Dishonest Cops

By: 
Gary J. Levy

I read with great interest when Stephen Downing highlights neglect, abuses and lack of transparency in the LBPD. I also agree that Measure A is abusive and reflects the corruption and largess of the mayor, council and city officials. I do take issues with a couple of points Downing makes regarding depicted police officers in a Measure A political ad.

I think that casting the officers in the political ad as “Brady Cops” is over the top and deceptive. While it is true that officers in official uniform cannot participate in political ads, it is clear that the uniforms are altered so as not to be official LBPD uniforms.

This practice of altering or obliterating details of an official police or fire department uniform is almost universally utilized in political ads nationwide. It is no different when police officers, who sometimes work as movie extras, don a uniform which is not an official police uniform.

Police officers are not above the law, nor are they beneath the law. They may engage in political activities during their off-duty time. Also, I fail to see how their salaries relate to this article. The salaries are reflective of what their official union (LBPOA) negotiated with the city plus overtime. Hopefully, these photos were not taken while they were on-duty.

Perhaps the political ad should have read LBPOA says to vote yes on Measure A as opposed to Long Beach Police Officers say to vote yes. I’m sure the LBPD has some serious Brady issues which require some officers to be fired. I’m also sure that sometimes salaries and police overtime can be too high.

Both of these issues are failures of police and city management, which are sometimes reflective of intimidation and/or collusion with politicians and unions. Equating line police officers, not in uniform, posing for a photo shoot, with Brady issues misses the mark.

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