Chief Bratton posted an item on the LAPD blog that lauds today's Daily News editorial backing his hiring standards. The chief's message could also be read as mildly chiding Councilmembers Bernard Parks and Dennis Zine, both former cops, who have criticized Bratton's acceptance of officer candidates who have used drugs in the past.
The LAPD has not lowered standards; indeed, in many respects the hiring standards have increased.
Three and four decades ago, when now retired police officers Bernard C. Parks and
Dennis P. Zine were hired, LAPD did not administer polygraph tests. In those days, we merely took the candidate's word about any prior drug use and hoped their word was good.
Officers Parks and Zine's police academy training was less than half that of today's LAPD recruit. Moreover, officers of their day were not subject to random drug testing like police recruits today.
Forty years ago, the universe of LAPD candidates was also much smaller. Gays, lesbians and minorities were not actively recruited like they are today.
Get two chiefs of police together today, and the first subject discussed will be difficulty in recruiting. Police departments have to be adaptable and flexible in their approach to hiring
Of course Bratton and Parks are not exactly friends.