Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


My Photo
Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Monday, May 12, 2008

Loveridge throws his hat in the ring. In other news, rain's still wet.

Now that it's all settled that Mayor Ron Loveridge is seeking another term next year, what remains to be seen is whether like in previous years this will cause other prospective candidates to reshuffle their agendas and plans for their own political careers. Even before Loveridge announced that he would run again, next year's mayoral race was shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. But will his decision to throw his hat in light a fire or serve as a damper to everyone else?

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

There are major initiatives that he would like to continue working on, Loveridge said.

They include the $1.8 billion Riverside Renaissance, a five-year program of public improvements citywide; making the city more environmentally friendly through efforts to save water, reduce waste, plant more trees and increase use of solar energy; and turning the city into the Inland region's arts and culture capital.

"It's a very, very good time in the history of the city," Loveridge said.

He also is in line to be president of the National League of Cities in 2010 as long as he remains an elected official at that time. The yearlong post would allow him to influence the national agenda for cities, he said, and would help increase Riverside's profile.

Loveridge has fundraisers planned for May 28 and Aug. 20.

Yes, the next mayoral term will be somewhat shorter than most, but that in itself hasn't stopped the enthusiasm brewing for what could be the clash of the ages in one of the most vaulted political arenas in the Inland Empire. But still, let us all observe one moment of shocked silence at the revelation that Loveridge is indeed running for reelection.

Now, let the shock wear off and let the games begin, because Election 2009 is coming early this year!

Prospective candidates interviewed for the article included former mayor, Terry Frizzel and former Third Ward Councilman Art Gage. Perhaps former City Councilman Dom Betro was too busy at a strategy meeting to comment but he's another candidate that has better than even odds given out by political watchers of throwing his hat in the ring.

Here's a list and the current odds.

Dom Betro: 3:1 Although his untimely loss in 2007 for reelection may have tempered his political strategy and time table somewhat, who can forget the big spread in Inland Empire Magazine where he had to share the spread with political rival of the moment, former Councilman Art Gage? If you start seeing his supporters attending meetings again, then you'll know.

Art Gage 2:1 He received a larger thrashing at the polls in Election 2007 than Betro did. Still, he's bold enough to tentatively dip his toe again in the political waters if not take the plunge...yet.

Terry Frizzel: 5:2 Though definitely stronger these days when running for legislative seats, Frizzel does have prior mayoral experience and could launch a strong bid for a retake although at this level, it's often show me the money! In terms of fundraising to run for a city-wide seat.

Ed Adkison: 10:1 His name hasn't been mentioned lately since he stepped down wisely from his council seat in the midst of anti-incumbent fever, but you can't rule him out until he at least says, "no thanks". The pull of the gavel might just be too tempting to resist.

Frank Schiavone: 20:1 If his game falls a little short in the county arena, he might decide a mere reelection bid for city council is a step down for him. Stranger things have happened, so don't be too surprised if he takes his enthusiasm during his mayor pro tem stint and throws his name in.

Press Enterprise Columnist Dan Bernstein has something to say about it all here.


Shocker: Riverside's MayorLuv is running again. Says the Renaissance excites him. Wants to see it through. Buried his lead, though: "continuing as your mayor will mean I'll serve as 2010 National League of Cities president."

And Obama thinks he has a compelling life story

Several visitors dropped by this site from Sacramento. They included the State Senate and the Office of the State Treasurer who is Bill Lockyer. The state as you know has an impact through its budget deficit in what's been going on down in Riverside city and county so hopefully in the halls of power update, hard work is being done.

It's a more quiet announcement here (especially in light of what just was dropped by the Loveridge camp) but there's a hiring freeze in the police department in Riverside at the moment.


Unfortunately we are not currently accepting applications for t he positions of Police Officer Lateral, Police Officer Trainee, Police Officer Entry and Police Cadet. Please continue to visit this web page as we will resume recruitment as vacancies occur.

Actually, it's not clear if vacancies were being filled and not much more has been heard about the rumors surrounding the hiring of a particular lateral officer who is a relative of a prominent Riverside County family. If this rumor is indeed true, remember the background check, please. We'll all thank you for that later, hopefully. More hopefully, it's just a rumor and that a professional and much improved department as Riverside has wouldn't engage in such behavior for anyone or any reason.

On Tuesday night, Police Chief Russ Leach will be recognizing the public safety dispatchers at this meeting. This comes several years after the city had conducted investigations into complaints involving this division in the department. Hopefully, those days are all behind this vital unit. Now if the city in all its foresight, wisdom and as always, election year campaign promises anew, find a better place to house this division soon.

Researching the various models used by law enforcement agencies to train their new officers or "trainees" as they are often called has been most fascinating. The idea came to me after I received inquiries about how the Riverside Police Department trains its new male and female officers, how it molds them from academy graduates into full-time and permanent police officers.

There are two major police training models that are most commonly used. The older "San Jose" model and the newer, "Reno" model. The latter was created by various people through the Office of Community Oriented Policing in response to a demonstrated need to remodel the older model of training to accommodate community policing philosophies that were being used by more and more law enforcement agencies particularly in the last decade.

Many training programs share similar elements. Many pair the new officers with a series of field training or police training officers, through different phases. But it seems that many programs might be missing an important element as well or not stating its inclusion in an open and transparent manner.

What's disturbing is that while examining the training curricula used by different law enforcement agencies, there's scant or no mention of training new officers on a law enforcement agency's policies and procedures both to guard against and to report sexual harassment or other hostile environments in the workplace. If you recall, authors Penny Harrington and Kim Lonsway recommended that this be included in a field training curriculum, in their excellent text on sexual harassment in law enforcement and other male dominated professions.

But with the exception of several agencies surveyed including one in Arizona which addressed hostile work environments including quid pro quo sexual harassment (otherwise known as you want to keep your job, you won't unless you have sex with me, says the usually higher-ranked officer), not much mention was made of such training. You think that at the very least given how expensive sexual harassment lawsuits have been for many law enforcement agencies, that this important issue would receive more consideration by the management of these departments. But if change is indeed coming, it's at a slow pace.

A more quick cure for addressing quid pro quo sexual harassment in the field training officer (or in any law enforcement division) would be to equip all new female officers with a portable cattle prod to serve as negative reinforcement, because after all, a field training officer wouldn't pull the line, have sex with me or else unless the whole entire law enforcement agency was in a sense, crying "here, here". This is a given because in these departments, such behavior is simply defining the culture which has created it and has made it possible to proliferate. However, this strategy of utilizing these zapper devices is neither practical from a budgetary perspective unless you buy in bulk nor is it a really sensible way to fix the problem. That's what law suits are for and unfortunately, most often they have to serve as the litigating version of the portable cattle prod inside law enforcement agencies with one or both feet in the "good old days" of racism and sexism before no-nothing people, bleeding hearts, hairy-legged man-crazy feminists and other assorted individuals ruined all their fun.

This letter details the sexual harassment of women at the training academy in Santa Rosa County. All in good fun, of course and boys will be boys and why can't these women take a joke? How it was handled is a very old story. In fact, one version of it might have been played out in Riverside in 2005.

(excerpt, letter to Santa Rosa JC Training Academy)

We are especially concerned that, according to a number of cadets, this harassment went on for months and that the director of the evening academy, Deputy Peter Hardy, repeatedly ignored or minimized cadets' reports of the harassment. In fact, according to cadets, Director Hardy protected the perpetrator at the expense of the cadets, and allowed the perpetrator to graduate in December. The perpetrator is now eligible to become a police officer in California. The careers of the female cadets have been lost to the community.

After all, remember Riverside-Police-Department-officer-for-a-day Kelsy Metzler? She filed a complaint of sexual harassment against a male cadet at the Ben Clark Training Academy in this county. Looking back now, which of the two is still employed in law enforcement? It's probably not Metzler. Maybe if she'd kept her mouth shut, she'd still have a job. If you recall, the City of Riverside never explained why she didn't keep her job, it settled her law suit that she filed against it less than two months after being served with it. Not the usual legal strategy implemented by Riverside's legal eagles in cases like this. Just ask Officer Roger Sutton whose own lawsuit languished in the system for over five years before he hit a big payday at trial.

Sexual Harassment and Retaliation go hand in hand in many of these cases. Ask former Riverside Police Department sergeant, Christine Keers. Charged with a crime and acquitted by a jury in less than an hour not long after she filed sexual discrimination and harassment complaints and not long after the Riverside County District Attorney's office explicitly prohibited three employees of the police department including Councilman Steve Adams' brother Ron Adams and former sergeant, Al Brown (who was largely responsible with bringing closed circuit television cameras to the department's roll call rooms) from arresting her because she had complaints against them. Of course, they didn't listen.

Do they listen over 10 years later? Do they listen in most law enforcement agencies in this country?

In audits or studies done of the performances of some law enforcement agencies, similar problems had been noted and many are similar to the deficiencies noted in Harrington and Lonsway's book.

In 1999, Merrick Bobb, the special counsel of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department audited the department and one of the issues he looked at was the department's handling of sexual harassment complaints.

(excerpt, Bobb report, 1999)

1. In our chapter on sexual harassment, we report the results of our detailed investigation whether the LASD is strenuously and effectively enforcing its sexual harassment policies. We reviewed in detail eleven different lawsuits alleging sexual harassment brought by women in the LASD. Between 1995 and mid-1999, the County paid nearly $3 million to settle these lawsuits. We found examples in these settled cases of LASD investigators who had little apparent motivation to eliminate sexual harassment and moved forward sluggishly and unimaginatively in their investigations. There were instances where the LASD charged perpetrators with lesser misconduct than sexual harassment, even though a harassment charge was appropriate. Conversely, we found cases where apparently meritorious charges of harassment were not sustained. Yet even when charges were founded, in some instances only mild discipline was recommended, followed by settlements with the perpetrators that further reduced punishment.

When we turned to examine current practice, however, we found that the LASD in the last few years has started to emerge from the practices described above and has deepened its commitment to eliminate sexual harassment and any tolerance of it. The serious questions that remain are whether the LASD will commit resources in promised quantity. The LASD will have to find substantial funds and redeploy personnel to support new programs, including significant fiscal and human resources for the new bureau headed by Commander Nancy Malone which has responsibility for all gender equity issues.

Bobb wrote this indepth report on how the Sheriff's Department handled sexual harassment in its ranks.

(click "sexual harassment" link in report)

Some of the problems that he discovered included the following.

Department Culture

Inadequate supervisor responses to complaints

Lackadaisical Investigations

Reluctance to make credibility determinations

Delay in investigation and adjudication of complaints

Lenient Discipline


All common problems mentioned in toto or in part in other similar audits that have been done.

What Bobb found is that there were serious problems with even the upper management of the Sheriff's Department apparently having little clue about their agency's own sexual harassment policy and like a house of dominoes, it just fell. So much so that in a five-year period during the 1990s, the county paid out $3 million in settlements in connection with sexual harassment claims and law suits. He did note some improvement made by the agency towards the end of the reporting period for his audit but challenges still remain.

The screening of prospective field training officers is always a challenging, often daunting but probably always enlightening task in terms of picking the right person for the job. The blog, Blue Sheep Dog provides some pointers on just how to complete this task in a way that enhances the training and learning opportunities of all involved and hopefully doesn't subject the law enforcement agency to some serious litigation.


The burden of training these recruits, and instilling the values of the department in them, falls of the field training officer. So, what qualities should a police officer have that will make him or her a good field training officer? The following is a list of qualities that a good field training officer will have.

Professional demeanor

Positive attitude

Excellent communication skills


Role model for other officers


Being a professional incorporates most of the traits I consider to be essential for a field training officer. A professional police officer makes sound, ethical decisions with a need for only minimal supervision. A professional police officer has a high level of self initiated activity, and are often seen as a leader. Professional officers also stay current on new laws and case law as it develops. A professional also seeks advanced training to enhance their ability to do the job.

An established track record with the department is also necessary. Many departments require three years of experience prior to assignment as a field training officer. Three years is normally enough time for the department to spot officers with poor attitudes, bad decision making skills, or are discipline problems.

The blogger doesn't directly mention that it's necessary to choose officers who do not engage in sexist behavior including sexual harassment although that might be umbrellaed under the requirement that the ideal field training officer is someone who serves as a role model for other officers. After all, a good role model is someone who isn't sexist against female officers that are being trained and it's not likely to be an officer who engages in quid pro quo sexual harassment or demands sexual favors from female officers that he trains in return for passing training and moving on to the next level.

The professional law enforcement agency carefully screens and selects the best officers to train the next generation of officers. It doesn't select those who engage in sexual harassment or so it says. But again, that's really easy to say, not so easy to do and still in many agencies, there are many sexual harassment complaints and law suits that stem at least part from the field training division as well as others including the management which is in charge. And these law suits not only point out serious problems of sexism in the department that hinder its ability to fully function in a professional manner, but they wind up costing the tax payers millions of dollars as in the case of the Sheriff's Department mentioned above.

To be Continued...

Diary of a Field Training Officer details one police officer's experience training rookie officers straight out of the training academy.

More information on the Reno PTO Model here.

Former Reno Police Chief Jerry Hoover who worked on developing the Reno model wrote this letter on the experience. Hoover heads this organization which provides many training resources for both the Reno and San Jose models.

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services compares and contrasts the two main models used in training new officers.

The Police Training Officer, according to Wikipedia which details both models that have been or are being used.

If you haven't met "Bummy", you've really missed out. Here's more information about his life, from Gallaudet University to Riverside.

The New York City Police Department needs to review its treatment of men and women of color according to one local politician. This in the wake of a disturbing incident between a White police officer and the department's highest ranking Black officer.

(excerpt, New York Daily News)

"I believe we were one fertile movement from another Sean Bell," said state Sen. Eric Adams (D-Brooklyn), a retired NYPD captain. "We must do better."

Adams, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel and a coalition of minority-group cops were referring to a dustup in which a white plainclothes cop allegedly mouthed off to Chief Douglas Zeigler during an encounter in Queens.

In 2007, several NYPD detectives had complained about a White male sergeant who made offensive comments, according to the New York Daily News.


Sgt. William Planeta, who is white, allegedly disparaged gays, blacks, Jews and Hispanics, according to the detectives who worked with him in the department's documents fraud squad.

Allegations in a suit filed by one investigator include Planeta calling Hasidic Jews "curls" and African-Americans "chimps" and saying, "All these gay people should be killed."

The cops have reported the comments and offensive behavior to officials.

Detective Miguel Marte's suit, filed in Brooklyn Federal Court, contends Planeta retaliated against him after he complained.

Detectives Alberto Goris and Miguel Baez also plan to sue, said their lawyer, Eric Sanders of the law firm of Jeffrey Goldberg in Lake Success, L.I., who represents all three.

"We've been documenting stuff for two years," Goris told the Daily News. "We all kept journals."

It's 2008 now and the New York Times ran an article on whether or not there's been progress in terms of the department's promotion of Black officers.


The new figures show that the number of blacks among the roughly 700 officers who make up the department’s top tier — in the ranks of captain and higher — has remained unchanged from 2002 through 2007: 28.

Despite that stagnation, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly says he has promoted blacks in greater numbers and at a faster pace than he has promoted members of any other racial or ethnic group.

As a rule, civil service exams control promotions up to the rank of captain. Promotions above the rank of captain are discretionary, and Mr. Kelly uses the pool of captains to staff his executive corps, from deputy inspector up to chief.

Today, more than 50 percent of the blacks in the upper tier are in the discretionary ranks above captain: of the 28 blacks in the rank of captain and above, 12 are captains and 16 are in higher-ranking positions. Of the 48 Hispanics in the rank of captain and above, 32 are captains and 16 are at higher ranks. For Asian-American officers, 8 are captains and 3 rank above captain.

The department's hiring of street-level officers in the past few years has increased the diversity at that level, it claimed.


In the lower ranks, the number of blacks has increased in the department; minorities have represented 53 percent of the officers hired during the Bloomberg administration. The 36,000-member department is 54.3 percent non-Hispanic white, 16.4 percent black, 25.7 percent Hispanic and 4.2 percent Asian-American.

Those figures are getting closer to mirroring a city that, based on 2006 figures from the Census Bureau, was 34.7 percent non-Hispanic white, 23.7 percent black, 27.6 percent Hispanic and 11.6 percent Asian-American.

Mr. Kelly’s tenure has also been characterized by Police Academy classes that more closely resemble the racial makeup of the city’s eight million residents. The class that graduated from the academy in July 2005, which was 18.3 percent black, was the first predominantly minority class in the department’s history. “We have recruits born in 50 countries,” Mr. Kelly said.

San Francisco's police department is paying out $385,000 for a law suit filed after one of its officers broke a woman's arm. In what can only be called a shocker, the officer involved had a prior history of misconduct including sexist behavior.

The woman was about 118 pounds and after her arm was broken, she was cited for jaywalking.

(excerpt, San Francisco Chronicle)

Instead, San Francisco police officer Christopher Damonte, who weighed about 250 pounds, arrested her for jaywalking, twisted her arm behind her back and broke it with an audible crack.

Although Damonte and the city denied wrongdoing, the city recently mailed Medora a check for $235,000, the largest amount ever to settle a lawsuit claiming San Francisco police used excessive force not involving a weapon.

The Office of Citizen Complaints, meanwhile, has found that Damonte used excessive force in the incident and that another officer failed to investigate Medora's complaint. Damonte faces a disciplinary hearing at the Police Commission and potential punishment including dismissal.

Damonte, 41, a six-year veteran of the department, has been the subject of other misconduct complaints, according to city sources. He was admonished in 2003 for inappropriately threatening to arrest a woman without authority, and he is among more than 18 officers disciplined for their role in the controversial 2005 Bayview Police Station videos, which Mayor Gavin Newsom denounced as racist, sexist and homophobic.

He sounds like a keeper to me.

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer who was part of a robbery ring was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older