cops from carrying guns would endanger their safety?  And if 70 deputies were arrested, I wonder how many more were given "professional courtesy" from fellow cops?
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