L.A. Police Union Wants Cops To Be Notified When Expected Wave Of Prisoners Comes To Town
The union representing Los Angeles police officers on Thursday asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to ensure that local departments are notified when prisoners from the massive release planned for Monday come their way.
"We are very concerned that the released prison inmates will be completely unsupervised and will be sent back into local communities without any attempt to transition them back into society," said Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. "Released felons will be on 'non-revocable' releases, meaning they cannot be sent back to prison unless charged and convicted of a new crime - so in essence, their sentence for the current crime has been commuted."
The LAPPL cites research showing that prisoner releases correlate to rises in crime in communities and requests that the state implement four measures during the release:
-Notify departments when a locally based offender is being released.
-Allow law enforcement departments to object to a prisoner's release in front of a review board and state parole officials.
-Notify local police when prisoners being monitored as part of their release tamper with any monitoring equipment or otherwise try to avoid supervision.
-Require that prisoners identify themselves as part of the recently released wave. (A condition of their release is that officers can search them without permission or warrant).
"The one condition imposed on the released inmates, that they may be searched without a warrant, is a pretense that there are at least some limitations and oversight in place," Weber stated. "However, since local law enforcement doesn't even know who these inmates are, there is no substance to the search condition."
The Los Angeles Police Department is already preparing for nearly 6,000 prisoners to hit Los Angeles County Monday. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the state's appeal to stop the release, which was ordered by a federal court in an effort to reduce inhumane overcrowding in state lockups. But it's still not clear if the gates will actually open Monday. The Supreme Court suggested that, until another case is in the matter is concluded, the doors might stay locked.