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

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Statistics and stipulations

*******JUST IN*******************

Riverside's Governmental Affairs Committee to meet on Wednesday July 9, 2008 at 3 p.m. at City Hall to discuss major changes to the format of next year's election. One proposal is to not hold runoff elections. As you know, the outcome of at least one city council election last time out was changed in the runoff election in November 2007.

Read here.

Riverside County has called a heat warning so get yourself to some place cool during this upcoming week. Actually, you might as well find a cool spot until about November when summer ends.

The Community Police Review Commission in Riverside has resumed doing its monthly reports after a bit of a sabbatical and these have provided information on the commission including its outreach endeavors and all sorts of statistics about the complaints themselves.

Similar statistics are compiled by the police department's internal affairs division in terms of its own investigations and state law PC 832.7 under one of its clauses allows for the release of this information as long as it's statistical in nature. The police department is required by state law to forward these statistics annually to the state department of justice. So they do exist.

And if you live in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, San Jose, Oakland and Los Angeles among other enlightened cities, you can access this information by requesting it. In fact in annual reports released by the boards and commissions in this city addressing civilian oversight you can get quite detailed information that's statistical in nature.

But not in Riverside.

Why? Because City Attorney Gregory Priamos won't let you. If you ask for it, he doesn't send a letter stating that state law allows us to do so but doesn't mandate us to do so and given the choice, we choose not to provide this information. No, any letters from his office on this issue simply state that state law prohibits them from providing even statistical information. This is done of course because the city assumes that most people who request it won't know that the city could release this information if it chose to and it apparently doesn't want the public to know it's denying a public record by choice. And as most people know, the words can't and won't release a document aren't the same thing. But the city might be treating them as if they are because it doesn't want to come out and state that it's choosing to deny the city residents this information.

The city used to freely release this information on a quarterly basis to the Human Relations Commission in 1999-2001 before stopping not because it was prohibited from doing so but because it was rethinking the format of the reports. Not that even getting this information back then came easily. When the Mayor's Use of Force Panel tried to get this information, it only received it after threatening to hire its own legal counsel. Then the city backed down and handed the statistics over for that year and the previous years. Incidentally, in 1999 Riverside's city government won the not-so-coveted "Black Hole" award from the California First Amendment Coalition for among other things, hiring a high-priced public relations firm to handle the media after the Tyisha Miller shooting.

Has anything changed? Not in this area at least.

Here, are some available statistics from the CPRC's most recent monthly reports. These, you can get from the Web site. Just click the links which will lead you to the commission's monthly reports or click the links below.

March 2008:

Allegations heard: 11


Not sustained: 3


Unfounded: 7

Misconduct Noted: 1

April 2008:

Allegations heard: 21

Exonerated: 3

Not sustained: 5

Sustained: 1

Unfounded: 12

May 2008:

Allegations heard: 28


Not sustained: 3


Unfounded: 23

Misconduct Noted: 1


Total Allegations: 60

Exonerated: 3 (5% )

Not sustained: 9 (15% )

Sustained: 1 (1.7% )

Unfounded: 42 (70%)

Misconduct Noted: 2 (3.3%)

Inquiry: 1 (1.7%)

The sustained rate of 1.7% (or 5% if you include "misconduct noted") is probably lower than that of many police departments in the country. The average sustain rate is about 14% for overall complaints and 7% for use of force. The CPRC has only sustained two use of force complaints since 2001. The first one was reversed in arbitration. The second one was a split finding on a case in April 2004 where the CPRC sustained the use of force.

Another source of important statistics that is included in the monthly reports is that which provides information on how long an investigation took to be completed by the police department and how long it took to be reviewed by the CPRC. Both for category one complaints which are the more serious ones including excessive force and criminal conduct, and for category two which are less serious allegations including discourtesy and poor service.

Average time spent:


CPRC: 92 days (category 1)/50 days (category 2)

RPD: 470/336


CPRC: 106/93

RPD: 235/148


CPRC: 43/96

RPD: 210/162

The average wait time for a complaint to be completely processed from the date it's filed averages about one year. The police department's policy #4.12 states that the turn around for category #1 complaints be about 60 days and for category #2, 30 days unless the head of the Internal Affairs Division or his or her supervisor provides an extension. These current figures aren't even close to the department's own policy requirements and they've been bad or worse than this since about 2006. Part of that is due to the high number of allegations and complaints with multiple allegations witnessed in 2005 and 2006 (although the number of total allegations was lower). In the past year, the average time both categories of complaints have spent in the CPRC office has increased quite a bit as well.

Two great resources for information on sunshine laws in California are CAL AWARE and California First Amendment Coalition. These are the sites that city governments probably don't want you to see but they're excellent sites and very much worth checking out.

It was inevitable that the Press Enterprise editorial, "March Myopia" was going to get a response and it did here.

(excerpt, Local Views)

In my view, the real issue is Riverside's approval of continuing massive residential growth in this area long after the base was abruptly realigned for joint-use purposes in 1994.

What were city officials thinking? Did Ward 4 electeds really believe that there would be no push-back from densely populated Orangcrest and Mission Grove when the base fully converted?

Maybe they dreamed the base acreage would one day be transformed into a big cow pasture or chicken farm. Well, whatever the dream, there are now thousands of post-1994 residents who were allowed by the city to be placed right under a prospective commercial flight path.

Proper growth planning is supposed to be a core responsibility of government. Sadly, developers did this particular piece of planning, and the city simply scooped up the fees and other tax revenue. So, you get what you've got right here.

That is especially true when a city's only real "plan" is to build on every patch of bare earth.

The discussion is still going on regarding whether or not downtown library should be demolished.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has okayed the purchase of homes to expand its jail system.

If you're in San Bernardino, what's the status of your police station?

Speaking of San Bernardino County, the grand jury there kept very busy.

But it hasn't always been that way.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Robert E. Burkhardt, 81, of Barstow, has served on three county grand juries and was the jury foreman in 2004-2005. He said he hopes future grand juries remain as aggressive as this year's.

Some in the past have been, he said. But others have been hampered by the difficulty of getting dedicated members and the lack cooperation from officials, he said.

"We tried to be aggressive one year and the judge told us to back off," Burkhardt said.

"They were trying to keep things under control," he said. "I am glad they kind of let them loose this year."

The numbers of registered Democrats in Riverside and the 44th Congressional District are growing.

How are Inland Empire cities coping with the budget crisis? By doing these things.

If you're trying to keep track of what's going on with the major fire up in Big Sur, here's the blog to do so.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older