Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
9/10/2003 10:51:04 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Snoop Dogg.
The interim police chief of the Inglewood public school system, who had been trying to curb officers' moonlighting as bodyguards for a rap star, resigned Wednesday after two months in the position.
Wesley Mitchell said he could no longer do his job effectively because of interference by two Board of Education members.
"I did not come here to be personally attacked by board members," Mitchell said Wednesday, naming board members Eveline Ross and Cresia Green-Davis as his persistent critics. "These two individuals were unhappy with a number of decisions I made."
Reached by phone Wednesday, Green-Davis and Ross said they did not meddle in Mitchell's decisions.
The department, which has two dozen full-time and reserve officers, had been embarrassed over the last year by some officers' off-duty work for rapper Snoop Dogg. In April, Inglewood school police were guarding the rapper when unidentified gunmen fired on his motorcade, wounding one officer.
Mitchell, the retired police chief for the Los Angeles Unified School District, took the Inglewood job in the summer and vowed to prohibit officers from moonlighting for Snoop Dogg, who is a convicted felon. Mitchell's term in Inglewood was expected to last until December as the district searched for a permanent police chief.
Last month, based on Mitchell's recommendations, the board fired eight reserve officers, including four who were guarding Snoop Dogg during the April shooting. In June, two Inglewood school officers were in Snoop Dogg's entourage when Los Angeles and federal police confiscated a cache of weapons from its vehicles.
The reserve officers technically were fired because they had not undergone adequate background checks as required by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, according to Mitchell.
But despite those changes, the department still needs major improvements, he said.
"I don't think the effort to make this an effective police department is, at this point, dead. I think it is a job that someone else is going to have to do," Mitchell said.
Mitchell said that Green-Davis and Ross have so criticized his investigations into some officers' backgrounds that it was difficult for him to proceed.
Ross was one of four members on the five-member board to vote to fire the reserve officers. But she said Wednesday that she regretted her vote because she now thinks Mitchell gave the board misinformation about some of the officers.
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