Want to hold the LAPD accountable?
Apply to be a Civilian Hearing Examiner on the Board of Rights
What is the Board of Rights?
The Board of Rights is the disciplinary appeal board that has the ultimate say in whether LAPD officers accused of serious wrongdoing remain on the force or receive significant penalties.
When an internal process determines that an officer is guilty of violating department policy and the LAPD Chief decides to impose a significant penalty such as suspension, demotion, or removal, the officer can challenge that decision to the Board of Rights.
The Board of Rights is the final check on LAPD officer misconduct.
Starting June 2019, officers before the Board have the option of selecting a hearing panel composed of three civilians or two high-ranking LAPD officers and one civilian.
It is crucial that Board of Rights panelists be fair and representative of the people of Los Angeles. An employee's right to appeal discipline is an important protection against unfair management action. But the Department's ability to discipline police officers who commit serious misconduct — such as shooting people in violation of policy, using other excessive force, making false statements, or violating other constitutional rights — is critical to preventing and deterring police abuse.
The Board of Rights has tremendous power in determining whether LAPD officers ultimately are held accountable for wrongdoing. The three member panels independently determine whether an LAPD officer should receive the Chief's recommended punishment, or any punishment at all — they are not bound to the Department's factual findings or disciplinary recommendations. Right now, in those relatively rare cases that the Chief tries to fire an officer, the Board of Rights overturns the termination and keeps the officer employed by LAPD over 50% of the time.
What will I do as a civilian hearing examiner?
Hearing examiners make findings of fact based on sworn testimony and evidentiary submissions and may recommend to the LAPD Chief that the accused officer be suspended, demoted, or removed. They also preside as the sole member of an Administrative Appeal process and makes findings of fact and recommendations to the Chief of Police.
Will I be compensated?
Hearing examiners receive $900 for a full day hearing, $450 for a half-day hearing, and $900 per final report for an Administrative Appeal hearing.
What are the minimum requirements?
To serve as a civilian hearing examiner, an individual:
- Shall not have a criminal record or a sustained allegation of misconduct related to the applicant’s employment or profession that would impact his or her ability to act impartially;
- Should have a record of responsible community service; and
- Should have at least two years experience in human resources, personnel relations, labor relations, or personnel matters related to recommending, administrating, adjudicating or reviewing the administration of discipline.
There is a preference for residents of the City of Los Angeles.
This position is exempt from the civil service provisions of the City Charter.
How to apply
Maria Silva, Board Secretary
Office of the Board of Police Commissioners
100 West First Street, Room 134
Los Angeles, California 90012
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
What happens next?
A sub-committee of two Police Commissioners will review the applications and select the applicants they will interview. From the applicants interviewed, the sub-committee will recommend to the Board of Police Commissioners individuals who will be appointed as civilian hearing examiners.
The City will provide new examiners an eight-hour training course to learn about rules of evidence and other procedures from city attorneys and internal affairs investigators.
You can direct questions to about the City's process to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Office of the Police Commission at 213-236-1400.
If you have questions for ACLU SoCal about the importance of the Board of Rights, you can email us using this contact form.
- LAPD's Hearing Examiner Bulletin
- LAPD media release announcing open applications for civilian hearing examiners
- ACLU SoCal report on the Board of Rights: Towards Accountability: Overcoming LAPD's Flawed Disciplinary Process
- Los Angeles Times article: All-civilian panels could review LAPD misconduct cases starting June 13