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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Changes in LAPD discipline OKd

July 23, 2008|Joel Rubin

The civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department approved changes Tuesday in the way the department disciplines and trains officers involved in use-of-force incidents.

The unanimous vote by the five-member Police Commission marked the latest move in an ongoing shift within the LAPD toward a less rigid approach to how it punishes officers.

Previously, if the commission concluded that an officer had violated department policies during a shooting or other serious use of force, the officer was automatically subjected to a formal review by department officials to determine what, if any, discipline should be imposed.

Under the terms of the new protocol, Chief William J. Bratton will be able to bypass that review process in cases where he does not believe punishment is warranted. Instead, he will be free to resolve the case by giving the officer a warning, ordering the officer to receive training or taking some other non-punitive action. Whether discipline is imposed or not, the commission's finding of "administrative disapproval" will be recorded on the officer's personnel record.

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