Accusations of sexual assault and inappropriate frisking plague the San Diego's Police Department. The latest scandal has prompted the city's top cop to call for an independent audit to help root out corruption. NBC 7's Omari Fleming reports.
San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne wants an outside auditor to review how his department handles misconduct, the police department confirmed to NBC 7.
The audit would look at recruiting, the background search process, ethics training and the internal affairs investigative system.
It could take six months to a year and a half, as well as final city council approval, for the plan to go forward, according to a report in the UT San Diego. It could also cost the city anywhere from $80,000 to $200,000.
On Sunday, Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer weighed in on Lansdowne’s proposal with this statement:
The type of behavior that is being reported is unacceptable and not reflective of the vast majority of men and women in the San Diego Police Department. I will be meeting with the Police Chief in the coming days to discuss an independent audit as part of my broader goal of rebuilding the police department and ensuring we are recruiting and retaining the best officers to serve San Diegans.
Since 2011, the issue of officer misconduct has plagued Lansdowne’s department as details about Anthony Arevalos’ case came to light.
A jury convicted Arevalos on multiple felony counts of sexual battery, assault and asking for bribes after he preyed on young, female drivers in the Gaslamp Quarter during DUI stops. He's now serving an eight-year prison sentence.
More recently, another case has been drawing comparisons to Arvelaos’: The case against current Officer Christopher Hays.
In December 2013, an SDPD internal affairs investigation was launched into Hays when a woman told police he had inappropriately patted her down.
Since then, a series of seven women have come forward one by one to accuse him of improper frisking or forcing oral sex.
After he was arrested Feb. 9, Hays was scheduled for arraignment on Feb. 18.
Attorney Joseph Dicks, who represents "Jane Doe" in the Arevalos case, said he thinks the audit is a waste of time and money.
"We don't need another study to tell us something is wrong," Dicks said.