Whenever a police officer receives a contact, they are always told contact reports are not discipline. A few weeks ago, the LVPPA became aware that supervisors are getting blank contact reports sent to them by Internal Affairs with wording at the bottom of the contact referencing that the policy violation the contact is being written for is a mitigated first offense in the discipline matrix.
This is being done without Internal Affairs doing a formal investigation. At first glance, this may not seem like a big deal, but as things often are, the devil is in the details. LVMPD is saying that an officer has violated policy without questioning them in an official investigation and that the contact is the first offense in the discipline matrix, which in turn, makes the contact a form of discipline. Therefore, it is important to write a rebuttal to contacts of this nature.
Some officers may not think rebuttals do much good, but they tell your side of the story, which is important if you are fighting future discipline for another complaint. Right now, we live in a society that is hypersensitive to police officer conduct, and politics can play into how aggressively LVMPD decides to investigate an incident of perceived misconduct. When or if you receive one of these contact reports, it is important that you send a copy to the LVPPA office so that we can help you defend this assault on your good name. If the LVPPA does not know about an incident in which you received a contact, we cannot help you rebut the contact or even ask your bureau commander why their sergeants felt the need to write a contact. LVMPD instituted this policy over a year ago without informing the LVPPA. We take issue with the new policy and LVMPD’s lack of transparency regarding the policy change, so look for future actions by the LVPPA regarding this issue. We always advise officers to cooperate with their supervisors and sign their contact report, and then let their PPA representatives deal with any issues on the back end. If you are ever unsure about a meeting your supervisor is requesting with you, you can call me or any other PPA representative 24/7/365, and we will assist you in any way we can. As always, if you ever need anything, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (702) 468-0766.