San Diego’s police department can’t police itself, say attorneys representing a victim of officer sexual misconduct. They argue the department needs an independent monitor to oversee its internal complaints and address sexual misbehavior, harassment and gender profiling allegations.
“The San Diego Police Department is incapable of taking care of its own problems at this point,” said Joseph Dicks, one of the lawyers for a woman known in court documents as Jane Doe.
Doe is a victim of former SDPD officer Anthony Arevalos, who is serving an eight-year sentence for soliciting sexual bribes from five women while on duty. Doe’s asking a federal court judge to order the independent monitor as part of her civil suit. The judge would determine the monitor’s specific terms and how long the arrangement would last.
Over the last 20 years, outside monitoring has become a go-to remedy to clean up troubled police departments. Typically, they’re installed when a department has problems with brutality or racial profiling. But they can oversee a department for any reason. The U.S. Department of Justice recently installed a monitor to supervise the police department and university police in Missoula, Mont., after allegations they failed to adequately investigate sexual assault complaints.