City council members and department heads in four cities that contract with the Sheriff's Department for law enforcement have been invited ride with deputies on patrol.
Lt. Harry Parson, Lomita station watch commander, said the ride-along for officials in Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Lomita and Rancho Palos Verdes is intended "to get the deputies better acquainted with the city councils." He said he hopes officials will become better acquainted with police procedures and time constraints that deputies sometimes work under.
Parson denied that the formal invitations are meant to counter publicity generated by a charge of police brutality lodged against deputies in April by a Rancho Palos Verdes man. Fred Wright, an attorney whose glasses were broken and who suffered minor scrapes in a scuffle with deputies, agreed not to pursue the complaint earlier this month when charges of resisting arrest and disturbing the peace filed against him were dismissed. Wright's complaint, however, is still under investigation.
Parson said the decision to invite city officials to ride with deputies was made in March. While a ride-along program for citizens has been in existence more than 10 years, this is the first time council members and staff heads of the four cities have been invited, Parson said.