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LA Police Officers Suspected of Tampering With Their Monitoring Systems

Unknown Lamer posted about 6 months ago | from the watchers-hate-being-watched dept.

Crime 322

An anonymous reader writes "An internal audit conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in March revealed that 'dozens of the [voice] transmitters worn by officers in Southeast Division were missing or damaged.' In the summer of 2013, this same division was found to have mysteriously lost 45% of the antennae placed on their cars to pick up the signals sent by their voice transmitters. The Southeast Division of the LAPD covers an area that has 'historically been marred by mistrust and claims of officer abuse.' For decades, the LAPD had been closely monitored by the U.S. Department of Justice, but a federal judge in 2013 decided to end that practice after being assured by the LAPD and city officials that the LAPD sufficiently monitors itself via dash-cams and voice transmitters. A formal investigation is currently being conducted to determine whether or not police officers intentionally subverted mandatory efforts to monitor and record their patrols."

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Easy fix (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705427)

For any officer found with damaged or missing recording equipment, suspend without pay or confine to desk jockey. Unacceptable to claim equipment is broken or doesn't work so the policy goes to the wayside.

Re:Easy fix (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 6 months ago | (#46705443)

Just deduct the repair bill from their pay. They'll soon start working.

Re:Easy fix (2, Informative)

GrandCow (229565) | about 6 months ago | (#46705633)

The antennas on the car are probably less than $10. The voice transmitters are probably $50-100. If they only do an audit once a year, it's a small price to pay for someone that doesn't want their actions being monitored.

Re:Easy fix (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 6 months ago | (#46705683)

The article claims that they check the antennas before and after each shift, so they would know as soon as one was missing, and give the bill to whoever had the car during that shift.

Re:Easy fix (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706229)

But they don't have to damage their device every day. Only on the days they're planning on pocketing some money from a drug bust. That's still a low cost.

Re:Easy fix (1)

number17 (952777) | about 6 months ago | (#46705719)

The price to pay is to install and verify that it is working, not the equipment itself.

Re:Easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705807)

at union rates, it probably takes 2 hours to fix ....

Re:Easy fix (2, Interesting)

Carcass666 (539381) | about 6 months ago | (#46705645)

Just deduct the repair bill from their pay. They'll soon start working.

Good luck with that given the power of their union.

Re:Easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706253)

Unions work to protect workers from a bad boss. The police work for society at large. Who are they unionizing against? Society at large?

Re:Easy fix (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 6 months ago | (#46706029)

Just deduct the repair bill from their pay. They'll soon start working.

Seems like it would be more effective if judges held police responsible for proper functioning of their recording devices, and gave the benefit of the doubt to those that accuse the police of wrongdoing when the mandated surveillance equipment that could prove the allegations was mysteriously "out of order".

Re:Easy fix (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46705639)

For any officer found with damaged or missing recording equipment, suspend without pay or confine to desk jockey. Unacceptable to claim equipment is broken or doesn't work so the policy goes to the wayside.

I'd throw tampering and obstruction charges in on the second offense.

If anything, cops need to be held to the letter of the law more strictly than those of us who are not tasked with enforcing it.

Re:Easy fix (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705939)

If anything, cops need to be held to the letter of the law more strictly than those of us who are not tasked with enforcing it.

Justice is never found in applying the law differently to different groups.

Re:Easy fix (1)

pedrop357 (681672) | about 6 months ago | (#46706035)

Fair enough, just apply it to them as they do to us.

Re:Easy fix (5, Interesting)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#46706263)

While I would normally agree here, we are talking about the people who sign up and take an oath to uphold the law....laws which they are clearly breaking by damaging public property. Worst, they are doing so with the intention of obstructing their own job of collecting evidence of crimes to present to the court. So in fact, they are obstructing justice, destroying property, and possibly breaking several other statutes at the same time.

This is nothing other people wouldn't be charged with for destroying police equipment willfully. I garauntee you if I took one of these devices and damaged it so it didn't work, I would be charged with all that and more.

So the reality is...in NOT charging them, the law is being applied differently.

this: (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about 6 months ago | (#46706025)

I'd throw tampering and obstruction charges in on the second offense.

hell yes.

this is how you get government accountability! YOU FUCK THEM UP

Re:Easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705761)

For any officer found with damaged or missing recording equipment, suspend without pay or confine to desk jockey. Unacceptable to claim equipment is broken or doesn't work so the policy goes to the wayside.

I'm sure that would get the full support of the police union, too.

NOT.

Re:Easy fix (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 6 months ago | (#46705947)

The problem with closing loopholes isn't figuring out what needs to be done. It's usually obvious: you close the fucking loophole.

The problem is usually actually doing it without giving up more ground than you get. Law enforcement anywhere tends to think that oversight is a conspiracy to aid the bad guys, and resists thinking that they themselves are or even can be the bad guys. LAPD in particular [wikipedia.org] . That mindset goes back a long time and is undoubtedly entrenched at every level. Any moves which actually bring the LAPD under reasonable oversight will be resisted by damn near everyone.

With campaign finance reform, that's resisted for similar reasons, but there's competition working for it: a politician who says he wants to reform things might be hurt by it, but so will his opponents. With law enforcement, reform isn't really beneficial to anyone since it just hurts everyone and no one gets ahead by enacting it.

Re:Easy fix (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46705987)

Police officers share cars. Unless you inspect the vehicle at the beginning and end of every shift there is no way of knowing who ripped the antenna off. I would also bet that there are a fair number of antennas ripped off by non-police officers. Police cars are an easy targets for vandals. I wonder how many other antennas are removed from squad cars. If it is always just the voice antenna it would be an issue. Even then, maybe the voice antenna is just easier to remove and non-police vandals target it more.

I agree that there is some police vandalism but I doubt it is the whole story.

Re:Easy fix (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706143)

You think the police would buy a similar excuse when they bust someone with drugs in their car?

Re:Easy fix (0, Flamebait)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 6 months ago | (#46706187)

I would simply summarily execute any cop whose recording gear malfunctioned at a critical time. They'd get the same fair trial they give to the people they murder and beat and frame for crimes they never committed.

Re:Easy fix (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706043)

Suspend without pay ? They need to be FIRED - they are purposely trying to circumvent evidence gathering which will impact many people's lives. Plus this is arguably theft and destruction of tax payer funded equipment and the Police involved should be charged with crimes for such just like any other citizen would be.

Re:Easy fix (2)

taustin (171655) | about 6 months ago | (#46706215)

So any cop you don't like, like the one who is going to testify against you, is easy to get rid of by just braking the antenna off on his car? Man, that's just a brilliant plan!

Anytime anybody says trust me... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705429)

That means don't. Ever. Never. And when they don't trust them...listen, don't decide to trust them because they're being honest about not trusting them.

BTW, don't trust me, figure this out for yourself.

Should be punished (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705437)

There should be strict rules in place that any equipment malfunctions or damage must be reported as soon as reasonably possible, or sever penalties will result. Of course, the police union would fight this tooth and nail.

Re:Should be punished (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46705615)

How do they know it is malfunctioning? It wouldn't surprise me if the system was designed to be tamper-resistant, so they may not have even read-only access to the data collected so they can't even sanity check if it is working.

Maybe an obviously broken antenna would indicate that it wasn't working, but I would imagine that might be assuming a lot about their technical knowledge and they may reasonably assume that some minor damage to an antenna doesn't mean its broken, based on experience with other antennas on other equipment.

I'm sure there's some deliberate malice going on here on some level, but then again, making them wholly responsible for the ongoing technical functionality of equipment they have little or no control or diagnostic ability or skill to manage would be reasonably objectionable.

There's also the unintended consequence of overly-severe penalties, one of which may be over-reporting potential damage due to the risks of not reporting it. The last thing you want is half the cars in a sector sitting in the motor pool and the officers unavailable for calls because they don't know if their widgets are broken.

Re:Should be punished (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705933)

Apart from that there is not reason to go hard on the police officers. There is a simple social solution when problems like this arise.
Split them up. It works on bullies, criminal gangs and neo-nazis.

Relocate them to cities that doesn't have this problem and make sure that none of them works with each other.
Once they are partnered up with honest people and only honest people the undesired behavior will go away.
After a couple of years the can be brought back.

That way the problem disappears without the need to break necks or even prove anything.

-- methane-fueled

Re:Should be punished (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 6 months ago | (#46706073)

Apart from that there is not reason to go hard on the police officers. There is a simple social solution when problems like this arise.
Split them up. It works on bullies, criminal gangs and neo-nazis.

Relocate them to cities that doesn't have this problem and make sure that none of them works with each other.
Once they are partnered up with honest people and only honest people the undesired behavior will go away.
After a couple of years the can be brought back.

That way the problem disappears without the need to break necks or even prove anything.

-- methane-fueled

Putting even the most honest and trustworthy people into a system of power doesn't guarantee that there will be no abuses -- even honest people abuse their power [prisonexp.org] .

But knowing that someone is looking over your shoulder at all times with surveillance *can* reduce abuses since a cop can't claim "He threatened me!" if no threat was captured on the surveillance device.

Re:Should be punished (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 6 months ago | (#46706231)

There's also the unintended consequence of overly-severe penalties, one of which may be over-reporting potential damage due to the risks of not reporting it. The last thing you want is half the cars in a sector sitting in the motor pool and the officers unavailable for calls because they don't know if their widgets are broken.

No, that's not the last thing you want. The last thing you want are responders who beat up people based on whether they like them, or lie about what suspects said and ruin lives.

I think this can be remedied by having them test the gear every time they enter active status. Not "potential damage", but actual testing.
If pilots have to check their gear before flying, I don't think it's too much to ask that armed officers do the same. They are responsible for people's lives too.

Re:Should be punished (1, Informative)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 6 months ago | (#46705709)

Actually no, as you'd know if you had studied the subject, the law does not apply to the police.

As a mnemonic rule, imagine they were oddly dressed politicians, or very humble rich people.

Re:Should be punished (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705743)

Add transmitters that send a peridic signal of the location to the base through the same mean and monitor that signal from home. You soon will get a very good map of where there's no reception (blocked by buildings, landscape etc) and what scumbags repeatedly have their antennas "broken".
You to not even have to make the individual raw data accessible by anyone, just throwing out "who" and "timestamp" when the signal broke is going to be enough if running for a few months.

This of course requires that someone wants the problem to be fixed.

Convenient malfunctions (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705441)

Anyone remember the police beating case in Maryland where the dash cams of ALL SEVEN police cars on the scene simultaneously malfunctioned? Accountability is not a thing many officers appreciate.

Re:Convenient malfunctions (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46705919)

Anyone remember the police beating case in Maryland where the dash cams of ALL SEVEN police cars on the scene simultaneously malfunctioned?

No ... and a Google search turns up nothing. Can you provide a reference?

Re:Convenient malfunctions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706023)

Here it is - "Andrea McCarren, an investigative reporter with WJLA-TV, is suing Prince George's County Police for $500,000, alleging officers violated her rights and injured her in April 2005." http://www.wtop.com/?nid=428&sid=1116072 [wtop.com]

Re:Convenient malfunctions (5, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about 6 months ago | (#46706121)

Anyone remember the police beating case in Maryland where the dash cams of ALL SEVEN police cars on the scene simultaneously malfunctioned?

No ... and a Google search turns up nothing. Can you provide a reference?

Here's a reference:

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=428&s... [wtop.com]

Seven cars responded, all required to have dashcams, yet somehow no dashcam footage of the incident was available.

And here's an article with links to other cases where police video disappeared:

http://www.theagitator.com/201... [theagitator.com]

And I found it with my first Google search for

Re:Convenient malfunctions (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706065)

Here it is - "Andrea McCarren, an investigative reporter with WJLA-TV, is suing Prince George's County Police for $500,000, alleging officers violated her rights and injured her in April 2005." http://www.wtop.com/?nid=428&sid=1116072 [wtop.com]

Nobody should be constantly monitored (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705451)

Be that at work or in private.

That's pretty obvious to anyone who doesn't live in a totalitarian state or the US.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 months ago | (#46705481)

Who will watch the watchers? It's clear that "nobody" is the answer the watchers would prefer...

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#46705975)

Who will watch the watchers?

In theory, that is the job of the free press.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (5, Insightful)

TC Wilcox (954812) | about 6 months ago | (#46705579)

Nobody should be constantly monitored. Be that at work or in private.

That's pretty obvious to anyone who doesn't live in a totalitarian state or the US.

Society allows police officers to use violence against members of society. They are supposed to only use that privilege under certain circumstances, but many officers have already demonstrated poor judgement and used violence when they should not of used it. The point of these cameras is to provide a control against people who can legally assault the public (police officers) as well as give officers a defense if they are ever accused of using violence inappropriately. This monitoring is necessary because police have already shown themselves to be irresponsible. Any police officer that is intentionally interfering with the recordings should be charged with destruction of evidence.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (-1, Troll)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 6 months ago | (#46705749)

not of used

not've used

It's a contraction of "not have used". Again try to avoid using words/phrases that you've only heard and never read when writing. It occasionally makes you look illiterate.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1, Offtopic)

xevioso (598654) | about 6 months ago | (#46705829)

Pedantry is alive and well, it seems. I understood him just fine. Perhaps you should of not been so pedantic.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705935)

How is the person who made the error supposed to learn if nobody corrects him/her? Yes, pedantry gets annoying when done to excess, but being seen to be illiterate just because your peers were afraid to mention your mistake is cruel. If you were walking around with your fly open, would you be OK with everyone around you just assume that you're a pervert? Wouldn't you prefer that somebody mention that you should X-Y-Z until you get in the habit of checking your fly before you step out in public?

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (3)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 6 months ago | (#46706041)

Pedantry is alive and well, it seems. I understood him just fine. Perhaps you should of not been so pedantic.

Well done sir! [sounds of applause]

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706071)

He should be. When I read "not of used" my brain derailed a tiny bit until I realised what it was.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46706197)

It's potentially helpful to correct people gently. Far less so to try to call them out on a mistake. And how exactly is anyone supposed to expand their vocabulary if they limit themselves to only the words and phrases they've already completely mastered? That's not how language works. Hell, that's not how learning pretty much *anything* works.

Language is learned through its use, misuse, and subsequent correction, starting with mimicking single-syllable sounds shortly after birth. As for not writing things you've only ever heard spoken - do you really keep a mental record of the source of all the words you've learned? I certainly don't. I seem to store words as an interlinked combination of sound and spelling. If I only hear it spoken the spelling may be off. I read a lot so more often I only see it spelled and the pronunciation is off. Until such time as I speak the word to (or hear it spoken by) someone who knows the proper pronunciation and they correct me, and I update my vocabulary with the anomalous pronunciation. And as best I can tell that's pretty normal. Why would should I artificially limit my vocabulary simply because I'm not 100% certain of its accuracy? And why would I want anyone else to do so? Talk about a lot of boring, simplistic conversations.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (4, Interesting)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 6 months ago | (#46705641)

I'm pretty sure that people who work in retail are basically on camera all the time, certainly when they in the public areas of the store. In private, of course they should not be monitored. Unless, perhaps, you count ankle monitors that some convicted felons wear as an alternative to being in prison.

If you were in England, you would be on some of the estimated 6 million surveillance cameras: 70,000 operated by the police, 300,000+ by schools, 13,000 by the London Tube, etc., and most of the rest private individuals and corporations.

Given the track record of police abuses in the U.S., and the dramatic [fall in complaints about police behaviour](http://www.policefoundation.org/content/body-worn-cameras-police-use-force), plus the usefulness of having on-the-spot video evidence against criminals, I would support mandatory cameras for all of them.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 6 months ago | (#46706075)

And here is one of the reponses to that monitoring [imdb.com] .

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (2)

azadrozny (576352) | about 6 months ago | (#46705649)

Tell that to someone who works in a casino, or a bank. Sometimes the cameras are there to protect the employee, sometimes the employer, sometimes both.

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (2)

dbc (135354) | about 6 months ago | (#46705707)

LAPD is notorious for corruption and officer abuse. What is *your* plan to fix that?

Re:Nobody should be constantly monitored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706085)

Be that at work or in private.

That's pretty obvious to anyone who doesn't live in a totalitarian state or the US.

That is why monitoring equipment should / is turned on when the lights are to monitor an event, not the hour to hour. If equipment isn't on or working, then anything done by the police should be suspect and likely thrown out.

Welp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705459)

This just goes to show what happens when you let a damned dirty ape run your country.

Captcha: papers.

Gomer Pyle responds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705471)

Data mining to find the culprits? (5, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about 6 months ago | (#46705499)

I wonder if the damage was reported and tracked over time, and if you could correlate this with who was assigned the equipment immediately prior? The results would probably paint a good heat map against the list of officers as to what subset was behind the damage.

The simple solution is make them document it (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 6 months ago | (#46705505)

It is possible people are vandalizing the cars (in general and though the public would vandalize ALL the antennas, not just one). The simple solution is make the officers report any damage and fill out paperwork indicating the cause. If they go a day with broken equipment unreported they're suspended without pay for day the first time with a day added per occurrence and fired after 5. If it's a repeated occurrence with an officer they should be monitored in secret by IA to observe if the officer is doing the damage themselves and if they are they should be fired and prosecuted for damaging government property. If the cars are being vandalized by the public they need better antennas that are vandal resistant.

Re:The simple solution is make them document it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705619)

Oh hi rahvin112, that was a very logical and well thought out approach to solve a nasty and unnecessary problem. Let me introduce you to the police union.

Re:The simple solution is make them document it (2)

Gramie2 (411713) | about 6 months ago | (#46705685)

I suppose it's theoretically possible that vandals are risking arrest to remove -- and not break or damage -- a single antenna (out of the several on a cruiser), the one antenna that could embarrass or implicate officers in inappropriate/illegal behaviour, but it's ludicrous to suggest that it is likely or even probable.

The Law (4, Insightful)

Bayoudegradeable (1003768) | about 6 months ago | (#46705513)

Ha. Please find me someone with more contempt and disdain for the law than.... law enforcement! Shocked they would be breaking rules. What's next?

Re:The Law (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 6 months ago | (#46706155)

Politicians. Just about every law passed by Congress has a clause at the end stating that Congress is exempt from it. That's always struck me as a perverse loophole which could be horribly exploited. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Speaking of which, if there's one group of public employees who should be video recorded in all their daily activities and meetings, it's politicians. If all their meetings with lobbyists were required by law to be recorded and streamed to the public, things might actually start improving.

Just goes to show (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | about 6 months ago | (#46705555)

Cops and criminals come from the same backgrounds...

Laws (0)

DaMattster (977781) | about 6 months ago | (#46705561)

Are nothing more than impediments to a police officer. They think they are above the law, and unfortunately, most times they are. :-(

Re:Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705667)

They think they are above the law,

Not exactly. [youtube.com]

How would you like it? (0, Flamebait)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 6 months ago | (#46705563)

How would you like to have your every move and word recorded and transmitted by your employer every second of every working day? I don't condone police abuse but this level of intrusion seems extreme to me.

Re:How would you like it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705679)

You won't get a lot of sympathy around here. The Slashdot groupthink is that "the bad officers give the other .01% a bad name."
I've long wondered why this is. I used to think it meant we had much more than our fair share of potheads.
But I think there's something more to it than that. Anyway, it's just another one of the unthinking prejudices of this self-proclaimed rational crowd.

Re:How would you like it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706061)

You won't get a lot of sympathy around here. The Slashdot groupthink is that "the bad officers give the other .01% a bad name."

If a single officer misbehaves and commits criminal acts and this goes on for a long time without any other officer intervening, are the other officers doing their job?
I'm not saying that there aren't any good police officers in that district but it certainly seems like they are in a such small minority that they can't stand up to the bad ones.
Perhaps it would be more fair to say that "the bad officers give the other 49% a bad name?"

I still have a hard time believing that a good officer would enjoy working under such circumstances. They have probably quit or relocated.

Re:How would you like it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706221)

When someone is in control of other people's lives, they do not deserve privacy while on the job.

Period.

Re:How would you like it? (1)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 months ago | (#46705809)

Pretty much every retail employee on the planet already has to deal with this, but without the ability to have a mysterious hardware failure at (in)convenient times.

Re:How would you like it? (2)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 6 months ago | (#46706127)

Pretty much every retail employee on the planet already has to deal with this, but without the ability to have a mysterious hardware failure at (in)convenient times.

This. There are cameras in my office, if I went around cutting the wires to each camera I would no longer have a job and would probably be brought up on criminal charges. Our security department also has the ability to monitor my computer at any time. People in tons of different professions are monitored while they are working and many are tested to determine if they are doing company-prohibited activities while not at work. There is no reason why police should be excluded from the same kind of surveillance. In fact, many people would argue that there is a more compelling interest in monitoring police than almost any other profession.

Re:How would you like it? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46705895)

How would you like to have your every move and word recorded and transmitted by your employer every second of every working day?

Nothing about my day job provides for use of force, arrest, and charging people with criminal acts which could lead to their incarceration.

Given the history of abuses from the LAPD (and lots of other PDs) ... the stakes are much higher, and we've passed the point where we can just assume all police are honest.

So, you'll forgive me if I don't go all "boo hoo" about the level of tracking being applied to them. We see plenty enough stories which indicate cops can often have very little regard (or understanding) of the law.

Quite frankly, I don't believe there's enough tracking of police officers.

Re:How would you like it? (1)

Lazere (2809091) | about 6 months ago | (#46705907)

If you work in retail or banking, you do. That was the case at my last job. Why is it recording gas station attendants who have the authority to do absolutely nothing is ok, but recording police officers who have the authority to shoot somebody if need be isn't?

Re:How would you like it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705931)

How would you like to have your every move and word recorded and transmitted by your employer every second of every working day? I don't condone police abuse but this level of intrusion seems extreme to me.

Most of us don't hold a job that allows us to use lethal force against our employers, their employers being "we, the people."

Re:How would you like it? (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 6 months ago | (#46705989)

I neither agree nor disagree with your point because there is an unclear factor to me -- nature of work. The nature of police work in this case is similar to a field work (outside the office) which is very difficult to have a good quality control system. Of course, you would need to give a lee way and at the same time has a certain trust level to these people. For an office work, it is a lot different because the employer would have more control on quality check. So the monitoring may or may not be a bad quality control system for the police.

Futile? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705569)

From TFA: "Because cars in the Southeast Division had been equipped with cameras since 2010 and different shifts of officers use the same car each day, officials decided an investigation into the missing antennas would have been futile, according to Smith and Capt. Phil Tingirides, the commanding officer of the Southeast Division."

I do not believe that this is possible. Given the number of officers, and the number of damaged cars, and the number of undamaged cars, and the log book, most of us could tell you who the culprits are before we get through our first 16oz cup of coffee.

Re:Futile? (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46705967)

I used to work at an auto parts store where someone was stealing from the registers. Since we had just hired a guy back after going to jail (presumably for something he didn't do), all eyes were on him. It was a slow night, so my co-worker and I took a look at the shift logs and who worked 1-2 shifts before the money was found missing (because it had safe drops, you couldn't always tell the next shift).

It took us about 20 minutes to find the culprit. It was totally easy. So this is complete BS.

Re:Futile? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 6 months ago | (#46706157)

Oh, I believe it is possible. Because I believe that it was designed to make it difficult to determine who was responsible for the missing antennas.

Abuse? Doubtful (0)

GrBear (63712) | about 6 months ago | (#46705571)

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Working with police officers regularly, there's a joke that goes around that goes like this.

Put a cop naked in a padded room with two steel ball bearings. Go back after an hour, one ball bearing will be broken and the other will be missing.

Re:Abuse? Doubtful (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46705663)

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

I'll bet whoever came up with that was one malicious motherfucker.

Re:Abuse? Doubtful (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 6 months ago | (#46706001)

Actually, I hear he was a bit of an idiot.

Re:Abuse? Doubtful (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#46705835)

When I was in the Marine Corps, we said that about our officers. I'm sure many others have used that joke.

Re:Abuse? Doubtful (1)

ichthus (72442) | about 6 months ago | (#46705855)

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Maybe the first time, or the second. But when there's a pattern of obvious and blatant refusal of compliance, suspicion should certainly direct one's course of action. How else to find the truth?

Malcontent: (1)

onproton (3434437) | about 6 months ago | (#46705599)

March marred by mysteriously missing misconduct monitoring machines.

Re:Malcontent: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705717)

Mysteriously-missing misconduct monitoring machines mar march

FTFY

Re:Malcontent: (1)

onproton (3434437) | about 6 months ago | (#46705805)

Marvelous!

Re:Malcontent: (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46705957)

Meh, methinks maybe more m's might be made mandatory, mostly managing mellifluous meter and mode. ;-)

What did you expect (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705629)

Did you think that the most corrupt, malevolent police force in the country would just roll over and let something intended to make them accountable actually do its job?

I'm shocked, shocked! (1)

Ravensfire (209905) | about 6 months ago | (#46705681)

I'm shocked, shocked that the LAPD would try to hide their behavior so they could keep acting like asshats.

You get right on that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705715)

This is like wondering if Campbell's Makes Soups.

Simple Stunned (1)

tiberus (258517) | about 6 months ago | (#46705737)

Not that the LAPD is playing fast and loose with the equipment (okay that this level of poor behavior is being allowed to continue is inconceivable) but, that the equipment isn't self monitoring and reporting. I mean really, they are under the watchful (and apparently sleepy) eye of the DoJ and no one thought to add a monitoring feature? The police have some of the most wired cars around and the tech to push or pull, at least, daily status reports on the health and activity of the recording systems wasn't included?

Wow, even WOW, or OMFGWOW are not adequate to express my disdain.

"Attitude reflects leadership, captain." Julius Campbell (Wood Harris), Remember the Titans (2000)

"Safeguards" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705755)

One of the reasons by the LAPD was able to get off their babysitting by the feds was claiming that they had "safeguards" in place against abuse. It looks like those safeguards are being dismantled. It should also be noted that while the article touts how they have "fixed" the problem of missing antennas on the camera equipment but the last paragraph notes that dozens of the belt mics have been damaged/lost.

Easy solution (3, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 6 months ago | (#46705799)

Here is a simple rule. If a cop doesn't have an active recording device then he isn't a cop; he is just some guy waving a gun and threatening people. Also invalidate any evidence that a "cop" gathers while not on video and audio. So if a cop searches someone and "finds" drugs and there is no video then it didn't happen; that combined with the stop and frisk being considered a mugging these cops would be polishing the lenses and making sure the equipment was in perfect working order.

Re:Easy solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46705953)

That seems extreme, but at least if there is no audio,
      then the citizen's story of what happened should be assumed correct unless the officer can prove otherwise with other, ordinary citizens.
(Folks likely beholding to the cops/legal system aren't ordinary.)

If the officer is faced with keeping the recording equipment working or finding another line of work, then that is probably sufficient.
      Maybe you get one bye every 5 years.
      The threat of jail time seems over the line.

Dual Standards (1)

Bugler412 (2610815) | about 6 months ago | (#46705955)

I know that if I were to remove an antenna from a police cruiser that I would be in jail, quickly, likely bruised and beaten during the trip too. Why should it be different for the officers? Criminal vandalism charges, destruction of public property, obstruction, etc. etc. let the charges flow. Oh, wait, these are police, they're never (or at least very rarely) convicted of criminal charges for their actions, sorry for wasting your time....

Power Corrupts (1)

X!0mbarg (470366) | about 6 months ago | (#46706105)

And Absolute Power is kinda nifty...

It's amazing what happens to some people when they get a taste of power over others. Little wonder why there are cases of extortion and racketeering that happen by police officers in many cities. Once they get a taste, they're hooked, and it escalates.

Why is it that many an off-duty police officer acts like a total a$$-hat, but pops a badge out of their butt when confronted by the proper authority to curb such behavior? They carry on as if they are Allowed to do the things they, themselves are required to prevent. After all, such things are Fun! At least, to some people...

I'd cite examples, but there'd be info-burn from the Google results page...

How many people would tamper with monitoring devices at their work, if they were under such constant scrutiny? Of course, there are laws preventing such devices in many places at work, such as washrooms, changerooms, and similar places. Needless to say why many employees tend to hang out there as much as possible.

Bottom line is this: People in authority should Expect to be monitored for abuse! Gone are the days of power (on certain levels of civil service) putting you beyond reproach. that was then. This is now. It's been called the Information Age for a reason, folks.

Welcome to the Glass House, Mr. Ford. Don't get too comfortable.

Mayors of large, world-class cities have been getting away with things for a very long time in the past. Mostly because they knew when and how to do such things so as not to draw too much attention to themselves.Others see the office as goal, and a place where they have free reign to do whatever they want. Chances are, they were doing things before they had the office, but were simply emboldened to the point of carelessness by the authority they found themselves in. Can you imagine the scandals that would happen if a Mayors' Office was subjected to such constant monitoring? Don't get me wrong! Mayors of such cities have a Lot of things they have to deal with on a daily basis, that are best kept behind closed doors for public safety. Shame the crime-lords of the modern era don't suffer from nearly the same level of accountability as their elected counterparts...

So, bottom line here: If you had such monitoring devices where you work, would you tamper with them for any reason? Would it be privacy, or some other reason that motivates you?

What level of "privacy" do you expect from your work environment?

Just Sayin'

Fixed (3, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 6 months ago | (#46706109)

It seems to have been fixed:

Instead, warnings went out at roll-call meetings throughout South Bureau, and new rules were put in place requiring officers to document that both antennas were in place at the beginning and end of each shift. To guard against officers removing the antennas during their shifts, Tingirides said he requires patrol supervisors to make unannounced checks on cars.
"We took the situation very seriously. But because the chances of determining who was responsible was so low we elected to move on," Smith said, adding that it cost the department about $1,500 to replace all the antennas.
Since the new protocols went into place, only one antenna has been found missing, Smith said.

Re:Fixed (1)

operagost (62405) | about 6 months ago | (#46706163)

Has that officer responsible for the one missing antenna been suspended, I wonder?

Note to self... (3, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | about 6 months ago | (#46706125)

...do not rely on monitoring system that treats a complete lack of information as a complete absence of incidents.

How many ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46706153)

...LAPD officers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

None. They just beat the room for being black.

Golden Menus (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 6 months ago | (#46706183)

As long as they can still hit the drive-thrus / fly-thrus, they'll be fine.

Opportunity For Agreement (1, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 6 months ago | (#46706189)

These law enforcement officers are experiencing the same thing we have been in the wake of the NSA documents. Being watched all the time is wrong even if you are doing nothing wrong.

Anti-authoritarians think people should not be watched all the time, even though it would mean catching a few extra criminals. Law and order advocates think police should not be watched all the time, even though it would mean catching a few extra officers who abuse their position. If we believe that people intrinsically want to do good, the truth is they are both right.

The premise of the United States experiment is that people can and should be trusted to do good most of the time -- despite the real risk and cost of doing so -- and should only be watched when it is justified. Merely being a police officer does not mean you are suspected of being a dirty cop. Merely being a person with one or another political viewpoint does not mean you are suspected of being a terrorist. Merely being a person from a certain socioeconomic class does not mean you are supected of committing a crime.

In America, we presume innocence. That is not just a standard of the justice process, it means we trust our citizens -- whether acting as individuals, political activists, or police officers -- to do good. We believe in our citizens even when we are on opposite sides of a fence, and we know they believe in our society even when their expression of that belief differs from ours. When we have reasonable suspicion that they have violated that trust, we investigate them -- but not before.

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