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Union Seeks to Oust L.A. Police Chief

January 02, 2002  | 

After years of butting heads with Police Chief Bernard Parks over issues ranging from discipline to work schedules, the city's police union says it will seek a vote of no confidence against the chief.

Police union President Mitzi Grasso said the vote will give members a chance to weigh in on Parks' future.

Parks, whose five-year term ends next year, must tell the civilian Police Commission in February whether he wants to seek a second term. He reportedly has told supporters he will do so.

Deputy Chief Michael Bostic said the department's command staff was ``saddened, dismayed and shocked'' by the action of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

``They need to be part of moving this organization forward and not spending thousands of dollars of their league money in a professional campaign to ensure that the chief of police is not rehired,'' Bostic said.

Grasso said ballots sent to the union's 8,300 members will ask, ``Do you have confidence in Chief Parks as a leader?'' Results will be announced the week of Jan. 14.

The Police Commission has three months from February to support or oppose Park's reappointment. If the commission does not act, the decision will be left to Mayor James Hahn. Parks, who is black, has strong support in the African-American community, also a key base of Hahn's support.

Since he took over in 1997, Parks has dealt with the fallout from the Rampart scandal, in which several members of an elite anti-gang unit were accused of framing and abusing suspects in the mid-1990s, and he has worked to implement police reforms throughout the department.


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