Los Angeles Police Department officers have widespread dissatisfaction with Chief Michel Moore’s leadership during protests against police brutality according to a survey conducted for their union obtained Monday.
The survey, published in this week’s edition of the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s newsletter Thin Blue Line, asked officers if they “feel Chief Moore provided strong leadership during the recent civil unrest/protests,” to which 86% of participating officers responded no, according to the survey’s results.
Nearly 70% of respondents said they did not feel the department was prepared for the protests.
“The majority of respondents felt Chief Moore did not exhibit strong leadership and called him a `politician’ for supporting protesters,” according to the survey.
The survey found that 86.33% of officers do not “feel supported” by Moore, with a majority of responders saying they lost respect for Moore when he kneeled and “more than one respondent stated that due to the lack of support, they were considering retiring early and/or leaving for a different agency.”
Moore apologized to officers in an open letter over the weekend, NBC4 reported.
“I apologize to those of you who I failed by my actions or words. I believed in my heart each action was the right thing to do,” Moore said, according to NBC4.
“There are things that I wish I could go back in time and do over. But life doesn’t work that way. When one falls short, you get back up and strive to do better. That’s my commitment.”
Nearly 90% of participating officers also showed widespread discontent of LAPD command staff during the protests, and a majority stated they believed command staff who kneeled with Black Lives Matter protesters were “weak/cowardly.”
The survey shows that “many participants” want Moore to resign for various reasons, such as kneeling with protesters, not defending officers to the news media, allowing some who were arrested during demonstrations to go “without consequence,” and “pandering” to politicians and activist groups.
Over 90% of respondents said they would retire now if they could, and the majority said they “do not feel supported enough to want to stay.” However, 60% of responding officers said they were not planning on leaving the LAPD for another agency.
Those who responded that they were planning to leave the department said they were thinking of going to law enforcement agencies in Santa Ana, Idaho, Texas, El Segundo, Whittier and Anaheim, as well as federal agencies or leaving law enforcement all together.
Officers were also asked to rate morale on the force, with one being the lowest and 10 being the highest, to which a majority of responses were between one and five.
Suggestions on how to raise morale on the force included:
— public and private support from City Council, Moore, command staff, public figures/politicians, the news media and the public;
— higher wages and starting pay;
— cash overtime;
— better training;
— newer equipment; and
— newer stations.
The survey was conducted between July 6-27.