Los Angeles Police Commission Approves New Discipline Guidelines
Police officers in Los Angeles who commit offenses such as degrading women and minorities will face stricter punishments as of Tuesday, June 24. The Los Angeles Police Commission has affirmed a new set of discipline guidelines which suggest penalties varying from reprimands to termination. The new guidelines regard "racist or sexist behavior or any form of sexual misconduct, including verbal sexual harassment" as one of the four most serious offenses a police officer can commit. According to the guidelines, a domestic violence felony can result in termination. A first offense of hanging photos of a "sexually biased nature" in the work place can result in a five to nine-day suspension. A Police Commission task force which included members of the police officers union, community groups and the American Civil Liberties Union formulated the guidelines in an attempt to make the LAPD's internal discipline better reflect the severity of officers' offenses. Before the Police Commission approved the recommendations, department supervisors were free to assign punishments in any manner they wished. While the reforms are not binding, members of the task force hope the guidelines will eventually become the standards supervisors follow in punishing officers.