Los Angeles, CA—The Los Angeles Police Department has become so politicized that the Chief of Police is now the Mayor’s mouthpiece, according to retired LAPD Captain Kenneth Hillman who also served as a Director of the L. A Police Protective League. Furthermore, Hillman says that police policy has been changing every time a new Chief is selected, because under City Charter Reform Proposition “F”, the Mayor now has complete control over removal of the Chief of Police.
On this part-one of a two-part Full Disclosure® program, Captain Hillman said that a Police Chief used to be protected by a civil service process where the Chief answered to five bosses rather than the Mayor. The program will be launched on the Internet Friday, May 6, 2005 running 24/7 via video streaming from www.fulldisclosure.net along with a complete listing of the cable channels and airtimes where the programs will be shown for the next six months.
Captain Ken Hillman and former LAPD Chief Ed Davis were the only members of LAPD Command Staff to have transitioned from leadership roles in the police labor union, known as the Police Protective League. Hillman describes the reasons why the Police Union became so active following passage of Proposition “F” in 1992. He said the union became powerful out of self-preservation, when the Mayor’s power over the Chief made the Chief become the Mayor’s mouthpiece.
As an example of the politicalization of the LAPD, the retired Captain pointed to the new police policy such as the recent ban on steel flashlights following an incident that happened during the campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles. He cited the need for police officers to use a substantial self-defense tool, but that Chief William Bratton reversed his position during the Mayoral campaign.