- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A state court ruled the Los Angeles Police Department can’t charge recruits thousands of dollars for training if they quit before working five years.

A five-year contract was introduced in the mid-1990s. Before that, officers could leave the day after graduation to work for another department that did not pay for training.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (https://lat.ms/1Ndskcf) that three judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal overturned a Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling.

The decision was in favor of Anthony Alvo, who joined the department in 1998 when he was 21, right out of the Marine Corps. He said he didn’t want to work in a toxic atmosphere. He quit and joined the Chino Police Department. But LAPD sued, saying he owed $34,000.

The state requires recruits to undergo standardized Peace Officer Standards and Training certification. But a department can require more. LAPD has 644 hours of peace officer training and 420 hours of department-required training.

The five-year contract was “like indentured servitude,” said attorney Jon Webster, who represented Alvo and 28 other former LAPD officers.

Alvo, who medically retired from Chino and is now a dispatcher for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, said he felt like he had been on a 14-year roller coaster ride and he was elated with the ruling.

“It’s unbelievable how the city of L.A. would go after one of their own for trying to better themselves,” he said. “The city went after me like I was a suspect.”

There was no reaction from the LAPD.


Information from: Los Angeles Times, https://www.latimes.com/

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