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THE818NOW
August 11, 2013
With all the turmoil facing the Burbank Police Department, Bert Ring imagines a new policy on ride-alongs. -- Dan Evans, Times Community News Follow Dan Evans on Twitter: @EditorDanEvans .  
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | January 20, 2012
Police Commissioners this week agreed an outside consultant could help oversee the implementation of the police department's 2011 Strategic Plan - even agreeing who they believe that person should be. But they stopped short of making a formal recommendation to the City Council. Elise Stearns-Niesen, commission chair, said attorney Robert Corbin, who assisted the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating and Rampart scandal, “seems to know where we were and where we are going.” Success would mean cultural changes had taken place in a department plagued by lawsuits and allegations of excessive force.
THE818NOW
June 26, 2012
Burbank Police Commissioners are taking a hands-on approach as they assume their new oversight roles for a department working to leave its past behind. After months of discussing what their roles would be as an oversight body and how they would ensure the Police Department's plan for improvement was being adhered to, commissioners last week peppered officials about how audits, training and other turnaround efforts were progressing. It marked the first time commissioners questioned police in detail about how those elements of the strategic plan and what officials are doing to document the changes since being formally tasked by the City Council to do so. Police officials have described the strategic plan as a living, breathing document - a road map for the department as it emerges from a litany of terminations for alleged misconduct, discrimination lawsuits and investigations into alleged civil rights violations.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | May 12, 2010
CITY HALL ? Burbank officials are in the process of hiring the chief oversight attorney for the Los Angeles County Sheriff?s Department to review two officer-involved shootings and the recent suicide of a man at the Burbank Police Jail. The contract is expected to be finalized this week for Michael Gennaco, chief attorney in the sheriff?s Office of Independent Review, although details of the contract were not available Tuesday. Gennaco and another police expert will also evaluate broader-picture policies, such as the use of Tasers and deadly force, City Manager Mike Flad said.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | November 20, 2011
As Burbank moves to increase oversight of its Police Department, which is under federal investigation for officer misconduct and excessive use of force, the issue of transparency has emerged as key part of its strategy. At a joint meeting this week with the Police Commission, Burbank City Council members endorsed bringing on two well-known outside consultants to monitor the internal affairs of the department, and to make their regular assessments and reports public. The Police Commission still must hammer out the contract details for the two consultants - Michael Gennaco, who heads the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, and Robert Corbin, an attorney who was staff counsel to the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | February 17, 2012
Police commissioners this week said they are close to settling on the model for monitoring the implementation of the department's 2011 Strategic Plan. The subcommittee formed to look into oversight of the strategic plan could have a full report at the next meeting, Commissioner Richard Warmack said at a meeting Wednesday. A recommendation could come after commissioners fully vet the proposal. The strategic plan is essentially a guide to the Police Department's operations and sets the tone for a culture that police and city leaders hope continues to change amid officer-involved lawsuits and an outside investigation into use-of-force issues.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | January 9, 2010
CITY HALL — Two months after police commissioners called for an expansion of their oversight powers, the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the appointment of Vice Mayor Anja Reinke to serve as a liaison to the commission to help meet their request. Mayor Gary Bric appointed Reinke to serve as a link between the two groups and develop a list of recommendations to prevent future legal morass. She pledged to work with interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse and law enforcement reformer Merrick Bobb to determine a suitable level of citizen oversight for a department facing a stack of civil lawsuits and probes into police misconduct.
NEWS
August 15, 2009
More than a month ago, we criticized the Police Commission for its failure to address apparent systemic problems within the department. At the time, the march of discrimination lawsuits against the Police Department had begun, there were signs that the rank and file were displeased with the command staff, and political discord among commissioners and the City Council had taken a nasty public turn. On Tuesday, the City Council allowed the commission to take the first steps toward realizing their true charge.
NEWS
By Christopher Cadelago | December 12, 2009
CITY HALL — A former federal prosecutor and police department reformer have been hired to assist with litigation and policy issues involving the Burbank Police Department, city officials said Thursday. Former U.S. Atty. in Los Angeles Debra Wong Yang, a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission, and Merrick Bobb, director of the Police Assessment Resource Center, were brought on board as officials prepare to name an interim replacement to the outgoing police chief. Tim Stehr last month announced his intent to retire by year’s end as the city continues to weather a growing stack of lawsuits and external probes into police misconduct.
NEWS
July 7, 2010
If city leaders hope to restore public confidence in the Burbank Police Department, they must also be willing to empower the city's Police Commission to better fulfill its watchdog role. That the commission has finally set a date for its first public forum since scandal erupted within the department last year is a good first step toward reversing years of institutionalized impotence. But beyond that Aug. 18 meeting, more must be done to heal public trust scarred by allegations of excessive and improper use of force that have resulted in the firings of 10 police officers, multiple lawsuits involving claims of widespread racial discrimination within the department and a veteran officer's work-related public suicide.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 7, 2013
Those opposing the proposed Walmart in the Empire Center were no doubt relieved - and proponents dismayed - when a judge ruled this week that Burbank must rescind the project's building permits. If the Walmart project is to proceed, Judge Allan Goodman ruled, street improvements promised in 2001 must be made and an environmental report must be produced for public consideration. Then there's the matter of the grocery store Walmart intends to open. The Burbank city manager and director of community development at the time, Mike Flad - since moved to South Gate - and Greg Hermann - now retired - had to formally approve the market.
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THE818NOW
August 11, 2013
With all the turmoil facing the Burbank Police Department, Bert Ring imagines a new policy on ride-alongs. -- Dan Evans, Times Community News Follow Dan Evans on Twitter: @EditorDanEvans .  
NEWS
By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com | April 19, 2013
A construction consultant, a former school board candidate and the city treasurer are among nine people who were appointed to a committee Thursday night to oversee the spending of a $110-million bond school bond approved by voters in March. Fifteen people applied for a seat on the committee, which will review Burbank Unified's long-term maintenance plan, construction reports and bond expenditures. School board President Larry Applebaum said applicants included supporters and opponents of the bond that passed with 60% of voter approval.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | July 20, 2012
Burbank police commissioners, pushing to strengthen their roles as overseers of the department, are attending a conference sponsored by a nonprofit that trains civilian groups on just that topic. Three members of the commission will be attending the National Assc. for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement in San Diego in October. The cost for the four-day conference is $1,850 per person, including a $300 membership fee, city document show. Earlier this year, the city contracted with attorney Robert Corbin to train commissioners on the questions they should ask to ensure police were meeting their goals of transparency and professionalism.
THE818NOW
June 26, 2012
Burbank Police Commissioners are taking a hands-on approach as they assume their new oversight roles for a department working to leave its past behind. After months of discussing what their roles would be as an oversight body and how they would ensure the Police Department's plan for improvement was being adhered to, commissioners last week peppered officials about how audits, training and other turnaround efforts were progressing. It marked the first time commissioners questioned police in detail about how those elements of the strategic plan and what officials are doing to document the changes since being formally tasked by the City Council to do so. Police officials have described the strategic plan as a living, breathing document - a road map for the department as it emerges from a litany of terminations for alleged misconduct, discrimination lawsuits and investigations into alleged civil rights violations.
NEWS
By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com | May 4, 2012
The Burbank City Council on Thursday went beyond ranking their usual top five goals for the coming fiscal year to include a sixth priority: the Police Department. With lawsuits filed by current and former police officers alleging discrimination and harassment winding their way through the courts, City Council members opted to include keeping a close eye on the department in their annual list of priorities. The city has been spending thousands of dollars on outside consultants to advise police commissioners and city officials on how to carry out reforms within the department, which has been bogged down in a federal probe into misconduct allegations on top of the demands that come with responding to the lawsuits.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | April 13, 2012
Two months after a nonprofit consulting firm issued its recommendations for turning around the struggling DeBell Golf Club, an oversight committee this week implemented some of those recommendations, which involve cost-cutting measures and course improvements. At a meeting on Wednesday, the golf subcommittee recommended shifting 14% of the cost associated with paying city staffers to oversee the course to the Burbank's General Fund. That could save DeBell $53,828 next fiscal year.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | February 17, 2012
Police commissioners this week said they are close to settling on the model for monitoring the implementation of the department's 2011 Strategic Plan. The subcommittee formed to look into oversight of the strategic plan could have a full report at the next meeting, Commissioner Richard Warmack said at a meeting Wednesday. A recommendation could come after commissioners fully vet the proposal. The strategic plan is essentially a guide to the Police Department's operations and sets the tone for a culture that police and city leaders hope continues to change amid officer-involved lawsuits and an outside investigation into use-of-force issues.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | January 20, 2012
Police Commissioners this week agreed an outside consultant could help oversee the implementation of the police department's 2011 Strategic Plan - even agreeing who they believe that person should be. But they stopped short of making a formal recommendation to the City Council. Elise Stearns-Niesen, commission chair, said attorney Robert Corbin, who assisted the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the Rodney King beating and Rampart scandal, “seems to know where we were and where we are going.” Success would mean cultural changes had taken place in a department plagued by lawsuits and allegations of excessive force.
NEWS
By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com | November 20, 2011
As Burbank moves to increase oversight of its Police Department, which is under federal investigation for officer misconduct and excessive use of force, the issue of transparency has emerged as key part of its strategy. At a joint meeting this week with the Police Commission, Burbank City Council members endorsed bringing on two well-known outside consultants to monitor the internal affairs of the department, and to make their regular assessments and reports public. The Police Commission still must hammer out the contract details for the two consultants - Michael Gennaco, who heads the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, and Robert Corbin, an attorney who was staff counsel to the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department.
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