Sheriff’s Dept to Undergo Review of Its Audit Implementation

At the urging of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the Sheriff’s Department has agreed to bring back a team of outside auditors to determine whether the agency has met its commitment to improve how it investigates officer-involved shootings.

The Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review released an audit this past summer calling for 35 specific recommendations for the department to improve its use-of-force policies and minimize fatalities.

The ACLU commends the Sheriff’s Department on its decision to bring back the auditors to ensure that important changes to old policies are being implemented.

The ACLU continues to have concerns about the Sheriff’s Department’s response to the audit, particularly its unfortunate rejection of the auditor’s recommendations (#14(a) and 17) to create a separate unit outside of the Homicide Bureau and regular detective staff that would reduce the serious risk of bias in the investigation of officer-involved shootings and other significant uses of force.

We urge the auditors to assess the Sheriff’s Department’s compliance with one of the most important recommendations in the audit (#30) — to prioritize the design and implementation of an “Early Intervention System.” E.I. Systems are software programs that notify supervisors when deputies accumulate warning signs of a possible need for training, counseling, or other intervention. They are an extremely important tool and a baseline best practice for modern law enforcement agencies. But, the details of how these systems are designed makes all the difference.

Use of Force Review