Whitecaps

Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

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Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.


Friday, May 27, 2005

Resurrect the Video

This article headlined 2 Agents Say L.A. Police Abused Them appeared in the May 27 2005, Los Angeles Times. It recounts how a federal agent was appropriately confronted by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers but how the officers ultimately refused to accept another federal agent's badge and credentials as identification. The result was two federal agents getting hauled off to jail for resisting the officers. But this was not the first time the LAPD had some difficulty realizing it was not the only law enforcement agency on the face of the Earth.

The city of Carson, CA, is policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) and borders the LAPD's Harbor Division. A very narrow strip of land a block or two on either side of the Harbor Freeway connects San Pedro (Harbor Division) to the rest of the city, so the Sheriff's deputies in Carson necessarily drive on LA city streets. A few years ago, a marked LAPD Harbor Division patrol car stopped a plain but exempt-plated Sheriff's car occupied by two LASD deputies in uniform. The officers proned out the deputies on the ground even though the deputies were in uniform. (The LAPD officers later stated they believed the deputies were imposters.)

The situation could have become grave. The proned-out deputies, becoming concerned for their own safety and convinced the LAPD officers must be imposters, hatched a plan to roll, draw, and fire at the officers. Fortunately for all involved, a sergeant showed up, made the necessary calls, and resolved the matter before anyone was hurt.

The outcome was that some enterprising LASD deputies created a professionally narrated farcical videotape entitled, "How to Recognize a Deputy Sheriff" and sent a copy to LAPD Harbor Division. It was hilarious, but the LAPD was offended. In the interest of interagency harmony, the LASD retrieved as many copies of the tape as it could. Maybe it's time to resurrect the videotape. I'll bet there is still a copy or two that didn't get returned.

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