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Policing expert says failure to enforce policy is a failure of leadership




The sign at a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department substation, June 2011
The sign at a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department substation, June 2011
Pyrat Wesly/Flickr

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In an effort to reduce officer-involved shootings, some local law enforcement agencies have changed their policies on when officers can shoot people.

Back in 2005, both the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department put policies in place to prohibit officers from shooting at unarmed suspects in moving vehicles.

But a KPCC investigation has found that while LAPD officers are following the policy, L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies continue to shoot into moving cars.

Geoffrey Alpert, a policing expert at the University of South Carolina, says the fact that deputies are not complying with the policy points to a larger problem.

"It's a horrible example of leadership and management to have a policy that no one pays attention to," Alpert says. "If you have a message and you wink at it, what message does that send the officers? It [tells] the officers no one really cares about it this. Well, if they don't care about this, maybe they don't care about other policies."

Read KPCC reporter Annie Gilbertson's investigation here. 

To hear the full interview, click on the player above