Austin Police Department Leadership Academy Final Presentation By Sgt Pat Ockletree
The Need To Become More Proactive in Internal and External Investigations
Integrity Checks • Integrity checks target criminal • misconduct and behavior of city • employees, not policy violations. • The early warning system will deal more • with policy violation but not criminal • violations
WHY ? • The recruiting process has become more relaxed • Accelerated Hiring • Discipline of officers has increased • History has shown that there is some correlation • between officers who are disciplined and our hiring • process of these officers • Patrol Sergeants have a larger span of control-12 • Recent scandals involving other city employees • Research suggest that 5-10% of employees are • involved in some type of criminal misconduct
Why is this a concern • Reduction of staff personal • Recruiting staff has been reduced to 6 recruiters/ • 6 civilian background investigators- previously • had a team of 24 recruiters/background • investigators • Background checks are asked to be completed in • shorter period of time- 2 weeks • Previously disqualified applicants are allowed to • go before the oral board • Only 4 training instructors; previously had 10
Accelerated Hiring July 1997- 39 officers Nov 1997- 42 officers Total of 81 officers From 1997-present; 547 Sworn Personal March 1998-44 officers July 1998-38 officers Sept. 1998-52 officers Total of 134 officers
July 1999- 44 officers Sept 1999- 64 officers Total of 108 officers April 2000-19 officers Sept 2000- 26 officers Total of 45 officers May 2001- 26 officers Aug 2001- 25 officers Oct 2001 –35 officers Total of 86 officers
Feb 2002- 40 officers May 10, 2002- 54 officers Total of 94 officers Current Cadet Class began 5/20/2002- 67 cadets Scheduled to have a modified class began June 3, 2002- 20 cadets Class scheduled to began Oct-Dec, 2002- 90 recruits This would give us a total of 270 officers for the year
Applicants are not interested in becoming police officers to help people and establish a career anymore • A career with the Austin Police Department has become more attractive to the college graduate • We have civil service protection, paid vacation, sick and holidays. • Civilian Cadet • During Academy $2,667 Monthly $32,00 Yearly • Upon Academy Graduation $3,024 Monthly $36,294 Yearly • After One Year $3,394 Monthly $40,728 Yearly • After Two Years $3,746 Monthly $44,953 Yearly • This does not include the incentive pay
Discipline 1992-1996 Suspensions- 93 Resignations-10 Retired UI- 2 Demotions- 0 Terminations-19 Of the 19 officers terminated, 8 were reinstated. Of the 8 that were reinstated, 3 had been terminated before and were reinstated both times
Discipline 1997-2002 Suspensions- 154 Resignations- 30 Demotions- 6 Terminations- 21
These are all warning signs that other departments in past history saw when they went back and conducted researched into the study of their corruption problems.
Some recent history of criminal misconduct of city employees • Two city employees were indicted on charges that they were excepting money under the table in exchange for allowing zoning permits that otherwise would not have been approved. • A city employee of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting sexual contact, drugs and money from teen-age girls assigned by courts to perform community service. Police • are investigating the conduct of parks employee Freddie Urias. Austin police are investigating an allegation of sexual misconduct against a second employee of the Austin Parks and Recreation Department. After the arrest of Freddie Urias, an Austin parks employee accused of soliciting sexual favors from teen-age • An Austin police sergeant is under investigation amid accusations that he • stole another officer's identity to lease an apartment, department officials • said Tuesday. Teddy Dean Nobles, a 19-year veteran who heads a night • patrol division in Northwest
Some history of criminal misconduct of employees of other Agencies • Tommy Wayne Arp, a retired Texas Department of Public Safety assistant narcotics commander indicted on charges of first-degree felony theft, will argue that he never intended to steal more than $230,000 in cash and jewelry, his lawyer said Tuesday. • A Capitol police officers is shown entering the Capitol's gift shop Saturday night, unlocking an office safe before wiping his fingerprints away with a white handkerchief. He pauses to look straight into a video surveillance camera before turning the camera away.
Washington, D.C. In November 1997, Chief Larry Soulsby resigned amid allegations of impropriety.4 Soulsby had been sharing an apartment where the rent had reportedly been reduced dramatically after Soulsby's friend and roommate, Lt. Jeffrey Stowe, reportedly told the landlords that it would be used for undercover work. Also in November, Stowe - who headed the investigations unit on extortion and fraud - was himself charged with embezzlement and extortion.5 Stowe was accused of stealing money from department funds, attempting to blackmail married men who frequented a gay nightclub, and using his subordinates to get information about the FBI's investigation of Stowe.6 A former deputy superintendent from Chicago's police force, Charles Ramsey, was chosen as the new chief in early 1998, and there were hopes that an "outsider" might help improve the management of the force. 4 Cheryl W. Thompson, Sari Horwitz, "Embattled D.C. police chief resigns," Washington Post, November 26, 1997; Sari Horwitz, Cheryl W. Thompson, "D.C. police chief weighs resigning," Washington Post, November 25, 1997. 5 Stowe pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, theft, and extortion. Toni Locy, "Luxury unit allegedly for Soulsby," Washington Post, January 27, 1998. 6 Avis Thomas-Lester and Toni Locy, "Soulsby's friend accused of extortion," Washington Post, November 26, 1997.
In addition to serious scandals involving the department's leaders, the rank-and-file of the force have also gotten into trouble. According to press reports, some one hundred officers who joined the force during a 1989-90 hiring drive, when standards and background screening were all but absent, were later charged with criminal offenses.7 Nearly one quarter of those were charged with crimes involving domestic violence.8 More recently it was reported that during late 1996 and early 1997, background checks of new recruits were incomplete.9 7 Carl T. Rowan, Jr., "Who's Policing D.C. Cops?" Washington Post, October 8, 1995; and Michael Powell, Sari Horwitz, Cheryl W. Thompson, "Problems in D.C. police dept. festered for decades," Washington Post, October 12, 1997. 8 Stephanie Mencimer, "Battered Blue," Washington City Paper, August 23-29, 1996. 9 Cheryl W. Thompson, "Half of officers lack firearm certification," Washington Post, March 28, 1998.
Who Will Conduct These Checks The Officer Involved Criminal Unit • They currently conduct criminal investigations on other city department employees. • Only 10% of their investigations involve APD officers • The integrity checks would be both targeted and random.
-Add three more detectives to the unit -Target criminal misconduct -Involve our city attorney, Mike Cronig, when considering the integrity checks -involve the District Attorney’s office to possibly set up a special prosecutor to deal with these types of cases -work with organized crime unit on large investigations -Refer the case to Internal Affairs for administrative investigation once their investigation is complete
Integrity Checks • All city employees be subjected to the checks • Undercover operations and stings would be used • Setting up a store front to buy property • Leaving currency/property at the scene of a • burglary • Surveillances of suspected employees
Our mission and vision is to be one of the safest cities in the country. • What better way can we show the community that that’s exactly what we are doing
Assess - Annually review the number of complaints received - Annually review discipline to see if it has increased or decreased - Annually review the number of officers suspended of terminated and the allegations there were accused of - Annually review the type of operations and stings that were used to see if they were successful in the deterrent of apprehension of suspected employees
In concluding, I’m not suggesting that somewhere in the future that were are going to have a major corruption problem like other departments have had, but I do feel that we owe it to ourselves and the community to at least look into and explore some type of a more preventive or corrective plan. By doing this it would uphold the integrity of our department and it’s employees and deter corruption before it gets started.