Understanding the Importance of Expedited Investigations

Scott Nicholas
Vice President

Expedited investigations began several years ago when we convinced the sheriff that LVMPD was wasting time and money investigating cases where an officer had taken accountability for policy violations, inappropriate use of force or even something of a criminal nature like a DUI arrest, to name a few examples.

Over the years, while representing officers in Internal Affairs investigations, officers would often come in and, under threat of termination, answer questions that many times had already been answered in a prior report.

Throughout my career, we were always told that progressive discipline was intended to change or correct behavior. We argued that there was no need to interrogate or correct behavior when an officer is willing to accept the appropriate discipline for the violation.

Pros and Cons 

There have been several cases over the years in which officers have accepted the expedited offer to avoid the stress of being interviewed, even when they didn’t necessarily feel like they were in violation of any policy. PPA representatives will never discourage you from accepting an expedited offer; however, we will show you the upside and the downside before you respond to the offer.

The PPA representatives never want officers to accept any type of discipline just because the officer has heard the horror stories about an investigative team at IAB that treats officers like they are suspects, and are disrespectful, demeaning and condescending to them during interviews.

It’s sad to think that someone has worked at Internal Affairs for so long that they forget what it’s like to perform the duties of a police officer. Clearly, these officers and their sergeant mastered perfection while serving the public! I doubt it, or maybe they are just hiding from the real job because of fear? It’s hard to describe, but they actually look like they are angry and full of anxiety when speaking or asking questions during an interview. And if you think I’m talking about you … I probably am.

The upside of the expedited investigation, besides not being interviewed or interrogated by a “Monday morning quarterback,” is that once the offer is signed and returned to Labor Relations, the purge time begins immediately. You don’t have to do anything except respond to the original email stating that you will accept the offer and give the PPA rep your permission to sign on your behalf.

The downside in taking an expedited offer is that there is no grievance process that would allow you to argue for mitigated discipline or even give your side of the story that could potentially show that you should not be sustained for any policy violation. If this is something you would like to do to potentially have your case thrown out, or be sustained for something far less, we would encourage all of you to go through the normal course of investigation and allow us to represent you throughout the entire process.

Although I have been very clear that we have a team of substandard cops investigating our officers at IAB, we also have a few teams of good cops at IAB who show true professionalism, courtesy and respect for people when conducting interviews, as you would expect them to be. Funny how some of the teams at IAB can conduct an interview that has a serious allegation and still show respect to our officers while asking tough questions.

In conclusion, if you receive an offer, it’s extremely important to speak to a PPA representative as soon as possible to help you understand your rights and make the best decision on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for your membership, and as always, be safe.