The civilian Los Angeles Police Commission voted unanimously today to require gang and narcotics officers to disclose personal financial information.
Police union officials have filed suit seeking an injunction on the disclosure policy.
Union officials told the Torrance, Calif.-based Daily Breeze Wednesday that some 500 officers would quit or transfer to other units if the city requires them to disclose their finances as mandated by the federal consent decree.
The proposal would require all gang and narcotics officers under the rank of lieutenant to provide detailed information on their finances, including property, past-due credit cards, outside income, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and bank accounts shared with other family members.
"No other law enforcement agency in the country forces its officers to share this kind of information," police union President Tim Sands said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "This financial disclosure plan is an unnecessary and ill-conceived intrusion into the private lives of LAPD officers, their spouses, and their children."
Under the proposal, the disclosure would apply immediately to all newly assigned gang and narcotics officers. Disclosure requirements would be phased in over two years for officers currently working gang and narcotics assignments.
The consent decree was born of the Rampart corruption scandal, which involved gang officers. The consent decree has increased scrutiny of LAPD gang and narcotic officers to the point that many are frustrated with the increased paperwork.
Under the consent decree, gang officers are prohibited from using secret informants and the officers are required to work in uniform.
The police union told the Daily Breeze that corrupt officers would find ways to circumvent the disclosure such as hiding funds in other family members' accounts.
"I am puzzled by this," Robert Stern of the nonprofit Center for Governmental Studies told the paper. "Usually (financial disclosure) is meant to prevent conflicts, not corruption. I always say that the ones who want to be corrupt will be corrupt and won't disclose."