March 3, 2011

City of Bell Police Memo Details "Baseball Game" Targeting Drivers To Get More Revenue To Cover OUTRAGEOUS SALARIES For City Officials!!!

KTLA news channel 5
written by Staff
Tuesday March 1, 2011

BELL (KTLA) -- A memo uncovered in Bell police files reportedly outlines a baseball game of sorts in which police officers competed to issue tickets, impound cars and arrest motorists.

The memo titled the "Bell Police Department Baseball Game," assigns "singles," "doubles," "triples" and "home runs" to increasingly more serious infractions, starting with parking tickets and moving on to vehicle impounds and felony arrests of drivers, said the Los Angeles Times.

The memo reads "Non-performers," are "sent for minor league rehab stint."

The unearthing of the memo comes as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates Bell police and whether or not they violated the civil rights of residents through these aggressive acts of enforcement.

The investigation was launched after residents complained that police improperly towed cars, fined drivers and charged them exorbitant impound fees in an effort to boost city revenue.

One element of the police department investigation focuses on claims by some officers.

Those officers claimed the department had quotas for issuing tickets and impounding cars, which they said was done to raise revenue for the city.

When the goals weren't met some officers said they were reprimanded.

Though it is unclear who wrote the memo and if it was condoned, it is the first document suggesting a concerted effort to have officers pull over more cars.

An investigation was launched last week after the L.A. County district attorney's office said it received the document.

Eight current and former Bell officials including former City Administrator Robert Rizzo, who earned more than $800,000 a year have already been charged with public corruption.

The Los Angeles Times reports that one of the continual complaints was that police aggressively targeted illegal immigrants, who can't get licenses in California and make up about 50% of Bell's population.

Over the years the city was reportedly generating increased revenue from fees and taxes.

Bell's budget records show for the fiscal year 2008-09 alone, the city of Bell made nearly $1 million in impound fees.

For unlicensed motorists to retrieve their cars, Bell charged $300, which is triple what Los Angeles County and neighboring cities charge.

The Bell Police Department has issued a response to the Times' article, claiming that "many Bell police officers heard about this memo for the first time... in the Los Angeles Times."

The statement continues, "At no time did Bell police officers willfully participate in any type of quota system. There were several attempts by Robert Rizzo to implement quotas most notably under former Police Chief Randy Adams. Bell police officers consistently protested the 'towing policy' and many were reprimanded for their disapproval."

It concludes, "In short, this memo is much ado about a nothing since the memo was never meant as a standardized policy but rather a parody."

The Bell Police Department says it welcomes any investigation by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office or the Department of Justice.

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