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Independent monitor says LAPD consent decree should be lifted

June 12, 2009 |  6:09 pm

Los Angeles Police Department The Los Angeles Police Department's effort to end a federal consent decree imposed in the wake of the Rampart scandal got a boost today when the independent monitor overseeing the department said the decree should end.

LAPD Chief William J. Bratton is hoping that a federal judge will end the decree, which calls for federal oversight of department operations. The decree was enacted in 2001 in the wake of a scandal in which LAPD officers were accused of misconduct, including framing suspects.

In a 150-page report released Friday, the Office of Independent Monitor found that the decree “made the LAPD better at fighting crime, at reaching out to the community, in training its officers, in its use of force, in internal and external oversight and in effectively and objectively evaluating each of the sworn members of the LAPD.”

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Gary Feess is scheduled to consider removing the decree.

Los Angeles Police Protective League President Paul M. Weber applauded the move but also raised concerns about provisions requiring disclosure of officers' finances or other private information.

“With the city’s financial resources stretched to the limit right now, the money that is currently being paid to the federal monitor needs to be made available to the department,” Weber said. “We feel it is in the best interests of the department, city and the residents of Los Angeles to end the decree immediately. We will continue to push the process in that direction and will keep you informed as developments occur.”

--Andrew Blankstein

Photo: L.A. Times