Friday, April 24, 2009

Is This What Passes For Local Government Responsibility?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Oakland Police Department seems to have a problem. The problem is either that they have officers who lie under oath on sworn documents or they are not training their officers in what it means to fill out a warrant form.

So let's see, its either the officers are unsuited for work as peace officers because they are liars or they are unsuited for work as peace officers because they cannot read. Either way, these officers, still unnamed, are are a disgrace to all the good law enforcement personnel out there who do their job.

Apparently, the Oakland police department has decided to make an example of some of them (still unnamed). Four of the officers, it was announced today, have been fired. However, seven others still remain employed as police officers by the Oakland PD.

Their counsel, Mary Sansen, continues to maintain that they have done nothing wrong and that the officers are being unfairly persecuted. Her rallying cry to defend the officers? It's the Oakland PD's fault for not training the officers. Ok, while the training may in fact have been sub-standard, how does she get around the fact that they were signing sworn documents which were being submitted to the court?

Now, I'm an attorney. And I've had my client's tell me some tales that I was stuck with when it came time go against the other side. But in this case, I have to wonder how Ms. Sansen, who by the way used to train peace officers, is able to say this with a straight face.

So what is the score right now? Four officer's belated fired. 16 convicted criminals let back out on the streets. 2 more have been cleared of their probation violations. That's not counting the two civil suits that have been filed by people who were victims of these warrants. And that's just the begining of the damage these defective officers/improperly trained officers have caused.

Something tells me that this is the tip of the iceberg. Either the Oakland PD is ridiculously negilgent in the training and supervision of its officers, or it tolerates them. If its, the former, then these officers are probably sacrificial lambs. If its the latter, then there are some serious problems that are not being brought to light.

Either way, the Oakland Police Department is not going to look good in this case. Which is a shame, since there are a lot of good officers working for the Oakland Police Department who are going to suffer because of the actions of a few. And in the end, its just going to make their job even harder to do.

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