Racial Proposals

By: 
Mike Ruehle

The Long Beach Police Department spends over $12 million per year on settlements and payouts on verdicts related to police misconduct, officer-involved shootings, police use of force and in-custody deaths. On top of this, Long Beach Police Department spends over $5 million per year on settlements and payouts on verdicts related to retaliation lawsuits filed against the police department by its own officers. Combined, LBPD spends nearly $20 million per year defending itself from lawsuits; all paid for by us taxpayers.

While all settlements over $50,000 have to be approved by the city council, the funds are paid out of the general fund and NOT the police department budget. This means the police department feels no pain from their own misconduct and mistakes. LBPD has no incentive to improve their performance because the police department budget is not impacted by any verdict or settlement paid out of the general fund.

To improve LBPD’s focus on preventing lawsuits, future settlements and payouts on verdicts should be paid out of the police department’s budget, NOT the general fund. It’s a no-brainer.

Knowing their job may be put in jeopardy if they are sued may cause LBPD to treat the public with greater care and respect.

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