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  1. #1
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    LAPD 5 Year Contract

    In case anyone is thinking of getting hired with LAPD then leaving after finishing probation. We'll see if this holds up in court.

    "LOS ANGELES - The city alleges that 53 former police officers broke their employment contracts by leaving the department within five years of joining the force, and is suing them to recoup $1.6 million in training costs

    The city alleges that 53 former police officers broke their employment contracts by leaving the department within five years of joining the force, and is suing them to recoup $1.6 million in training costs. Thirty of the officers have hired an attorney to challenge the city's demand and to file a class action countersuit.
    "It is unlawful under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act for any employer to ask for money back from an employee," said Jon Webster, the officers' Northern California attorney.

    The city has required police recruits to sign five-year contracts since 1996, when an investigation revealed that some were leaving soon after graduating from the police academy to work for other departments. The officers agree to repay part or all of their $60,000 training cost if they leave early.

    City officials say they're trying to protect a taxpayer investment and want to negotiate settlements so the money could be paid back over several years.

    "We think it's important that the city gets paid," said Contessa Mankiewicz, a spokeswoman for City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. "But we don't want to create a financial burden for officers."

    Some officers who are being sued said they quit because they had long commutes or because other departments had better working conditions.

    "I couldn't succeed as a father and husband with the long commute to Los Angeles," said Chino police officer Andrew Bjelland, 33, a Fontana resident who is being sued for $35,000 for leaving the LAPD after 2 years.

    Webster said he believes the city's legal position will be hurt because other departments allow their officers to undergo less expensive training programs"

  2. #2
    090205 is offline Junior Member 090205 is on a distinguished road
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    Here is another article. It provides more detail.

    LAPD Sues 53 Officers
    Updated: March 23rd, 2006 11:19 AM EDT

    PATRICK MCGREEVY
    Los Angeles Times

    The city of Los Angeles is suing 53 former LAPD officers for $1.6 million, alleging that they broke their employment contracts by leaving within five years of graduating from the Police Academy.

    Thirty of the officers have hired an attorney to argue that federal and state labor laws prohibit the recovery of training costs.

    The LAPD has required recruits to sign five-year contracts since a 1996 investigation found that some were quitting as early as the day after graduation to work for other departments that did not pay for training. Police Academy training takes seven months and costs $60,000 per officer, although the lawsuits seek amounts that have been prorated based on how long each officer served.

    The city's position is being criticized as unjust by the leaders of other Southern California police departments who have hired the former LAPD officers.

    "It's indentured servitude," said Frank Wills, the police chief in West Covina. "I don't think it's fair."

    Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and other city leaders say they are just trying to protect the investment made by taxpayers. Officials also say they have offered to negotiate a settlement that would allow departed officers to repay the city over a number of years.

    "We think it's important that the city gets paid," said Contessa Mankiewicz, a spokeswoman for City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo. "But we don't want to create a financial burden for officers. We are very aware that people don't always have that kind of money sitting around."

    The City Council adopted the contract requirement after it was disclosed that academy graduate Ceasar Escobedo took a job with the San Marino Police Department the day he graduated. The No. 1-ranked recruit in 1995, Sean Frank, departed for the Glendale Police Department after eight months in the LAPD's Pacific Division.

    But West Covina Chief Wills said the LAPD "conveniently ignored the fact that they took more than one officer from San Marino. They stole officers from all over Southern California. Now there is a role reversal, which is of their own doing."

    Wills said the city attorney in West Covina has expressed interest in going to court to challenge the LAPD contracts. "The legality of this is questionable," he said.

    As of this week, the city had 34 lawsuits pending against officers and 19 others in the process of being filed.

    In one suit, the city is going after an officer who quit the LAPD 10 months after graduating to work for the city of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County. City officials say that officer owes them $51,000 in training costs.

    Three of the officers being sued had been with the LAPD less than one year, and eight quit in less than two years, according to Mankiewicz.

    Bratton said he supported recovering the costs from the officers, even though he understood why some of them did not stay with the LAPD.

    "They join us and get married and have a few kids, and after a few years they get tired of doing the 70-mile each-way commute and end up taking a job in a local police department," Bratton said.

    Under the 10-year-old requirement, applicants must sign a contract agreeing to repay part or all of the cost of training if they leave before completing five years on the force. Exemptions are made for officers who leave because of extenuating circumstances.

    Officer Andrew Bjelland, 33, was presented with a bill for $35,000 when he left the LAPD after 2 1/2 years for the Chino Police Department.

    Bjelland said he did not like what the commute from Fontana was doing to his family: "I couldn't succeed as a father and husband with the long commute to Los Angeles."

    Bjelland said police recruit training can be had for $5,000 elsewhere.

    Officers say less expensive training is available at local schools, including Rio Hondo College.

    "I don't think the LAPD bill is reflective of the true cost," he said. "It's more of a punitive measure to keep us employed by the city."

    Anthony Alvo, the first former LAPD officer to be sued, agrees.

    Alvo had just left the Marine Corps when he arranged to enter the Police Academy.

    He said the contract was put in front of him along with a lot of other papers, and he was told to sign it.

    "You really didn't have an option," he said.

    Alvo, 29, said he quit in 2000 after less than two years on the job to join the Chino Police Department, where working conditions were better.

    In deciding to transfer, he cited frustration over what he saw as an overly harsh disciplinary system imposed by then-LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks, now a Los Angeles councilman, and concern over the department and its officers being tainted by the Rampart corruption scandal.

    Despite serving a two-year stint in Iraq since leaving the LAPD and suffering a knee injury, Alvo is being sued for $34,000.

    "If the LAPD was as good a place to work as it claims, they should have no problem retaining officers," Alvo said.

    Alvo and 29 other former LAPD officers have hired Northern California attorney Jon Webster, a former policeman, who is going to court Thursday to ask that the large number of officers be certified in a class action countersuit against Los Angeles.

    Webster said he believed a precedent had been set by at least five other cases in which city work contracts where struck down.

    "In every instance it was considered to be an unlawful kickback to the employer," Webster said. "It is unlawful under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act for any employer to ask for money back from an employee."

    Webster said the Police Department's cases would be hurt by the city's insistence that recruits go through the Police Academy because other cities allow officers to attend less expensive training programs.

    "The bottom line is employees are free to come and go as they please," Webster said.

    http://www.officer.com/article/artic...ion=5&id=29438

  3. #3
    Safety is offline Junior Member Safety is on a distinguished road
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    Not sure if this is still true, but a long time ago I heard some cities were giving hiring preference to local residents. Should the city start adopting this policy? Maybe then they wouldn't have so many problems with the officer's commute.
    Just a thought, of course I would understand those that disagree. However, it might be favored by those that live in the city. ;)

    Good luck to those applying, and driving!

  4. #4
    medic9338x is offline Junior Member medic9338x is on a distinguished road
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    The city of LA tried limiting residency to the city limits once with their fire and police departments...didn't work out so well. They went from having a huge hiring base to having a more limited one. One thing that LAPD always touts is how they are one of the most recognized departments which is true, and thus attracts the best people from all over. LASD has been having similiar problems with their recruits attending the academy then losing a bunch of them to other departments within a few years. What happens is you get training and experience with a Big name department, and experience in high crime areas, and all smaller departments see is the $$$ they save in training, so they offer better pay, and living areas and thus attract a certain number of people to that enviornment.

  5. #5
    yasonf is offline Junior Member yasonf is on a distinguished road
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    Just curious, but does anyone know if there has there been any update on these cases?

  6. #6
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    Maybe LAPD should stop pointing the finger at everyone else and try to figure out why so many Officers leave after such a short period of time.

    Then again, if you sign a contract - then you should be legally obligated to fullfill that commitment. On the other hand, Texas is a "right to work" state, not sure about California. You can never tell what kind of *** backwards laws they have in Cali....

  7. #7
    wirble is offline Banned wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts
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    I don't know what you folks think but, it seems almost like stealing for these officers to sign a contract and accept $60K and then left. At the very least, they should settle the class lawsuit first then leave the department if they win. What a way to start a career in law enforcement. They should have gone to law school instead. Maybe the LAPD need more courses in ethics and commitment. What next, lets plant some evidences.

    I think the only solution is to make recruits pay for their own cost and then reimburse them over a period of five years assuming they are still employed. I think the LAPD should make the recruits get a 60k loan and the LAPD should pay the principal on the loan and the trainee pays the interests costs which comes out to be about 11K over 5 years. Which is not very much considering college costs upwards of 100k.

    Monthly Payment = 1188.07

    Month Balance Principal Interest Payment Total Interest
    1 59161.93 838.07 350 1188.07 350
    2 58318.97 842.96 345.11 2376.14 695.11
    3 57471.09 847.88 340.19 3564.22 1035.31
    4 56618.27 852.82 335.25 4752.29 1370.55
    5 55760.47 857.8 330.27 5940.36 1700.83
    6 54897.66 862.8 325.27 7128.43 2026.1
    7 54029.83 867.84 320.24 8316.5 2346.33
    8 53156.93 872.9 315.17 9504.58 2661.51
    9 52278.94 877.99 310.08 10692.65 2971.59
    10 51395.83 883.11 304.96 11880.72 3276.55
    11 50507.57 888.26 299.81 13068.79 3576.36
    12 49614.12 893.44 294.63 14256.86 3870.99
    13 48715.47 898.66 289.42 15444.93 4160.4
    14 47811.57 903.9 284.17 16633.01 4444.57
    15 46902.4 909.17 278.9 17821.08 4723.48
    16 45987.92 914.47 273.6 19009.15 4997.07
    17 45068.11 919.81 268.26 20197.22 5265.34
    18 44142.94 925.17 262.9 21385.29 5528.23
    19 43212.37 930.57 257.5 22573.37 5785.73
    20 42276.37 936 252.07 23761.44 6037.81
    21 41334.91 941.46 246.61 24949.51 6284.42
    22 40387.96 946.95 241.12 26137.58 6525.54
    23 39435.48 952.48 235.6 27325.65 6761.13
    24 38477.45 958.03 230.04 28513.73 6991.17
    25 37513.83 963.62 224.45 29701.8 7215.63
    26 36544.59 969.24 218.83 30889.87 7434.46
    27 35569.69 974.9 213.18 32077.94 7647.63
    28 34589.11 980.58 207.49 33266.01 7855.12
    29 33602.81 986.3 201.77 34454.09 8056.89
    30 32610.75 992.06 196.02 35642.16 8252.91
    31 31612.91 997.84 190.23 36830.23 8443.14
    32 30609.25 1003.66 184.41 38018.3 8627.55
    33 29599.73 1009.52 178.55 39206.37 8806.1
    34 28584.32 1015.41 172.67 40394.45 8978.77
    35 27562.99 1021.33 166.74 41582.52 9145.51
    36 26535.7 1027.29 160.78 42770.59 9306.29
    37 25502.42 1033.28 154.79 43958.66 9461.08
    38 24463.12 1039.31 148.76 45146.73 9609.85
    39 23417.75 1045.37 142.7 46334.8 9752.55
    40 22366.28 1051.47 136.6 47522.88 9889.15
    41 21308.68 1057.6 130.47 48710.95 10019.62
    42 20244.9 1063.77 124.3 49899.02 10143.92
    43 19174.93 1069.98 118.1 51087.09 10262.02
    44 18098.71 1076.22 111.85 52275.16 10373.87
    45 17016.21 1082.5 105.58 53463.24 10479.45
    46 15927.4 1088.81 99.26 54651.31 10578.71
    47 14832.24 1095.16 92.91 55839.38 10671.62
    48 13730.69 1101.55 86.52 57027.45 10758.14
    49 12622.71 1107.98 80.1 58215.52 10838.24
    50 11508.27 1114.44 73.63 59403.6 10911.87
    51 10387.33 1120.94 67.13 60591.67 10979
    52 9259.85 1127.48 60.59 61779.74 11039.59
    53 8125.8 1134.06 54.02 62967.81 11093.61
    54 6985.13 1140.67 47.4 64155.88 11141.01
    55 5837.8 1147.33 40.75 65343.96 11181.76
    56 4683.78 1154.02 34.05 66532.03 11215.81
    57 3523.03 1160.75 27.32 67720.1 11243.13
    58 2355.51 1167.52 20.55 68908.17 11263.68
    59 1181.18 1174.33 13.74 70096.24 11277.42
    60 0 1181.18 6.89 71284.31 11284.31
    Last edited by wirble; 07-11-06 at 01:54 PM.

  8. #8
    madsnax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wirble
    I think the LAPD should make the recruits get a 60k loan and the LAPD should pay the principal on the loan and the trainee pays the interests costs which comes out to be about 11K over 5 years.
    Are you kidding? a 60k loan? Do you realize how hard it is for some people to get a 10k loan?

    In the end, if you signed a contract w/ a written commitment, you should follow through with that commitment.

  9. #9
    wirble is offline Banned wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts wirble is infamous around these parts
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    Quote Originally Posted by madsnax
    Are you kidding? a 60k loan? Do you realize how hard it is for some people to get a 10k loan?
    I didn't think about that...but you are right.

  10. #10
    cobravenom1 is offline GOOD2GO cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute cobravenom1 has a reputation beyond repute
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    Quote Originally Posted by wirble
    I didn't think about that...but you are right.
    IMHO, the main problem with having sooo many people leaving LAPD and LASD is the "Cost of Living." L.A. City/County is very expensive. The pay for these departments barely compensates for food, gas, and other required living expenses. Trying to buy a house in LA County limits is painfull. Unless you want to live in an area that most of your customers come from, a house/condo is out of most rookies salary range (unless you have a significant other/co-buyer with a decent salary= $80,000).

    Just to be able to afford where I work in the county, I took on a very small apartment. My commute time is now 20 minutes vice 1hr45min. My monthly fuel bill went from $600+ to $150. I live there on my duty days and it is sometimes a small vacation place for my family and I since it is in a very semi-upscale area.

    Even with the recent pay raises, a mortgage in LA County in a decent neighborhood is a bit of a stretch. Would I consider looking at another department closer to home? Not yet. I don't have the experience on my department to be marketable with the one I would consider working for.

    LAPD's contract policy is ludicrous. They make everyone who has not attended their academy go through the full or abbreviated version. For the same problems and crimes just about every SoCal department has, what would make their academy unique?. I can understand CHP and CDC but LAPD, I don't agree. Especially the supposed cost. P.O.S.T. in CA is P.O.S.T.. I would never have thought a P.O.S.T. academy in LA County was worth more than any other. If that is the case, then L.A. City owes L.A. County and all the other agencies a significant amount of money for hiring Deputys/Officers who have crossed over in the years since 1996.

    I remember my 1st day at the academy. It was pretty much an admin day and one of the happiest of my life. Sooo many forms to fill out and sign. The effort it took to get there was significant but there I was. Do I remember everything I signed for?, NO. Did I sign my life away?, maybe. It was not the military I was signing up for. So why would I not expect to be able to change my mind at a later as yet determined date without a significant monetary penalty? My point is, why would the LA City council come up with such a plan. Because most of them are just over compensated politicians who think of LEO's as just another employee who need to be more controlled than other employees. If Chief Bratton truly feels that this 5yr contract policy is needed, my respect for him just went down a whole lot. He's just another politician. How about more pay, interest free home loans for LEO's, travel cost repayment, etc... for Police officers instead to keep them from straying away vice "Give me back my training cost!"
    Last edited by cobravenom1; 07-11-06 at 05:42 PM.

  11. #11
    shorty26's Avatar
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    60k for the academy??!!!??? are you kidding?

    I would sure like to be an instructor in that academy? Do they practice with silver bullets?

    Wirble, I think the point of contention is not a contract they signed, but rather the 60k price tag LAPD put on their academy, especially when the same training is provided at a nearby academy for a tenth of that. That is where the officers are upset. I would be too if someone wanted to charge me 60k for an academy.

    I honestly don't think these 53 officers would be as upset if they LAPD were to only charge them 5k-6k.

    If I paid that for an academy, they better teach me how to crap gold bricks.
    Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.- The Boondock Saints

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