Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Latitude 33.051047 Longitude -117.076578

So if a crime is committed in close proximity to the location identified in the title above, which law enforcement agency would bear the responsibility for the investigation?

In law enforcement circles, territorial turf wars are commonplace. Protecting one's turf is often about ego, pride, and maybe even a sense of responsibility. Folklore has officers from one jurisdiction squaring off to fight officers of another jurisdiction over whose responsibility a particular investigation may fall to. Many of these stories center around an officer or jurisdiction not wanting to take on an investigation, in an area they believe is the responsibility of the other. Seldom if ever do you hear of an officer or agency squaring off to fight to take on an investigation, when that investigation involves a crime committed in the other agencies community.

On Thursday, February 25, 2010, Chelsea King headed off in the early afternoon for a run. Chelsea, a student at Poway High school, lived with her parents in the city of Poway. When Chelsea failed to return from her run, her parents frantically began searching for her. Chelsea's car and cell phone were found near latitude 33.051047 and longitude -117.076578, also known as the Rancho Bernardo Community Park, which is located west of Interstate 15 and South of Lake Hodges. The Rancho Bernardo Community Park and the walking trails West of Interstate 15 along the southern edges of Lake Hodges, are all part of the City of San Diego and policed by officers from the Northeastern Division of the San Diego Police Department.

The tragedy and circumstances surrounding this despicable act, perpetrated by a registered sex offender, were quickly identified by members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. It appears the initial missing persons report was received and documented by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. As law enforcement descended upon the Rancho Bernardo Community Park to begin their search for Chelsea and the investigation into the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, something out of the norm occurred. Rumors quickly began to spread as word leaked out that the San Diego County Sheriff's Department was in charge and leading the investigation. Whispers in cubicles and hallways within the San Diego Police Department questioned what was going on.

As the events unfolded Friday and into Saturday, information being provided to the press was coming from the Sheriff. The San Diego Police Department appeared to be taking a backseat, in the investigation of an extremely heinous crime, that appeared to have occurred in the city of San Diego; their jurisdiction. Those quiet whispers turned loud as frustrated, embarrassed, and bewildered veteran officers, detectives and supervisors began to question their role and responsibility for a crime that appeared to have been committed in their jurisdiction.

With the arrest on Sunday afternoon of a suspect, the desire to locate Chelsea became even stronger. Little if any information was being released that would give any indication as to the direction the investigation was headed. By Monday, the coffee chatter had nothing but praise for the quick apprehension of a suspect by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. This same chatter began to question the lack of participation and involvement of the San Diego Police Department.

On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, Chelsea's body was discovered in a shallow grave feet from the water's edge of Lake Hodges. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department had clearly risen to the occasion and shown their professionalism, experience, and expertise as they methodically and tirelessly investigated this heinous crime. The Sheriff spared no expense and used every available resource to give his deputies and detectives the ability to apprehend the suspect and bring Chelsea home.

A number of questions have arisen regarding the San Diego Police Department's lack of involvement in this case. These questions are not coming from members of the department alone. Was this lack of involvement the result of a dollars and cents decision? Did the Sheriff assert his authority as the lead law-enforcement officer in the county and accept responsibility for the investigation based on his knowledge of the resources available from within the San Diego Police Department? Why did the San Diego Police Department take a backseat in an investigation of a crime perpetrated within their jurisdiction? Was there, at the time, a belief that the San Diego Police Department is no longer capable of handling a case of such magnitude? These and many other questions beg for answers.

It is curious that through all of this, the mayor was not available to offer reassurances to the citizens, nor to offer explanation for the reason the sheriff of the county took control of an investigation within the city. The noticeable absence of the mayor and ranking members of the San Diego Police Department, as well as little or no mention of the involvement of the San Diego Police Department at the various press conferences and updates, have not gone unnoticed.

San Diego should be proud of the Sheriff's Department for their professionalism, dedication, determination, expertise and willingness to do whatever necessary to bring Chelsea home and apprehend the individual responsible for this despicable crime. Citizens in San Diego should at the same time demand answers to the questions being posed above. They should also question the ability of law enforcement to provide for their safety.

Keep Chelsea and her family in your thoughts and prayers as well as Amber Dubois and her family.


What a joke said...

Well unfortunately this department is turning into a big joke. Northern now has volunteers handling crime cases. Including the follow ups with victims. Why did the department/city waste so much money developing a promotion process for the detective position? All we needed to was have volunteers take up the slack of the understaffed detectives and lack of investigative aides.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Gore was happy to get the TV face time since he is running for his first election. It probably has more to do with Gore wanting the free publicity than SDPD not being able to handle their business. The mayor's silence on the issue is poor leadership though.

Just Wondering said...

The question in my mind is why didn't the media ask about this unusual jurisdictional issue? There is a very high probability this crime occurred in the City of San Diego.

Why I agree with the previous poster, Sheriff Gore needed the media face time, will he be investigating all high profile felonies occurring in the City of San Diego?

San Diegans need to hear from Chief Lansdowne and Mayor Sanders. Is our Police Department so understaffed, have we lost so much experience that we are no longer capable of investigating crimes? Has the Mayor lost sight of the City's first responsibility to its citizen; public safety?

As taxpaying citizens we deserve answers to these questions and an explanation of the reasoning behind the decision to have the Sheriff's be the lead investigative agency.

While I am sure the original call about their missing daughter was first placed to the Sheriff because they live in Poway, there is no evidence whatsoever a crime occurred within that City's jurisdiction.

There is, however, evidence the crime happened in San Diego. The tell tale indicator will be where the homicide lands statistically. Poway or San Diego?

Anonymous said...

The lying-mayor, council-morons and spineless-landsclown are responsible for destroying a superb police department. The management of the San Diego Police Department couldn't investigate the theft of toilet paper from a Balboa Park restroom. They've systematically disemboweled the investigative ability of the Department, while at the same time promoting and placing inexperienced and ignorant supervisors in the investigative divisions. Add to this a morale problem among the employees, and inexperienced investigators, you end up with the Sheriff taking over major investigations in the City of San Diego! What a disgrace! As a retired officer with over 30 years experience I wouldn't let my lawn gophers go to work for the San Diego Police Department. There's better private security companies working in the malls.

Anonymous said...

On another note...and completely off topic, Sparky do you know why Brian Marvel keep on posting a steady stream of bad news topics from around the county on the POA blog?

Instead of spending his time searching the Internet for stories of layoffs, cutbacks and the sky is falling from communities across the country shouldn't he be working on finding solution as the POA's President?

We get it already, times are tough, but what's the point with posting more bad news?

Anonymous said...

I retired as a detective 13 years ago. This is embarrassing to me, my friends, and neighbors. I also know people in the media who are asking the same questions as I am.

Where was the mayor, the chief, and Little Rube? When I retired, we had six homicide teams. Are they all gone? I know we don't have any investigative aides anymore, is it the same with lab personnel?

Well, Bill Gore is getting his air time and I'm sure the Sheriff's homicide teams and CSI personnel are doing a great job, but the bottom line is still that it was our case.

It's funny that Escondido is still, to the best of my knowledge, in control of the DuBois case.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on Sparky. SDPD sent out officers to the command post each day (from all division who had adquate staffing). I believe the SDPD officers stood on the perimeter and watched as the leading Law Enforcement agency in San Diego County took charge of the investigation. SDPD doesn't even get a not for best supporting department?

8 Years is Enough said...

I was one of those who was sent to "help" the Sheriff's with the search of Chelsea. I was dumbfounded as I realized we were not in charge of this incident. The grumbling and outrage was obvious and open. The Sheriff's deputies were all very professional and many of them just shrugged their shoulders when someone would ask them why they were the lead agency.

I have been on the job here in San Diego for 8 years. I have made the decision it is time to get out. We are second class citizens and treated like bastard children as police officers in this city. Our chief is a complete joke, the mayor is an asshole and the citizens do not care. I will take my training, experience and desire to do this job to a city where they care about their police officers. I have had enough.

No Longer Proud of SDPD said...

Thank you for this honest view of the dysfunction present within the San Diego Police Department. A once proud, professional and dedicated group of law enforcement men and women have become nothing more than the butt of jokes. The noticeable absence of experienced detectives on task forces in the county coupled with the elimination of specialized units as well as the numbers of support personnel has drastically hampered any ability to tackle a serious crime let alone a series of crimes.

I am in the DROP and seriously contemplating cutting it short and moving out of state to get away from America's Biggest Joke; San Diego.

You are right on Steve with your praise of the San Diego Sheriff's Department and their response to this crime in our city. They did an outstanding job.

Bill - SDPD Retired after 32 years said...

This should have never happened. Sanders and Lansdowne should resign over this. Where is the press coverage about this?

Think the e-mail containing the GAG ORDER had anything to do with this blog Steve? They do not want us talking about this for a reason.

The press in this town is asleep at the key board. Sad, sad, sad...

HURTIN said...

,,Thanks Chief's.... job well-done.. geezus...

Retired in 2008 said...

What is the San Diego Police Department leadership thinking? Can someone explain why the ONLY SDPD detective assigned to the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) task force was pulled from the unit and re-assigned to the regular 290 Unit for the police department? Rumor is this detective is now doing what a civilian code compliance officer did before they were laid off. This detective is now handling paperwork registering sex offenders and shuffling papers instead of keeping track of the most violent of offenders. Whose bright idea was this?

I was once a proud member of this police department. I am ashamed now to tell people I once worked for the SDPD. The reputation of the department is at an all time low and moving lower with each day.

Wake up San Diego!!!

Anonymous said...

There are now alot of sworn officers doing the job that used to be done by civilians. Staffing is already at all time lows and now its getting worse. We have hit bottom and continue to dig.

Holding On said...

Deja Vu... I think you predicted a lot of what is going on today with the San Diego police department. This place and upper management has become a joke. There is good work going on in the streets and some great detective work. There is also a lot that is not being done for reasons outside the control of the actual worker bee's.

We continue to do more with less and it has finally caught up with us. This is just the beginning. The old adage of ignoring the broken window as the start of decline in a community is fast at play in San Diego. We as a police agency can no longer take care of the quality of life issues that rank low on the list of priorities. Thus the decline has begun and in our lifetime we will not be able to reverse the trend. The current command staff and mayor will gloss over and lie to the public and prevent any reversal of our destruction.

I simply count the days until I am eligible to enter the DROP.

Beat And Release said...

I really don't see where a jurisdictional dispute even exists. The initial report went SDCSD and they ran with the ball. They do, after all, have countywide jurisdiction. If the initial call had gone to SDPD, I'm sure they would have run with it.

Just my take on the situation. I have no idea of your political realities within the county and/or any disputes between agencies. I do find that when disputes between agencies occur, it usually doesn't extend to the grunts on the street.

Yes, Anonymous Woody said...

I thought what "Retired in 2008" said about Detective Jones being pulled from the SAFE Task Force was a joke. Who in their right mind would do something like this? The work these detectives do cannot be quantified and SDPD pulls their only detective from this task force? Just another example of short sighted leadership and the result of cuts to civilian positions that were not fully thought out. This is only one example of sworn officers and detectives having to be pulled from other very important duties to fill in and fulfill the jobs of our laid off civilian support staff. Brilliant!!!!!

Can't wait to hear the spin the department and mayor give this move when or better said, "IF" the press does a story on this.

Less than a year and I am in the DROP and not a minute too soon. I cannot wait to get off this sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that the body was also found within the jurisdiction of the San Diego Police Department.

Beat and Release---The investigation that took place is not within established past practices of protocol. The investigating agency should have been San Diego PD.

Anonymous said...

If only the citizens knew (and cared) how screwed-up the SDPD is!!!! A once fine agency is now borderline dysfunctional. An agency managed by buffoons, and "smoke and mirror" tactics are deployed to make the department look well staffed. It's a disgrace.

Just Wondering said...

What happen to Jerry Sanders when he became the Mayor of San Diego. ---- Another story of Corruption that leads right to the top.

With standing order not to talk to writers from the San Diego Reader, I wondered why our so-called "Mr. Transparency", in name only, would have such an opaque policy against one of San Diego's independent news gathering organizations.

I know, some are you are thinking, huh? News gathering? That's right they do gather news, news that SDUT will not, or chooses not, to investigate.

I came across this piece of investigative journalism. WARNING IT'S A LONG AND DETAILED article showing the links between San Diego politics, corruption and money generated from Business Improvment Districts, or BIDs. Some believe these BID resemble some of the old "protection" rackets of the 1920's and 30's. Others, like Brian Petersen, believe its much worse. Read his commentary HERE.

In what appears to be illegal and unethical collusion by the Mayor's office, the taxpaying citizens of San Diego are oddly left without a voice. So that raises another question; Why has our District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, chosen not to prosecute this sophisticated white collar crime even though SDPD and FBI, in a joint investigation, handed her the case on a silver platter?

Time to leave said...

To "Beat and Release": You obviously have no experience in investigations. "Your take" of the "situation" shows your lack of understanding and experience in law enforcement. Your post name, "Beat and Release" explains a lot about your character or lack thereof... Go home and stay there you numbskull!

Anonymous said...

The Beat and Release profile lists a location in South East United States. Each State is a little different when it comes to jurisdictional issues. Give the guy a break!

Retired in 2008 said...

Bottom line is the management of the San Diego Police Department is an incompetent lot and looked upon as a bunch of self serving lap dogs. The mayor has the chief tied to a short leash, the chief needs to seek permission to urinate. This has resulted in the chief muzzling the entire department for fear of the truth getting out regarding our ability to provide police services.

Why has the press not reviewed and analyzed patrol staffing for a week or month on all watches? They would quickly see the glaring lies about staffing and what is going on. Why have they not looked at the staffing in investigations at the area stations? A simple comparison of 2005 staffing numbers and 2010 numbers would send an alarming message to citizens.

Want to know what reality is? Stop asking people whose jobs rest on covering the mayor's ass or the chief's.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with that last comment... Jurisdictions in many of the Southern States are the size of postage stamps. Agencies there rely on each other for resources. What Beat and Release does not understand is, San Diego PD was an an agency known and praised for its professionalism. It led the way, sometimes, for the nation on cutting edge of law enforcement techniques in the 80's, 90s and earlier this century. But over the last few years under Mayor Sander's administration, under the blessings of Chief Lansdowne, SDPD's skill and knowledge base has gone from leading the way, to making sure the room is cleaned up and chairs are put away after the Sheriff holds a news conference.
Sadly, to see the demise of an agency is hard to watch. My only hope is history will record that the former Chief, Mayor Sanders, and the current Chief, Bill Lansdowns will receive the due credit for their acts.

Mad as Hell and Retired said...

You are ALL missing the REAL agenda here!!! This is a "Trial run" at outsourcing police services to the Sheriff's Department. This is the test case to see if the SDPD and SDSO can be joined into one department to shave 1/3 of the officers and cut the pension obligation. Come on folks, wake up!!

This is about destroying a police department to save $$$$.

--MC-- said...

Mad as Hell...this is exactly what I've been telling people, also! Jerry's plan all along, with the help of the uninformed voters, has been to have this city run by private companies. Privatize all the 'non essential workers' and let someone else foot the bill. "Non essential" apparently, now means just about everyone! The voter's loved the idea...and they were sold a bill of goods.
For years, a 'rumor' in Comm had been that ALL county dispatching [Police and Fire] would be moved to a single bldg [Carmel Valley was the hinted spot] and run by a private company.
With disbanded K9's and horses and harbor units, more and more officers are being sent to do jobs they shouldn't be doing, and in a lot of cases, aren't qualified to do.
I'm afraid, with Jerry at the helm, we're all circling the drain......

Beat And Release said...

*Comment self-censored out of respect for Steve*

@Time to Leave - With seventeen years in investigations I have plenty of experience. I have more total law enforcement experience than you have time in the sh*tter.

Your snarky reply and the obvious dislike of officers and departments you should be willing to work with tells me just about all I need to know about you personally and as an officer.

The case went national, you're mug wasn't on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News and you're pretty f'ing pissy about it. You just can't be happy the case was cleared and you weren't involved.

Grow up, grow a pair and quit crying like a little *censored* girl. The Sheriff outranks you and (from reading this blog) your obviously corrupt Chiefs. I'm sure he is aware people like you exist in the SDPD and obviously thought it would be a disaster to turn such a serious investigation over to you.

I have had the good fortune of meeting quite a few SDPD officers in training classes in San Diego and throughout the country, and while they were on vacation in my area. Fortunately they provided a much better representation of your organization and their professionalism than you.

You strike me as the type of idiot that runs around starting 'ticket wars' between agencies because you think your fellow LE brothers are somehow lesser than you; the type that doesn't want to share information across jurisdictions because someone "over there" might get the lucky break that clears the case before you can stumble your way into clearing it.

It probably is time for you to leave law enforcement, so get to stepping or go back to hassling those public drunks and taggers on your beat and let the real cops in your agency sort things out.

If you don't know what the concept of beat and release is you might want to ask some of your twenty, thirty or forty year veterans. You probably shouldn't speak of character and professionalism after posting a comment like that. Yours smacks of immaturity. You are nothing more than a churlish child who didn't get his way.

@Anonymous: I guess protocol is different out there. Agencies in my area, with the exception of one, work well together, share information and assist each other in investigations all the time.

Not sure if the second anonymous is the same as the first, but the comments there about your agency being run into the ground, the loss of talent and professionalism, etc. are probably whey the Sheriff decided not to turn the investigation over.

Postage stamps? Sure, some jurisdictions down might only encompass fifty to seventy square miles, some much less. We have the same problems, though. Gangs, drugs, unregulated parolees, a criminal element that is much more mobile than they used to be, etc. I'm surprised anything gets solved without at least a modicum of cross-jurisdictional cooperation out there.

As I stated in my original comment, if the municipalities and/or counties have political issues between the brass here, it rarely translates to problems between those who do the grunt work.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why this matters. The public doesn't care who investigated the crime. One comment discussed Gore doing it for attention ahead of his reelection, but it sounds like a lot of the SDPD guys are upset about it because they wanted the attention for their own department. The story in the UT this morning doesn't put Sparky in a good light, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the answer is pretty simple. By the time Chelsea's car
was located, the Sheriff Dept was so deeply into the investigation it only made sense that they complete it. Like the Danielle van Dam case whose body was found in the County, San Diego PD Investigators were so into the
investigation it would not have made sense to have the Sheriff Dept take over.

I believe both of these incidents were better and more expeditiously
handled by leaving it in the hands of the Dept who started the investigation since in both cases they were already so heavily into them. To now question who handled the investigation is counterproductive at this point. But that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I believe the joint decision made by the sheriff and the chief of police was a well thought out call which led to the quick resolution of a case. I do not believe the decision was made based on politics or money, but on who had the most personnel, information, and abilities to thoroughly investigate the case at that moment. The choice was clear since the sheriff's department had already had more than one hundred deputies and detectives working the missing person before any evidence of a crime was found. The decision was the only right call and cheers to both the sheriff and the chief for making it.

Related to the dwindling budgets: We, as citizens of the this great county, should take a look at the costs to properly police our communities. With staggering budgets, cities throughout our county should look at consolidation and cooperation. The money currently spent on law enforcement would best serve the community by cutting out each city's law enforcement management level budget, consoldating into one county-wide law enforcment agency, and put more uniforms and detectives on the streets.

For example, the city of Carlsbad with a population of about 100,000 spends approximately 28 million annually to provide law enforcment services. The city of Vista, with a population of about 100,000, contracts with the Sheriff's Department and spends approximately 17 million annually to provide law enforcment services. Both provide fine service to their respective communities, just one at a cost 50% higher than the other. It is time to examine this and and start talking about consolidation.

Anonymous said...

Crime knows no jurisdiction. The only effective way to investigate evil is to understand this and work together toward a successful resolution. There has always been a "fun" rivalry between the sheriff and the SDPD. But when it matters, the rivalry is thrown out the window and the professionalism displayed by members on the ground of both organizations is superb. As a detective with the SDSO, I consistently look for and obtain great assistance from my brothers in blue inside the city limits of San Diego, as they can expect and do receive the same from me. The citizens of our county should be proud of the excellent working relationship between these two law enforcment agencies. Only together can we effectively police our county.

SparkySanDiego said...


I thought about writing a new post to address some of the comments regarding this post, but decided to reply here and move on. My phone has been hot today with calls from a variety of people. Some not so complementary in their words.

Jeff McDonald wrote an article today in the UT titled; "County trumped city on looking for Chelsea" quoting words I wrote. Jeff e-mailed asking me to comment on what I had written. For obvious reasons I declined Jeff's request.

The point of my post has little do do with "WHO" investigated this tragic incident. This is not about turf, glory or national exposure. The SDSO did an outstanding job and deserves credit for their quick action, professionalism and abilities. They made all law enforcement in San Diego County proud.

When left to wonder why something occurred outside of the norm or perceived protocols; conclusions will be drawn without the benefit of accurate information. This issue highlights what happens when information is withheld from those involved in an incident of this type.

The questions drifting throughout the department have more to do with communication, leadership and trust, than with WHO investigated this horrendous crime. Every officer to a person who has weighed in on this, has had nothing but glorious praise for our bothers and sisters at the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

I would like to believe the decision for the Sheriff to take command and control was not political. I would like to believe the decision was not one of dollars and cents.

The moral of officers is as low as I have seen in my 30+ years on this department. This is another blow to the psyche of those who take pride in what they do. Lacking strong leadership and open communication from those in command, officers are left to speculate. This speculation fuels anger, doubt, mis-trust and low moral.

The article by Jeff McDonald did not answer the many questions officers, detectives and supervisors have.

Today is the "Celebration of Life" of Chelsea King. The thoughts and prayers for her family, friends and the community is the focus today. The future holds hope for successful prosecution for the person responsible for her death.

The questions remain, but we move on in hopes the concerns are heard and we learn from the past.

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve. I have more questions now than I did before I read the article in the Union Tribune this morning. I will use "Anonymous" because I have a few years left on this sinking ship. I, like so many others, am just holding on because I have to much invested to leave and go somewhere else.

Two statements caught my eye. The first was a comment by Sheriff Gore. "Bill Lansdowne and I made the decision that we would take the lead and they would support us" "The decision was made on an operational basis." What does "operational basis" mean? Correct me if I am wrong but within 90 minutes anyone with a brain suspected a crime had been committed and the crime occurred in San Diego?

Then a statement from Chief Lanning of the La Mesa Police Department and president of the San Diego County Chief's of Police and Sheriff's Association:
"Eventually, it's going to get down to which agency is best equipped and has the best information." This statement is getting closer to the truth.

Steve is dead on when he points out this is more about communication, trust and leadership. There is no communication from the administration of this police department that is honest or believable. The trust is long gone. Leadership? Absent!!

The SDSD did an outstanding and professional job and should be commended. This is not about them like Steve said. This is about a police department that has lost it's sense of direction, focus and confidence. It has been stripped away by a mayor who values politics over public safety. It has been stripped away by a chief who lacks the leadership to guide a department in such turmoil. He lost, long ago, the confidence of officers. When will someone call for his resignation?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Lansdowne's resignation, you asked "when will someone call for his resignation?" I think you just did!

But the man's ego is larger than the underfunding of SDCERS by the City. He'll never resign. He wants the monthly retirement check so you can count on him being around for another three maybe four years.

Hired in August 2003, he will vest in SDCERS in Aug. 2013. If the city if following the regular vesting rules. (sometimes upper mgt positions negotiate special arrangement upon being hired.)

Here is an interesting tidbit about Lansdowne's hiring by then City Manager Uberraga:

"Lansdowne responded by submitting a strategic plan to rebuild the SDPD. While the plan called for a lot more money to be dedicated to the department, it also marked the first time the chief was allowed to present a budget that included an honest assessment of the use of overtime."

Guess things didn't quite turn out the way he promised. SDPD in terms of personnel working on fighting crime and levels of experience has been decimated by this Mayor and Council.

I Know! said...

To Beat and Release:

Your tirade shows, abruptly, how ignorant you are and the fact you DONT understand what is going on here. If you have 17-years experience in "investigations" then you sure dont act or write like it. You need to show a little professionalism. Whatever "Mayberry" town you're from I suggest you stay there because your insight here is worthless and quite comical. Good luck...you'll need it..

STOP said...

Hey "I Know".....

Quit being a hater. In fact, I think you are just trying to stir the pot and cause hate and discontent on this Blog.

I'm sure "Beat and Release" can see right through your intention of causing negativity.

Let it go.......

SDPD Vet said...

I will start off by saying that I am a 23+ year veteran of the San Diego Police Department.
I am a Detective with the department. I am not assigned to the Homicide Unit, nor do I have any privileged, confidential or investigative information pertaining to the King murder. I am aware of the “gag order” issued in that case. This post is my personal opinion based on my service time with SDPD.

When I joined SDPD, I would agree that it was “America’s Finest” law enforcement agency. The department was progressive and a leader in innovative law enforcement. We were well staffed in Patrol, and there were many opportunities available for patrol officers to work special details (11-86) while the department still maintained a patrol staffing level well above minimum staffing.

SDPD had a well staffed Investigative body as well. There were proactive and reactive units throughout the department that were well staffed and provided investigative support to others throughout the SDPD. We had a strong Criminal Intelligence Unit that was the best of the best.

About six years ago, things began to change, and change for the worse. The management of SDPD began playing a “smoke and mirrors” game with staffing. Essential investigative units were disbanded. Others had their staffing slashed, and to this day the understaffing continues. The Professional Standards Unit was dissolved. There was no longer a Special Investigations Unit. Tech equipment became outdated and obsolete. Vice, Narcotics, Intelligence, Sex Crimes, Child Abuse and many other investigative units were scaled back. Most task forces which by the way are force multipliers were eliminated or scaled back. SDPD was out of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, U.S. Marshal fugitive unit Violent Crimes Task Force as well as others.

Patrol dropped their previous minimum staffing requirements. Beats and assignments were and still are being shuffled around. Patrol officers no longer have the opportunity to work special assignments which actually enhanced their law enforcement knowledge, skills and abilities.

The bottom line is SDPD is now a dysfunctional law enforcement agency. It is a “smoke and mirrors” operation. The SDPD no longer has the personnel, technical or operational abilities and experience to carry out a complex criminal investigation. The SDPD could not have provided the level of response and investigative know how that the Sheriff’s Department displayed throughout the King investigation.
Residents of the City of San Diego, you need to be aware of this. SDPD is incapable of providing an adequate level of public protection and safety. There are not enough patrol cops or investigators to perform the job in a competent manner.

I thank the Sheriff’s Department for their response to this crisis. They are a great law enforcement organization. Throughout the years I have worked with several of their deputies and investigators and they are true law enforcement professionals. SDPD also has true law enforcement professionals, but the staffing and budget has eliminated us from properly performing our jobs. I am sad to see where we are today as a police department.

Anonymous said...

"About six years ago, things began to change, and change for the worse. The management of SDPD began playing a “smoke and mirrors” game with staffing."

Isn't that just about the time William Lansdowne took over SDPD.

kimberlydvorak said...

I am the media and I am asking those questions and have filed FOIAs with Sheriff Department - I was greeted by legal, why? I believe there were a lot of missed opportunities and political posturing. I'd love some hints as to what direction I should pursue. Lucky for me I have a very understanding editor and I can write stories using sources, no names. With the midterms, recent murder/rape tragedies and public involvement I think there can be some change. For anyone who wants to email/talk I'd like to help. Also I will direct you to stories I've written about other federal agencies, successfully pointing fingers with/without outing my sources. San Diego is a great city and Poway proved that point. Thanks for your service,
Kimberly Dvorak

I Know said...

To "Stop" and Beat and Release:

You both are incorrect. This blog is outstanding and it helps tell the real truth in this once great department that is disintegrating in front of our eyes. I am not trying to 'stir the pot', but you know that might be a darn good idea. You say, 'let it go" and I say that is exactly what is wrong with people in this city and department. We "let it go" way too much until it is too late. Now look at us.!! Something needs to be done and the people of this city need to know. I'm no "hater", I'm a fighter; as we ALL should be..

A NON Y MOUS said...


If you are in fact a fighter, focus your energy toward the problem--The City of San Diego and its mismanagement.

Don't direct your anger toward other law enforcement personnel. That is counter productive.

I think the author who wrote "let it go" was addressing your focus on "Beat and Release." Yes, I agree, put that behind you. Refocus and redirect your energy and stir the pot in the proper direction.

What are your solutions to the disintegrating department? To what is wrong with people in this city and department. Focus on these issues and don't strike out against an ally. Save that for a foe.

"Something needs to be done and the people of this city need to know."

I agree with your statement. Let's work together. Come up with ideas and solutions to effectively move forward and get something done.

It's easy to throw out blanket statements and allegations. A true leader and fighter combines those with problem solving solutions.

The SDPD is facing serious problems, many of which the citizens are unaware of. Maybe through this tragedy, some focus will be put on the lack of SDPD patrol and investigative staffing. The public need to be educated.

I have read some of Kimberly Dvorak's media publications. She is now asking questions. Maybe she would be a good source to work with regarding public education involving the SDPD. I would encourage you and anyone else who may have some recommendations to email her.

michael said...

SDPD Vet truly gets it. Great post!! And thanks to Steve for putting out information that needs to get out. Your efforts are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

SDPD Vet is 100%, A+ with the comments. I can't even get approval to attend a fully reimbursable P.O.S.T. class.
SDPD isn't what it use to be. THe recent lay off hurt us even more.
It is too bad.

Thinking out loud said...

Okay, So we consolidate our law enforcement forces as one agency cost 50% more than another managed by Sheriffs.
Would this be because Deputies do not earn the salary and benefits of private City's? I am thinking yes, but have admittedly not done the research.
But I do know a lot of Deputies who have to work a lot of overtime or second jobs to make a higher salary to live here or they live in the County which costs them less, they can not afford to live in the City of San Diego and only have their 40 hr Deputy job.
So is the larger plan to merge us? Perhaps. I remember rumblings about that about ten/twelve years ago. Oh wait would that be when we started cutting back NPT and other Task Forces, um yes.
Does anyone have anything concrete or sources for us to check on this subject? Deputies anything on your side?

I Know said...

To A Non Y Mous: I agree 100% with you. I've been a fighter for 25-years on this Department. My energies are focused, but as we all know this Dept has turned into a pure political quadmire--nothing more and nothing else. We as a whole let it happen. SDPD Vet's post was the best...

And why you are bashing me because I just happened to disagree with another law enforcement officer's comments? I don't know why, but the last time I looked this is America and disagreeing with someone was our right. One question: Don't we all disagree on how the Chief is mismanaging this once great police department?

Anonymous said...

I can't help but notice as the crime in San Diego decreased (thanks to all of you and your hard work!), the politics in the SDPD, the lack of staffing, the public not caring, etc seemed to have all gotten worse. Am I just noticing it more or is there some truth to it? As crime goes down, the police appear "less needed" so they endure cuts, the public believes they are more expendable (atleast in the sense of salary and benefits), etc. My brothers a cop in a high crime city and doesnt experience nearly as many problems, yet his govt still wrestles with budget problems. It just seems his city cares a lot more about their cops... because they see them more?

Just Wondering said...

Pension News out of Orange County

Orange County Sheriff's Deputies and the County Supervisors have reached a settlement with a new labor agreement.

New hires, effective April 9, 2010, will get 3% @ 55, instead of the current 3% @ 50. Existing Deputies also agreed to a salary freeze until October 2011 and to contribute more of their pay towards their retirement.

"In return, deputies will receive increased contributions from the county to their medical trust fund. The agreement requires the county to pay $745 per employee per month, compared with $620 under the old arrangement. Also, the county’s contribution will increase twice more before the agreement expires."

To read the details follow this LINK!.

Just Wondering said...

Corruption in San Diego Always Leads to the TOP

What is it with San Diego political leaders? What is it about this town, that job, and the lack of any REAL ethics, or morales?

A joint investigation by SDPD and FBI has now been disclosed by Don Bauder of the SD Reader. And before you go closing your mind to the possibilities read it for yourself. HERE IS THE LINK!

If this article is accurate, Lansdowne got called onto Jerry Sander's carpet for a dressing down.

Oh, and by the way, I love the title of the story.... "What a Tangled Web We Weave" ....What a fitting title for Sanders and his struggle to hold on power and while trying to keep his job and legacy.

From a once respected Police Chief to a liar, and dishonest politician who surrounds himself with people of the same ilk.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sparky, how about starting a new thread on the issue of ABLE. For those who don't know, one of the new helicopters is grounded, in need of a scheduled maintainance that will cost $350K. The other two helo's are due next year...what will we fly if all three are down because the City doesn't want to invest the 1 Million it will cost?