The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is an independent entity established through a voter-approved amendment to the City Charter in 1995. The original duty of the OIG was to inspect, on behalf of the Police Commission, the LAPD’s handling of complaints of employee misconduct, and to perform other duties as assigned by the Commission.
The 1998 Rampart incident, involving misconduct by numerous gang unit officers, triggered an effort for LAPD reform and significant strengthening of the OIG. Beginning in 2000, the OIG’s new powers included the authority to initiate any audit or investigation of the LAPD without prior approval of the Police Commission, guaranteed access to all Department information and documents, and the power to subpoena a witness at will.
In 2001, the City entered into a Consent Decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. The Decree required the Department to reform its practices in nine major areas. The Federal Court appointed a monitor to work with the OIG in conducting oversight and evaluation of the Department’s efforts to satisfy the Decree. Relying on OIG oversight, the court lifted the Decree in 2009 by substituting a Transition Agreement to govern the last phases of reform. In 2013, the court allowed withdrawal from the Transition Agreement because all objectives had been met, and the OIG then assumed full oversight of the Department.