In the “Suspicions Confirmed” department, from today’s Los Angeles Times:
For Deputies, Arrests Can be a Contest
Los Angeles, CA. Oct. 4 – Participating in sports such as football, weightlifting and boxing has long been part of the culture within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. But deputies have recently been playing some new games — on-duty enforcement competitions that have police watchers across the country crying foul.
One recent competition, described in an internal Sheriff’s Department email obtained by The Times, was called “Operation Any Booking”. The object was to arrest as many people as possible within a specific 24-hour period.
Other one-day competitions have included “Operation Vehicle Impound”, a contest aimed at seizing as many cars as possible. And another challenged deputies to see how many gang members and other suspected criminals could be stopped and questioned…
Hubert Williams, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Police Foundation, which promotes innovative policing strategies, called the competitions “highly problematic and inappropriate”…
“It’s crazy”, said Jane White, the associate director of the National Center for Community Policing. “I’m at a loss for words. I’ve never heard of anything like this before.”
(Lt. James) Tatreau said he stood by the idea to encourage deputies’ productivity and had been encouraged by deputies who liked the competition.
“They were pumped and excited”, Tatreau said. “I’ve never got any negative feedback. It’s not a quota or review system. It’s a morale booster.”
“We’re not doing anything wrong,” Tatreau said. “No way, no how did ayone encourage officers to falsify a report or an arrest.”