Review of Juvenile Probation Department
CNS–The Board of Supervisors Tuesday asked the Office of Independent Review to help the Probation Department address issues related to internal affairs and child abuse investigations, but stopped short of a broader review.
The board’s action was prompted by a Los Angeles Times report that at least 11 juvenile probation officers had been convicted of crimes or disciplined for inappropriate conduct involving current or former probationers. The cases involved several molestations and beatings, according to the newspaper.
Two other officers are being investigated by internal affairs for allegedly having sex with probationers, The Times reported.
The department’s interim chief admitted to The Times today that a lack of staff has limited discipline.
“We have too many cases and not enough staff,” Cal Remington told The Times. “I’m not happy with the time it takes to complete an investigation and determine the discipline.”
At least 170 employees have committed misconduct and 112 investigations are pending, some for months, the newspaper reported. The agency has 14 investigators in a department of 6,200 employees, as compared with the Los Angeles Police Department’s 271 internal affairs investigators for 9,900 sworn officers, according to The Times.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas proposed that the county’s chief executive officer work with Remington and the Auditor-Controller’s Office to review the department as a whole.
Ridley-Thomas laid out a list of issues to be considered in such a review, including giving the Office of Independent Review oversight of the department.
However, other board members seemed inclined to give Remington time to complete what Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka said was an active review of “all the major services and programs of the department.”
Remington is serving until Donald Blevins takes over April 19.
The board voted 4-1 in support of having the Office of Independent Review assist the department, despite Ridley-Thomas’ objection.