Thursday, March 15, 2007

So now it appears that gang cops have to produce their financial records if they want to stay on that assignment. The officers concerned are indignant because they feel it infringes on privacy rights and frankly makes them feel like the department and the city doesn't really trust them. On top of which, they're only allowed to stay on gang assignments for three years and then rotate out to other assignments. Which in itself is counterproductive because it takes about that long for a gang cop to get to know the players in the division. So just when a gang cop gets good at it, he's gone.

There appears to be a double standard at work here. Without mentioning names, the city has been giving money to less than completely trustworthy gang intervention programs with virtually no oversight. Even after red flags began waving in the wind, these programs were never investigated and oversight was virtually non-existent. And the money kept flowing. It was only when the "questionable" behavior became egregious that investigations were launched. We haven't seen the last of them, by the way.

Partisans on the side of the questionable programs are quick to point out that "one bad apple doesn't spoil the barrel." Fair enough. It isn't fair to tar everyone involved with the same smut brush. But couldn't the same thing be said about bad cops. One Rafael Perez doesn't spoil the entire department. If you're going to cut the questionable programs that kind of slack, the same reasoning, it would appear, could apply to cops.

And in truth, the same reasoning could also apply to our elected and appointed officials. When Mike Hernandez got nailed for dope use, he apologized, kept his job and was re-elected. We didn't see a full throttle investigation into the financial records of all the city's elected officials. Was there a Christopher Commission type of investigation and consent decree to make sure the rest of the city fathers weren't more Mike Hernandez' waiting in the wings?

If you're going to look into gang cops' bank accounts, let's make it fair and look into the bank accounts of all our law enforcement people and all our city and state stewards. After all, isn't it just as likely that a government functionary in charge of public spending be corrupted by sweetheart deals and kickbacks as a working gang cop?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

As predicted, the freaks came out and demonstrated to the world how truly screwed we are. The language was bad enough, but the spelling was atrocious. It would be easy to blame the school system, but you can't educate a kid who doesn't even show up. And clearly a lot of the comments were from school dropouts and unfortunately, life dropouts. Apologies to all who had to endure the hate fest but we're back in the saddle and moderating again. Call it censorship if you will. I call it the crap filter. While I believe in free speech, very little of what appeared could be characterized as speech. It was more like Tourrette's syndrome. Glad it's over.