LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — As the police commission gathers to discuss the potential re-election of LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, the veteran lawman will meet with officials in a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss allegations of scandal and inaccurate crime statistics.
The LAPD denies that the statistics were intentionally manipulated to make the department look good to the public.
“That’s just not true,” LAPD Commander Andrew Smith said. “We’ve recognized that we’re never going to be perfect.”
An article by the Los Angeles Times, the result of a six-month investigation, suggests the department classified 1,200 aggravated-assault cases as misdemeanors instead of felonies.
“There’s pressure on every member of this department to get our crime down, our real crime down,” Smith said. “There’s no pressure on people to falsify anything. In fact, falsifying a crime report, or submitting false crime info, would be considered major misconduct.”
While the department claims no numbers were tinkered with intentionally, Beck admitted that mistakes have been made.
“This most recent review has enabled us to identify and implement additional methods to reduce the error rate in coding the most difficult crime category under the FBI’s system,” Beck said.
Meanwhile, LA Police Commission President Steve Soboroff says that rather than passing judgment, he will wait for further evidence.
“I am not going to defend or accuse,” Soboroff said. “What I want is more information that our Inspector General can gather.”
The allegations of number manipulations join the controversy over Beck’s daughter reportedly selling her horse to the department for the sum of $6,000.
Additionally, some have questioned Beck’s handling of LAPD disciplinary matters, including a recent photograph of an LAPD officer pointing a gun at a motorist on a freeway.
“It’s an internal investigation right now, and we’re not allowed to discuss internal investigations,” Smith said. “(The offender) has been identified as a Los Angeles police officer.”
The five-member panel will reportedly vote after the commission meeting Tuesday morning.