Yesterday I published an e-mail exchange between the wife of an LAPD SWAT officer and LAPD Assistant Chief Sharon Papa. The wife had written Assistant Chief Papa about her concern that “there are actions being taken to lower the hiring standard for getting into SWAT.” Assistant Chief Papa replied: “I am not aware of any actions being taken to lower the standards for getting into SWAT.” As I detailed in my post, the standards have been lowered, and it would seem that Assistant Chief Papa must have been aware of that fact.
I sent Assistant Chief Papa a link to my post, and asked her if she could reconcile her e-mail with the recent reporting about the lowered standards.
She has responded. Here is her reply in full:
I appreciate your inquiry. You may or may not be aware that SWAT does not report through my chain of command. Therefore, I referred the message received to Operations since they make decisions daily that impact Metropolitan Division. I have no idea what the author of the note is specifically referring to and do not care to speculate. Plenty of that seems to be happening by people who have bits and pieces of information and have jumped to conclusions before having all of the facts.
I invite you and your readers to attend the Police Commission meeting when a comprehensive presentation will be made. The Board of Inquiry process will be explained along with an overview of the recommendations made to the Chief of Police. The status of each recommendation will be discussed by the Commanding Officers of Metropolitan Division. I believe the presentation will clarify many questions that you and others may have.
I recommend that you monitor upcoming Commission agendas for this item. We anticipate moving forward in the next few weeks. I do not yet have a specific date.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your inquiry.
Make of that what you will.
UPDATE: You know, I’ll probably send a follow-up e-mail seeking clarification, because I can’t even tell what this means.