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Binkley's Record as Chief of Long Beach Police Dept.

March 05, 1992

Regarding the articles (Times, Jan. 26) concerning the former Long Beach police chief, I take exception to a glaring misrepresentation involving an internal affairs "sting" in 1988.

The statement that four officers were fired for taking money is wrong, and Carlo Cudio's comment regarding the whole department having to be fired is flat-out slander. (Cudio, a Los Angeles police commander, was hired as a consultant to help overhaul the Long Beach police Internal Affairs section.) The incident resulted in a single reserve officer being terminated, and if this matter was confirmed by (Lawrence L.) Binkley, as stated in the article, then I demand he prove it.

(Editor's note: Long Beach police will not confirm nor deny former Police Chief Binkley's statement that four officers were fired as a result of the 1988 "sting," a department spokesman, Cmdr. Ray Jordan, said.)

It seems that Cudio makes use of the same techniques we have seen used in Long Beach for the past five years, exaggeration and innuendo, to create whatever "perception" he desires. Both he and (Binkley) are well versed in this style, but in my opinion they are merely masters of deceit, and any issues they raise need to be looked at very closely.

Did Mr. Cudio, the internal affairs expert, cite any cases of Long Beach officers conspiring to commit crime? Can he point to any pattern of corruption in the LBPD, or does he use specific cases of individual acts to discredit the entire department?

As to the decrease in the number of internal affairs cases in Long Beach, could there be any other reason besides Mr. Binkley's "strict but fair" approach to discipline? Is it because over 60% of the discipline cases were overturned or reduced on appeal? Or that the number of sustained cases remained the same even though the number of investigations increased more than five-fold?

Perhaps some of the past leaders knew the difference between a citizen's complaint and petty administrative or procedural mistakes, and chose not to waste vast amounts of manpower and money on the latter.

Many people are tired of hearing Mr. Binkley praised for things he did not do. The bottom line is that he was allowed to run the Long Beach Police Department to the very verge of extinction--and that should be the last line on his resume.

MICHAEL J. WHITE

Director, Long Beach Police Officers Assn.

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