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Questions About Law Enforcement

July 20, 1986

A question not asked of Huntington Park Chief of Police Geano Contessoto in the Times article "Huntington Park . . . leads . . . in Police Brutality Claims" (Southeast/Long Beach sections, July 6), is if any of the accused officers ever served in other police departments. The record shows that a musical-chair charade exists in law enforcement.

Another question for the chief. Did he attend Gov. Deukmejian's news conference on June 5 in Los Angeles, when the governor announced the endorsement of law enforcement chiefs in the Southland? The chiefs owe an allegiance to the governor for his veto of SB 382, passed in 1983. That bill would have required police officers to pass a statewide proficiency test as part of their training program and also would have spelled out the charge, or crime if you please, "involving moral turpitude arising out of, or in connection with, or related to activities of that person in a manner which demonstrates unfitness to exercise the powers of a peace officer."

It is virtually a unanimous vote when strict proficiency requirements are urged for teachers, for example. And rightfully so. Why not for law enforcement, chief? Governor?

As for the asinine statement of City Councilman Jack W. Parks that the growth of problems is due to the "influx of Latin people . . . (who) like to throw loud, late-night parties," would he care to comment on the causes of the problems in, say, Palm Springs, where law enforcement is also facing lawsuits as a result of the Easter week capers? Hurry, gentlemen. The world wonders.

--VAL RODRIGUEZ

Signal Hill

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