Insurance agency pulls Maywood’s coverage

Citing the city’s failure to hire a new city manager as well as recent officer-involved shootings, Maywood’s insurance agency has terminated coverage because it views the municipality as too high a risk, according to city officials.

In a notice delivered to the city last week, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority said it would end all general liability and workers’ compensation coverage effective July 1, according to Interim City Manager Angela Spaccia.

“This termination potentially puts the city in the position where it cannot continue to operate its police department and provide other city services,” a statement on the city’s website announced.

The history of the Maywood-Cudahy Police Department has made it difficult for the city to obtain insurance coverage, officials say. Last year the state attorney general’s office found widespread overuse of force and other gross misconduct. The department has reorganized in an effort to address those issues.


Since 2006, liability claims have gone down from $12 million to $266,000, Spaccia said. “The chief has made huge progress.”

There have been at least two officer-involved shootings since the start of the year, according to the department. In April, officers shot and killed a knife-wielding man who was stabbing a woman, authorities said. In May officers shot and wounded a man, but the circumstances surrounding that shooting were not released. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shootings.

In the workers’ compensation case, an officer was hospitalized May 1 after a drunk driver crashed into her police cruiser, according to authorities.

The city has also been without a permanent city manager for more than a year. Officials say that some candidates have turned down job offers, while others have failed to meet qualifications for the position.

Calls made to the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority for comment were not returned Friday.

Maywood officials in recent months have been considering a plan to create a joint law enforcement agency with the city of Bell. The loss of insurance coverage added new impetus to those discussions, Spaccia said, as Maywood might find it easier to regain its coverage through such a partnership.