Assistant Chief Sharon Papa told me that the LAPD doesn't just want to "say all the retired guys are out of here tomorrow. We'd like to establish criteria and see if they meet it -- phase it in over time and not just kick them out all at once." And when active-duty cops moonlight in uniform, says Papa, "we'd rather know these officers are under our control and supervision."
A few questions come to mind. Production companies and sports teams have deep pockets, but the city's are deeper. Should the city take on more legal exposure for officers' off-duty jobs? And would it amount to private police? If so, can I hire one as my bodyguard?
And here's another question: WWJD? Not that "J," this one: Joe Wambaugh. He's walked an LAPD beat and walked the red carpet when his books have become movies and TV shows. Why, he e-mailed me, can't "the old pro wranglers who have always done a good job ... reach an accommodation with the city by having off-duty cops serving along with the old guys? The retired cops with lots of movie-shoot experience would of course have to accept the orders given by currently serving, off-duty cops. ...
"I understand Chief Bratton's concerns, but the retired cops with decades of experience at the shoots are really invaluable. ... What's wrong with some compromise?"
Thank you, Sgt. Solomon.