I don’t do much with County politics because the City is already more than I have time to deal with, but John Motter’s fabulous work on the cost of policing in LA County got me interested in the City of Bradbury, which I had actually never heard of before. I looked at their Wikipedia page, found out that they had a population of 1,048 people and about twice that many horses,1 that the City had three homeowners’ associations which were listed on the damn City website, and knew I had to find out what these people were up to out there. So I asked them for a bunch of records, and tonight I’m releasing the first installment!
It consists of 339 emails between Kevin Kearney, the City Manager, and people at the Los Angeles County Sheriff, with which Bradbury contracts for its local coppery. You can browse them here at Archive.Org as PDFs along with extracted attachments, and I also exported them as an MBOX for a more authentic email experience. There are a ton of stories in there, but here I’m only telling one in some detail. It seems, you see, that the LASD has this youth outreach program called the STAR Unit, which I guess is like the LAPD’s DARE thing, but stands for “Stop Tripping And Reform!” or some such nonsense.2 And they send deputies into schools to propagandize the youth about matters that seem important to them as cops, like e.g. hello fellow kids! Cops are your friends! And it turns out that the schools pay LASD for this service.
And we also have to talk about civil asset forfeiture. This is an evil process that cops all over the country use to steal people’s money and valuables and use it for their own cop purposes. It’s a huge source of money for law enforcers and pirates. California cops were as big on this as any cops anywhere until 2016, when Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring that someone actually be convicted of a crime before cops could confiscate all their worldly goods. It seems uncontroversial, and maybe it was, but cops all over the state soon began feeling the pinch!
And one of the victims of the pinch was evidently the STAR Unit, which according to one of these emails, had been heavily subsidized by forfeiture money. To this email was attached a new STAR rate schedule, showing increases of more than 35% over the already shockingly high hourly costs. That’s how much money the LASD was diverting from civil asset forfeitures to STAR Unit propagandizing, it seems! It’s bad enough that cops steal huge amounts of money from innocent people, but then to learn that they’re using it to indoctrinate a bunch of children into thinking that cops have their best interests at heart and therefore probably making them less likely as adults to oppose civil asset forfeiture. It’s not only self-reinforcing, it’s also really appalling. Turn the page for a transcription of these emails!
Good afternoon Sir,
I wanted to provide an explanation on why the STAR Deputy Instructional lesson Rate increased significantly. Asset forfeiture funds have been used for years to offset the actual cost of the program. Asset forfeiture funds were plentiful in years past, so allocating a portion of them to education programs was an option. However, with the changes in Asset Forfeiture laws over the last couple of years, tightening the requirements under which law enforcement can retain these funds, the overall asset forfeiture funds have decreased significantly. The effect of these decreases has extended to all areas that have relied on these funds in the past.
For the last several years, hundreds of thousands of dollars were allocated annually to the program to offset its full cost. Unfortunately, these funds are no longer available for the reasons described above. In fact, the current year’s STAR rate (FY 17-18) was developed with the understanding $416,000 of asset forfeiture funds would be available to offset the program cost. These funds were never realized as it turns out.
The FY 18-19 STAR rate was developed without any asset forfeiture funding factored in to offset the rate. Attached is a percentage change summary.
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information.
Subject: FW: STAR Rate Increase Info
Date: Thu, 10 May 2018 21:44:31 +0000
From: “Rosso, Andrew H.” <AHRosso@lasd.org>
To: CC Managers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: North Patrol Div Admin <NPDAdmin@lasd.org>, North Patrol Div Captains
<NPDCapts@lasd.org>, North Patrol Div Ops Lts. <NPDOpsLts@lasd.org>, “North
Patrol Div Ops Sgts.” <NPDOpsSgts@lasd.org>, Central Patrol Div Admin
<CPDAdmin@lasd.org>, Central Patrol Div Captains <CPDCapts@lasd.org>,
“Central Patrol Div Ops Lts.” <CPDOpsLts@lasd.org>, Central Patrol Div Ops
Sgts. <CPDOpsSgts@lasd.org>, South Patrol Div Admin <SPDAdmin@lasd.org>,
“South Patrol Div Captains” <SPDCapt@lasd.org>, South Patrol Div Ops Lts.
<SPDOpsLts@lasd.org>, South Patrol Div Ops Sgts. <SPDOpsSgts@lasd.org>, “East
Patrol Div Admin” <EPDAdmin@lasd.org>, East Patrol Div Captains
<EPDCapts@lasd.org>, East Patrol Div Ops Lieutenants <EPDOpsLts@lasd.org>,
East Patrol Div Ops Sergeants <EPDOpsSgts@lasd.org>, ASD Hq Staff
<ASDHQStaff@lasd.org>, “Serrano, Jill F.” <email@example.com>, “Cale,
Christopher C.” <CCCale@lasd.org>, “Denham, Bobby D.” <BDDenham@lasd.org>,
“Morgan, Stacy B.” <SBMorgan@lasd.org>, CLEB – Managers
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, CPB – Operations <cpbOps@lasd.org>, “Nicassio,
Joseph E.” <JENicass@lasd.org>
Below and attached is information on a significant increase to the STAR Deputy Instructional Rate due to the loss of Narco Asset Forfeiture Funding.
It is a 36% increase of the hourly rate.
I wanted to get this to you as soon as possible because 11 Cities pay directly for STAR Deputy Instruction in their local schools. Even more School Districts in Contract Cities pay LASD directly.
The STAR Unit is planning to get the rate sheets to the Cities or School Districts soon.
Capt. Andrew H. Rosso
Contract Law Enforcement Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
- JK about the horses, but it might be true!
- I have no idea what it stands for and I refuse to find out. I’m not here to do your research for you. I will tell you that, according to every kid at Mark Twain Junior High School in 1975, DARE stands for “Drugs Are Real Expensive.”