Police / Fire

Police officers and firefighters are expected to perform under dangerous working conditions. They also enjoy greater job protections than most workers.  PII has extensive experience conducting investigations at law enforcement agencies and fire departments facing allegations of employee misconduct.

Consistent with the requirements of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights and the Firefighter Bill of Rights, PII investigations have addressed many forms of misconduct, from allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination, to arson, bullying and providing false statements.  PII is accustomed to the participation of union representatives and understanding procedural protections such as the Lybarger Admonition.

The firm has served as a consultant to internal affairs divisions, conducted training programs for law enforcement officers, and been appointed as a court monitor by a federal judge in litigation involving inmates.  PII has a well-deserved reputation for conducting fair and thorough investigations into potential wrongdoing by public safety employees throughout Southern California.

PII investigators have:

• Assisted the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Internal Affairs detectives charged with investigating violations of the department’s equity policy, pursuant to the Bouman consent decree, and provided the department with staff training.
• Investigated allegations for a county fire department that its firefighters had engaged in acts of discrimination, sexual harassment, and bullying; committed arson; and destroyed fire station equipment.
• Investigated allegations that a police detective, already under investigation by a federal grand jury, made untruthful statements about a residential robbery.

Case in Point

A firefighter alleged that he was being treated in a racially biased manner because he was Latino.  The allegations stemmed from an incident in which the firefighter was disciplined for destroying fire station furniture as a prank. The firefighter claimed that he was being treated in a disparate manner, because other non-Latino firefighters participated in similar horseplay, but were not reprimanded for it.  PII’s investigation determined that, until he was disciplined, the firefighter had never expressed that he was Latino.  Instead, he consistently reported that he was of Italian descent and that he needed to have Columbus Day off to celebrate his Italian heritage.  In addition, PII determined that the cost of the destroyed furniture was more than $30,000, and that non-Latinos were similarly disciplined.

Case in Point

A federal court judge appointed PII’s president, Keith Rohman, as the monitor to oversee the Orange County Jail’s compliance with court orders in Pierce v. County of Orange regarding the County’s treatment of disabled inmates. PII staff monitored the jail’s performance over a two-year period, working with both the custody officers and lieutenants and other managers on changes to jail procedures and physical design.