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San Diego police chief announces strategy to reduce officer misconduct

Chief2 Embarrassed by a recent spate of misconduct allegations against his officers, the San Diego police chief Tuesday publicly apologized and announced a series of reforms meant to "greatly reduce future incidents."

"I want to personally apologize to every citizen of San Diego," Police Chief William Lansdowne said at a news conference in front of police headquarters, backed by his command staff and members of the police officers' labor union.

Lansdowne announced that additional personnel will be added to the internal affairs unit that investigates allegations against officers.

Also, a confidential hot line is being established that will be monitored by Lansdowne and a review of the department's use-of-force tactics is underway. Supervisors will be given additional "early intervention" training in how to spot troublesome behavior among officers.

The announcement comes days after a veteran officer was booked into jail for felony drunk driving in an off-duty incident.

There have been nine misconduct cases in recent months involving allegations of excessive force, stalking an ex-girlfriend, burglary, drunk driving, rape, domestic violence and demanding sexual favors from female motorists. Most involved off-duty conduct. One officer has been fired, another forced to resign.

Lansdowne, 67, was named San Diego police chief in 2003 after serving as chief in San Jose and Richmond in Northern California. The San Diego department has 2,100 sworn officers.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne. Credit: City of San Diego 

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