What will meaningful and lasting reform look like?
Chief McDonnell's vision and plan for reform of LASD includes:
Smart and effective strategies for promoting community safety...
Enhanced accountability and transparency...
- Thoughtful examination and implementation, along with other County partners, of new thinking stemming from innovative "smart justice" initiatives across California - including new approaches to risk assessment, diversion, sentencing options and probation -- that are increasing public safety while reducing costs;
- Greater use of management accountability systems to ensure that commands throughout LASD employ best practices, work effectively with partner organizations, and focus their limited resources in a manner that provides for the optimal level of community safety -- It is critical that countywide specialized resources be deployed fairly and strategically; command accountability mechanisms should include not only crime control and prevention strategies, but also be a vehicle to examine critical risk management issues, resource allocation, financial responsibility and other challenges that may arise; and
- A close partnership with community and business leaders throughout LA County - Engaging all segments of our community to ensure that we're doing our best to protect public safety in a manner that is smart, sensible, and as cost-effective as possible, while recognizing that the costs of the criminal justice system are real and include victimized communities as well as adverse economic consequences and a loss of human potential.
A "tone from the top" that reinforces the starting point of constitutional policing and makes clear that misconduct will not be tolerated...
- Clear markers by which to measure improvement within LASD, monthly internal meetings with command staff to monitor progress, and transparent accounting to the public on these outcome measures;
- The creation of a new internal Audit and Inspections Division within LASD (as recommended by the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence) to monitor progress and keep a strong spotlight on needed internal changes and improvements; and
- An external audit to identify any areas of financial mismanagement, improve financial accountability, and capitalize on efficiencies.
Strong and independent civilian oversight...
- Enhanced training that includes a strong focus on ethics, alternatives to use of force, principles of constitutional policing, and an understanding of mental health issues and trauma-informed policing;
- Improved disciplinary procedures including: zero tolerance for false statements, dishonesty or a code of silence; prompt and thorough investigation of use of force incidents; enhanced staff resources for Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) and Internal Criminal Investigation Bureau (ICIB) and the assignment of strong leaders and investigative personnel to those bureaus to thoroughly handle investigations, clear any existing back logs and speed up the investigatory process; improved procedures for handling citizen and inmate grievances; and appropriate and consistent penalties for excessive use of force; and
- Zero tolerance for participation in deputy cliques that condone or idealize participation in acts of violence or aggressive behavior, whether on or off duty, and the sensible implementation of deputy rotations -- both within and among adjacent facilities -- that can keep deputies fresh, teach them new skills, and guard against the development of cliques among groups of deputies.
Meaningful and lasting reforms of our County's jails and LASD's Custody division...
- Unwavering support for the development of a strong Office of Inspector General with full access, as allowed by existing law, to LASD facilities, records and information that will enable the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to function as an empowered outside monitor of Department operations; and
- A commitment to work with the Board of Supervisors to create an independent civilian oversight body that would enable the voice of the community to be part of the pathway forward and that provides a forum for ongoing transparency and accountability.
Restoring respect, professionalism and pride to the LASD...
- The development of new and more effective approaches to justice system diversion, risk assessment and reentry that allows the jails to be used more cost effectively and only for those who truly need to be separated from the community;
- The development of new approaches to dealing with mental health issues - We can no longer use the County jail system as a default location for housing and caring for those with issues that would be better dealt with in community-based mental health facilities that focus on the individual from a health perspective;
- Prompt implementation of all of the recommendations of the Citizens' Commission on Jail Violence;
- Development of a separate Custody career track that enables individuals best suited to work in the jails to be hired and trained for that function; and
- Creating an environment within the LASD where Custody work is respected and valued, adequately supported by robust supervision, and includes opportunities for advancement.
- New systems for identifying and developing leadership within the Department that underscore the importance of promotions based on merit and move away from past practices and cultures of favoritism;
- Strict adherence to enhanced hiring standards and new institutionalized systems for more steady hiring and training practices that avoid the current and problematic boom/bust hiring cycles;
- A clear and unambiguous commitment to the highest standards of constitutional and ethical policing; and
- Leadership that "brings the shine back to the badge," reinvigorates pride in the important mission of LASD, and restores public confidence in the integrity of the Department and trust in its many committed and hard-working men and women.