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Decision Delayed on Uniforms for Film Officers

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, August 04, 2009, at 09:00PM
film cop_3.jpg Ed Fuentes

An officer in LAPD uniform works the shoot for ABC pilot "Limelight" outside 650 S. Spring in March.

City Council delayed action on a proposal to shift control over film officers today after LAPD Chief William Bratton agreed to put off a September 20 deadline for the officers to be out of his department's standard uniform.

Filming interests claim that a uniform change proposed by Bratton would drive filming from Los Angeles.

Bratton, either uncomfortable with retired officers wearing the LAPD uniform or hoping to put active duty officers in their place -- depending on who you talk to -- had stated that as of the deadline the retired officers would have to wear a uniform consisting of black pants, a white shirt and a baseball cap.

A motion signed by six councilmembers had asked that the retired officers be transferred to the General Services Department's Office of Public Safety.

Under the terms of the motion, the officers would wear the uniform of the GSD officers. That would likely require only a change in the patches on the officers' shirt sleeves -- instead of "Los Angeles Police," the patch would likely read "General Services Police." They would wear a patch on the front of the shirt that reads "Los Angeles Film Detail," but would remain able to wear their retired LAPD badges.

Councilman Greig Smith praised the Chief's decision, saying that he was sure that further negotiations would help them "find a resolution which benefits the City of Los Angeles, certainly, the movie industry, those retired officers, who I have great respect for, and the Los Angeles Police Department, which I also have great respect for."

Not mentioned were the residents who interact with film shoots. Judging by the comments found here on blogdowntown, many Downtown residents can tell stories of incidents in which they feel the officers working the shoots mistreated them or unfairly took the side of the production company.

Those stories must not have made it to the councilmembers who drafted the uniform motion, which says that "there have been no recorded instances of abuse or improper activity." Meetings in which filming is discussed are typically filled with representatives from the filming community.

The conversation now moves to the council's Public Safety committee. A date to hear the motion has not been set.

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