LVPD Complaint/Commision Discussion July 15th 2009

forgive the typos… live transcription!!! :P

Present: Gary Gold, Kim, Jane, Makani, Diane Moore, Pat Leahan, Daniel Patterson

Papers distributed: rough notes about complaint form,

Jan: my initial thing was I came into the complaint form while I was in the hallway. police officer came out – why are you giving a complaint form. became an aggressive thing. I know this officer, he had days off. I left feeling really abused about this.

Pat – trying to convince her to not submit form

jane we’ve tlaked about it I’ve laready gotten a follow up. I didnt feel comfortable about it. I know GG, I didnt want to go directly to him, wanted to go through the proper route, but it was not a comofrtable route

diane – what was your response

gg – I assigned it to christian initiall. I asked deputy chief _ why it hadnt been taken care of. he delegated it to the captain trujillo. whose initial response to do the investigation from scratch. need to find the flaws to figure out what needs to be corrected. marty had to finish from where he had started. his side of the story, why it had been done. problem is extra step. go to jane and – other victim?

jane – shareen

gg – what happened, whether charges could or could not been charged. lt occonor should not have convinced her not to file, but told her the process

diane – he was at a meeting and said excuse my language ‘fuck you guys’

pat – we have heard many times. we can not believe how he has been treating him

diane – his own staff have had to tell him to settle down. he verbally abused us that way.

gg – I can tell you. I get both. I get compliments that he goes up and beyond, and also get the negative component.

diane – and he did personally apologize to me

pat – I saw how he handled people who came here from home. a woman whose son was taken from school. she came here in a panic with me, occonoor was unbelievable. sat over her, asking her, so what is your relationship with ex. she is crying, saying I need your help. I didnt know oconnor at that point, so I didnt file a complain. a lot of us have experienced that.

gg – and I apologize for that. we are going over that. a little old lady calls for a party across the street. we send cop there, ask them to keep it down. of course they look for kids of illegal activity. usually give a warning but can just break it up. they leave. 1098108 – leave, don’t contact her. that extra step is to come to the office, get on the phone, and call her up. explain we broke the party up, we didn’t break it up. if there is a problem, call us back.

jane – that definitely would have solved my problem with salazar. he came in after I talked to the girls. I called all week and never got a call back. we had all this extra information about the guy who pulled a knife. it would only have taken phone call to say ‘i got your messaged, etc’

pat – the other part of it is that the report he wrote was innaccurate

jane – that happened before and the case did go to court. you need to teach the victim that they can go and pick up your report..

pat – but they didnt let you. there is more than that that is broken.

jane – and that did happen. it can happen that the report is innaccurate. the officer should give you the report, and ask you to check it over and see if it is innaccurate

gg – just to jump on that. 90% is public. if someone has been accussed by not charged. if we investigate and find you arent guilty, then that will not be released. HEPA restrictions. if there is anything that will compromise the investigation that will be redacted.

pat – that has been changed.

gg – that has always been in effect. there are so many things I am working on. there is only one city custodian in las vegas. officially city clerk can write letter and have designee. thats what charrel did. new clerk has a letter saying we are official designees so that we can release stuff. if you are coming here for a police report we will give it to you. the common practice up until now was ‘if your name isnt on the report you cant have it’ – but that isn.t the case anymore. you have to give the officer 7 days.

diane – you did get the police report

jane – yes I did.

gg – you are a victim, it should have been on the report. that’s where we are going back to the 101 report classes.

pat – two agenda items. short term improving complaint form. long term goal is working on police oversight comission form.

gg – these are your notes

pat – the albuquerque form does not require a notary as the investigator will know if it is the person. veronica said at our last meeting that is the law.

gg – what we are trying to do with that is to stop the frivolous reports that come in this way. we are trying to prevent that. I dont have a problem with you turning it in, you dont have to turn this into you. I dont want to start this newspaper stuff where you dont have to leave you name

pat – leaving your name is one thing. what you said was you need an address and a drivers license. (my story) that’s my other point. on this other part of the thing is to make the form available at all of these places. if there is a law can you email it to me.

gg – I’m just trying the frivolous forms. I was trying to cross a crosswalk and the officer blew by.

kim – in the case of the identification. you can cease the investigation as soon as you cant get ahold of the person.

gg – (says its okay to just call them up and close it if it isnt valid)

pat – once the commission is in place that is who deals with that.

jane – so the commission would do that

pat – yeah it happened to me in albuquerque

gg – I like that. it takes the burden off of me. if there is something legitimate cause we investigate it. law – anytime there is an IA it starts with the complaint.

jane – if someone has a complaint form and is contacted by this committee, at that point it goes to IA.

pat – albuquerque doesnt require any notary at all

diane – so gary you would be open to taking off the notary

gg – yes, I would definitely like to see this. I am jumping ahead of myself. the commission. those people have to be extremely conscious of the personell issues.

pat – if you see albuquerque.

kim – on top of that they are subject to the law. that’s how you handle it. you dont have to worry about that, they have to worry about that.

pat – that was the short term thing. if you are open to that

gg – I’m open to that. do you have a link tothe ABQ form

daniel – it is on the notes.

pat – we’d be happy if you are overworked we can do that

gg – I’d love to do that. if you just take this one I’ll add it to my accreddidation thing. I have a command staff that will go over it of course.

pat – I want it to be just as easy to file a compliment. so a separate form might be good

gg – I thought about that when I first came in. I thoght it would be easier to do one form, but really, whatever makes it easier to complainant. this provides them assistence. if they are illiterate, etc.
daniel – I think the notary says it cant be

gg – well we are going to eliminate the notary.

pat – if someone wants to do an oral thing, yeah

gg – we could send them to you.

gg – 99% of the time the supervisor should be able to take care of it. it is time to start holding those people accountable. I’m not at 24 hrs a day, I dont do to all calls. the sargent and lt should be able to deal with these things. I think as we start off we will have a lot, but people will start realizing we are doing things. we never had an IA dept before, we have onenow. it isn’t like it isn’t being done, it is

kim – can I clarify that. should a citizen go to a supervisor before filing a complaint.

gg – that is the lowest level of response.

pat – instea dof filling out a form.

gg – yes. homelessindividiaul was in the corner and cop isnt doing this well. talk to the supervisor. sargent would sya to officer, why didnt you do this, etc. can reprimend the officer.

kim – are you saying you couldnt filter the complaint forms this way?

gg – I’m just saying was do we have to fill out the form

pat – last time you said, if they dont fill out a form we wont know what happened

gg – that’s for the serious stuff.

diane – in the ABQ form said if you want to settle this with mediation you can .

gg – that’s right

jane – if occonnors manerism had been different – come into my office, explain what you could have done,will have officer talk to you, etc.

diane – it was just by chance it was occonnor

pat – other people have had that problem

gg – he is that role.

kim – a problem for you

gg – that is something you need to deal with

diane – not saying he is all bad, just that he is a problem.

gg – you saw that, that’s how they are. but he is changing. more comps that complaints.

jane – in my situation I did nothing to antagonize him. I didnt even know who he was prior to this.

gg – hopefully every time they deal with people they will taperecord. and they will be repreimanded if they didnt. stays in their recorder for 1 week. if they dont want it, it will go to junk file and being recorded. what I wanted to do is when this thing comes in – he or she will know they are recorded.

pat – that’s great. in the mean time we have said we will go as an observer when you go to file a complaint.

kim – transparency is the most powerful thing in this community. for the safety of the police and the public

diane – if we could see what you see in those folders.

pat – if we have seen the stuff from your dept

gg – if you could have seen the reports. I am going to see about looking into making the IA’s available to the public

pat – another thing a civilian commission board is doing. you are allowing us to make a template

gg – I am more than 100% willing to do that

pat – look at 2 forms?

jane – I think it’s a good idea

kim – they might be a different structure.

gg – narrative form might be better

pat – we will work up a template of both (1 and 2) and you can o whatever you want about it. or you can call us back about meeting for it

gg – for now you will make a template. we will look at this and incorporate it into the accreddiation

pat – at these locations

gg – definitely

pat – bilingual

gg – of course. it is just fitting it into my schedule.

pat – and you have volunteers to help out etc.

gg – I will take all input. of course I have to report to mayor and council. we are open government. we are here to serve. we are here to serve.

pat – second topic. little more follow up on this. I heard from staff you had no intention of doing this

gg – no, I said it wasnt effective. but I’ll look into doing whatever will be effective

pat – we are very busy there and we really want to know we are working on this

gg – trust me. if we come together and decide it isn’t the best thing than that’s what we are doing this.

pat – we aren’t just being used to help with accredidationon this

gg – well no ,but yes of course

gg – what I’m telling you is that you dont dictate our policies. we work with others. I’ve been directed by tim and the mayor. the city of las vegas determines it.

pat – we are las vegas. too

gg – you elect or unelect your representatives. they delegate to us to make these decisions. the pd is working to make this all better.

diane – what I dont want to see is that the peace center etc comes up with something. and they ask do you agree with us. because even if it gets political so long as they have the support of the police chief. if gary and the peace center are together then it will go well.

gg – collective effort. I dont want any recognition. I just want to do my job. just to serve the community

pat – same here.

diane – who we appoint to the oversight committee

gg – that is where I want to be very tight about those people.

jane – to make this more cohesive. do you feel like you would support an oversight committee

gg – yes

jane – look at albuquerque and see if it will fit with us

gg – yes

jane – are we going to set up another date

gg – she is going to get a template and then set up a meeting

pat – we can get together and set up the form and then meet with the chief

jane – this is beginning of the oversight commission

pat – it is beyond here. we did a presentation to public safety committee. overwhelming support. on the city council retreat

diane – I’m going to bring it up

kim – has anyone seriously reviewed that report? it is 120 pages for all of it

diane – I’m taking that to the retreat and am going to get a copy of that

kim – the introduction and first section is really good.

pat – I gave them the different models. but the intro was great. how they came to be and how it fits into the process.

kim – there is an appellate structure., review, take it out of the police dept. you have to be aware of what happened in last 50 years.

diane – what I would like to see is people who want to serve for the right reasons. I know you’ve gotten a lot of input. some of them I have to question. I really like paul stochtoppel. I dont want anyone to do it for a paid position. there could be other people like that. I know you guys are doing it for the right reasons.

pat – I’m with you on that reason.

diane – he is a good resource

pat – that is how I’m using him. I actually dont think that it necessarily is the best model. it is going to take a while.

jane – is there someone who can study that report and give a presentation on it?

pat – this is the summary of that report. so I would love to work with people in the city or an officer and together we can sift and this worked for eugene oregon but it was mostly white. st paul took from some of the three models and made there own. and find something that will work for us.

jane – is there a police officer who could work on this?

diane – we should wait for the mayor council

gg – didn the mayor endorse it?

diane – yes. but we should help him give some direction. instead of telling him what to do, over this retreat gary and I are on the same page.

pat – I will continue to work on a shorter document

gg – (describing ABQ’s model) – in ABQ is there steps from investigators conclusion.

pat – most fascinating part is the hearing whre the IO say sto the commission heres what we found. and the police say here is how this is wrong. the board agrees with this, dont agree with.

gg – it is open.

pat – officers are named by number so everyones names are protected. the public gets to get up and speak there mind. it ends up they were not allowed to tell us since it was personell. finally goes to the chief, who decides. the family can appeal to the board, etc.

gg – that is a lot of work

pat – it is a lot of work but it saves millions of dollars in lawsuits.

kim – if you dont handle it right there is one case a year and then it helps

gg – it helps the frivolous ones. because they know they will go in front of a board.

pat – yes, they will realize that they will get caught lying.