LA Mayor Bass calls to root out ‘right-wing extremist’ police, signals lowering the bar for new recruits
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called to remove "obstacles" for new police recruits and pledged to root out officers with ties to "right-wing domestic extremist organizations."
Bass is looking to remove "obstacles" for police recruits who fail to initially qualify for training as a means of further diversifying the LAPD, according to a summary of her public safety goals obtained by Fox News Digital – but police union leaders are questioning the move.
Bass' summary of goals for police reform includes a list of provisions as well as dates by which the department must report back regarding progress. One provision says a deputy mayor will work in conjunction with a "third party" to "evaluate the personnel process and identify obstacles to entry for recruits who fail to qualify for training."
"We think that particular provision or that goal or that idea is dangerous," Tom Saggau, Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) spokesperson, told Fox News Digital.
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"If you have police officers that can't make minimum qualifications or attained minimum standards, for instance, there are recruits that have been in the academy that just can't score the minimum requirements for a physical fitness test," he added. "One hundred is the maximum score, 50 is acceptable. There are folks that are scoring under 10. That's just dangerous."
The provision states that recommendations to remove any obstacles will be taken into consideration, especially with those in relation to "ethnic groups disproportionately left out of new officer training."
Saggau said the provision calls for the lowering of standards within the police department as new hires who did not initially qualify during training are shown not to "possess the mental fitness or the physical fitness ability to be a police officer."
"That's just a recipe for disaster," Saggau said. "So we think lowering standards is a dangerous precedent."
Another provision in the goals summary seeks to "identify, discipline, and/or terminate officers associated with right-wing domestic extremist organizations" using data from the Justice Department. LAPD must report back with progress on this provision in August.
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"We [LAPPL] think it ought to be right-wing, left-wing, foreign and domestic," Saggau said. "We think that there are more organizations that members of law enforcement should not be associated with, other than the narrow group that was listed in that document."
Bass also called for updated training measures to comply with the "heightened standard on use of deadly force required," the expansion of the Mental Evaluation Unit and the System-wide Mental Assessment Team, as well as the implementation of efforts to reduce the number of officer-involved shootings.
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Bass told the Los Angeles Times that she is prioritizing "crime reduction, personnel reform, alternative response and community policing" following her goals summary release. She is also seeking to hire additional homicide detectives to work on cases while also tackling the ongoing staffing shortage due to retirements and other departures.
"Mayor Bass sees the dire need for more officers. The question is, how do you get there? And we are totally committed and completely supportive of civilianizing positions where police officers should be doing police work and civilians should be doing civilian work," Saggau said.
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Fox News Digital reached out to Bass's office and the LAPD for comment.