Re "What LAPD takes, union returns," May 21
By reimbursing police officers who are suspended without pay, the Los Angeles Police Protective League yet again demonstrates that indiscriminately sheltering all officers from even legitimate criticism and punishment for wrongdoing remains its priority. The patently absurd program neutralizes even the minimal enforcement action available. The union turns what is supposed to be punishment into a paid vacation, and officers hit the streets knowing they have a nice little cushion that allows them even greater leeway from the rules.
It's tempting to offer analogies, such as an inexpensive program that pays all fines and increased insurance costs for motorists cited for speeding, running red lights or driving under the influence. But the police union's program is so nakedly outrageous that helpful comparisons to illustrate its offensiveness are not necessary.
Why do we police officers pay for suspension insurance? When Police Chief William J. Bratton came to L.A., he told us that the era of "gotcha" was over. Yet the complaint system suspends officers for misconduct "you should have known" about. The system may suspend you if your black-and-white gets broadsided because you "failed to anticipate" the other driver's actions. The system may suspend you because your partner commits a crime on his own time. The list could go on for pages. The LAPD complaint system is shortsighted and broken. Officers from other cities laugh at what we get suspended for.
I'm going to continue to protect my family and pay my suspension insurance every month.