Supervision by the Ignorant
The state Supreme Court said yesterday that police officers can keep job performance records private when appealing disciplinary action in civil service hearings, a ruling that all but eliminates public scrutiny of allegations of misconduct by law enforcement.
The 6-1 decision came in a case involving a San Diego deputy sheriff and The Copley Press, publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune. After a 2003 disciplinary hearing was closed at the deputy's request, the newspaper sought the records via the state Public Records Act.
Justice Ming Chin, who wrote the majority opinion, ruled that the records act can't be used to get documents otherwise shielded by police privacy laws passed by the Legislature.
Those laws hold that the personnel records maintained by the officers' “employing agency” are confidential and can be disclosed only in limited circumstances.
Public access advocates said the decision is a significant blow to efforts by the media and the public to monitor police misconduct and how governments deal with it.
“With this decision it is going to be very difficult to identify who an officer is in any situation where misconduct is an issue, or even where a controversy exists,” said Tom Newton of the California Newspaper Publisher's Association.
The association was one of several media and public access advocacy groups that filed legal papers supporting the newspaper.
But lawyers for police labor unions said the decision was correct because it simply enforced the strong privacy protections in state law that the unions – a powerful presence in the state Legislature – have been able to gain for peace officers.
Well, NO FOOLIN'.
As my father preached" Stop, and think how it looks from the other side"
What got me as an officer was that the General Public would not tell their: Dentist, Plumber, mechanic --how to do their jobs, but they all damn sure knew better than any cop as to how police work should be done.
Another aspect is that these snoopy bastards would all run for the ACLU if someone looked at THEIR work records! OH, MY GOD...Invasion of Privacy!