Shredding the Past

Shredding the Past

Resolution allows police to destroy some internal affairs investigation files

By André Coleman 07/31/2014

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The Pasadena Police Department adopted a resolution on Monday night authorizing Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez to destroy some internal affairs files and background files of candidates who were not hired.

The council voted Monday to allow the department to destroy files from investigations conducted from 1991 through 2008 as long as they do not pertain to officer-involved shootings, sexual misconduct, officer integrity or lying.

“We are talking about investigations regarding policy and procedure, conduct unbecoming of a police officer, like using foul language during a traffic stop, tardiness to meetings and inappropriate attire, the stuff that is not really all that bad,” Sanchez said.

However, he said, “We are holding on to files from serious investigations.”

California state law requires police departments to hang onto investigation files for at least five years, which is what most nearby jurisdictions do, including Glendale, Arcadia and Alhambra. Burbank and Los Angeles maintains its records indefinitely.

At a special meeting of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee in June, local residents requested the files be maintained for more than five years. The committee took no action at that time.

“It probably is in the best interest to preserve the records as long as you can,” said Councilman John Kennedy, a member of the Public Safety Committee, which provides oversight of the department. “Certainly you would not want to do anything that unfairly impacts the job requirements or performance of police personnel.”

However, after five years the use of the files becomes extremely limited. California law prohibits complaints concerning officer conduct from being considered for discovery in court cases or matters of litigation if the complaint is more than five years old.

Complaints five years or older also cannot be used in making decision regarding promotions, transfers or disciplinary and must be removed from an officers’ general personnel file.n


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It has been 859 days (approximately 2 years and 4 months) since Kendrec Mcdade was shot and killed.

Where is the OIR Report?

posted by Paul G on 7/31/14 @ 10:48 a.m.

Hey Paul, did you ever think that maybe the report came out some time ago, and you just missed it?

posted by russmen626 on 7/31/14 @ 08:44 p.m.

Why ever destroy a mass of files that technologically take the size of about a pack of gum (okay, let's say a 1980s-dimensioned candy bar) to secure? Wouldn't you want to maybe at least keep loose tabs on (or otherwise perhaps stay retrieveably informed about) people who FAILED to qualify as gun-toting, government-sponsored gangbangers?


posted by DanD on 7/31/14 @ 10:19 p.m.

Can we get an interpreter to tell us what Dan just said?

posted by russmen626 on 8/01/14 @ 08:31 p.m.

Councilmember John Kennedy provided a compelling answer at a recent Public Safety Committee hearing as to why Internal Affairs files on “non-serious” officer misconduct from 1991 to 2008 were proposed for destruction by Chief Sanchez. Kennedy said he spoke with several officers about this and learned they mostly didn’t want anything on their records that might hamper their careers.

Let’s not forget Detective William Broghamer’s recently revealed remarks to a colleague regarding a witness to a crime: “just pin it on anyone…that’s how we roll here.” Broghamer’s troubling history might be one of the 16 current employees whose misconduct files will be destroyed. We’ll never know.

It’s understandable that officers will always protect their own, but who’s protecting the public from such officers. It’s certainly not our City Council.
Kris Ockershauser

posted by krisopas on 8/02/14 @ 02:01 p.m.

"Hey Paul, did you ever think that maybe the report came out some time ago, and you just missed it?"

Idiot. . . . .read this. . . .

and this. . . . .

posted by Paul G on 8/04/14 @ 11:48 a.m.

Where is the report? How do you use such a report to make changes when so much time has passed? Who is responsible for this non responsiveness?

posted by Paul G on 8/04/14 @ 11:50 a.m.

"Where is the report? How do you use such a report to make changes when so much time has passed? Who is responsible for this non responsiveness?"

Have you ever thought about going to the police department and simply asking? Maybe the Chief of Police does not read the PW and is not seeing your requests, did you ever think of that?

posted by russmen626 on 8/04/14 @ 07:13 p.m.

The OIRG report is out, but it is secret. Front page, Star News.

posted by Local on 8/04/14 @ 08:24 p.m.

This police department is not trustworthy anymore.

posted by Paul G on 8/05/14 @ 04:02 p.m.

"This police department is not trustworthy anymore."

C'mon Paul, how about you DanD and I go down the the PPD, meet with the Chief and get to the bottom of this? How does Thursday look for you?

posted by russmen626 on 8/06/14 @ 08:25 p.m.
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