Chief Beck defends department policy

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The method by which police tally officer-involved shootings could soon undergo changes after an inspector general report found a sharp rise in the number of such incidents.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports LAPD Chief Charlie Beck continues to defend department policy in the wake of the report.

Beck attributed a roughly 50 percent increase in officer-involved shootings last year to a rise in assaults on officers — 193 alone of which were counted in 2011, a 22 percent jump from the previous year.

“When officer-involved shootings occur, if they’re legitimate, they’ll be an assault, and so if one’s up, so will be the other,” said Beck.

But Alex Bustamante, the inspector general for the Police Commission, alleged no such link exists in a report released this week, tallying only 106 attacks on officers — a 45 percent drop from the department’s total.

Bustamante also found that the number of assaults on officers remained about even from 2010 to 2011.

The findings prompted a sharp rebuke from Beck.

“I take issue with the representation that any of the information given by the department is misleading,” he said.

Bustamante said his department will work on establishing more accurate methods for police to report assaults on officers in order to avoid any future discrepancies.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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