Officials with the Inspector General’s Office are reviewing a sampling of Sheriff’s Department arrests in response to a motion by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
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The motion was a response to the news Los Angeles Police Department officials incorrectly categorized numerous arrests, county officials said Monday.
“The inspector general will define the parameters of the sample and review closed cases to determine if the closed cases were classified appropriately as to the crime committed,” said Anna Pembedjian, justice deputy for Antonovich’s office.
The inspector general, an independent county office providing oversight for the department, will determine how the cases are to be reviewed, she said.
A Los Angeles Times investigation found nearly 1,200 violent crimes were misclassified to make the offenses appear less serious.
“The impetus for (Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s motion) was the investigation that led to the revelation of the LAPD case where they had misclassified over 1,000 violent offenses,” she said. “The supervisor’s concern was to make sure we on the sheriff’s side are not doing the same thing.”
The request was made last Tuesday.
“Accurate classification of crimes is not only important for crime reporting purposes but for making informed policy decisions and earning the public’s trust,” according to a statement by Antonovich. “The Sheriff’s Department provides general law enforcement services to all of the county’s unincorporated communities, as well as over 40 contract cities.
The office plans to hand over its review to the Board of Supervisors within 30 days, per Antonovich’s request, said Dan Baker, chief deputy for Inspector General Max Huntsman.
“Misclassifying or covering up certain crime data is unacceptable and very troubling especially given the significant challenges of Realignment – AB 109,” Anotonvich said. “Police chiefs throughout the state are rightfully concerned about the impact of AB 109 on crime trends in their jurisdiction; manipulating such data is a disservice to everyone.”
County officials also provided statistics on Sheriff’s Department arrests since the implementation of AB 109.
Since “realignment” in October 2011, more than 22,525 have been sentenced to Los Angeles County jails instead of state prison.
Of those, over 5,652 are currently in county jail and of those, more than 530 are serving jail terms of five years or more, according to county officials.
The state has also shifted over 23,491 parolees to Los Angeles County for probation supervision instead of state parole supervision.
More than 30,000 arrests were made involving these parolees. This number exceeds the number of parolees because some are arrested for multiple crimes.
It’s too early to get into the specifics of how the cases would be reviewed, Baker said, adding it will be up to county supervisors as far as whether the results of the office’s investigation would be made public.
“The purpose of the Office of Inspector General is to provide oversight to the Sheriff’s Department, but we are not part of the Sheriff’s Department. “It’s much too early at this point to say anything.”
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Source: Santa Clarita News