Sheriff Touts A Big Reduction In Backlogged Internal-Affairs Investigations

Sheriff Adrian Garcia's office is announcing that the their man has "shatter[ed]" the backlog of internal-affairs complaints at the department, thus providing "more boots on the ground" to fight evildoers.

Soon after taking office last year, Garcia reorganized and combined the two offices that handled complaints against deputies; the streamlining that resulted helped erase the backlog, HCSO spokesman Alan Bernstein says.

There were 255 cases cleared in 2009, he says, "about three times" the amount in 2008.

As for a breakdown of the outcome of those cases -- hey, maybe deputies were just cleared willy-nilly -- Bernstein tells Hair Balls such information is not available.

The staff tells me that when OIG [Office of Inspector General] makes its findings and refers them to a separate internal disciplinary committee, it purposely does so "blindly" so as to keep the findings separate from what other officials (the sheriff and his designees on the command staff) do to follow through on any disciplinary actions, which can be appealed to the Civil Service Commission. I would have liked to provide more stats and details on cases, but due to this procedure as well as privacy concerns, I can't.

As for the "more boots on the ground," it most concretely involves four deputies who have been transferred from OIG back to "normal" duties now that the backlog is mostly gone.

The "more boots" also includes deputies who had been forced off the streets pending an outcome of complaints against them, but that info isn't available.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly