Posted on June 26, 2023

LAPD’s Hiring Process Under Fire, Department Accused of Lowering Standards

Gina Silva, KTTV, June 22, 2023

Los Angeles Police Department officers, Los Angeles City personnel and people directly involved in the LAPD recruiting and hiring process are going public for the first time with their concerns.

“I have nothing to gain from this, but it’s the right thing to do,” says James Williams, who supervised LAPD Police Background Investigations for 20 years.

Williams retired a year ago. He says after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020, followed by massive protests across the country and anti-police sentiment, the LAPD began changing its recruiting process.

“We were given direction to focus more on diversity candidates, which we always have; regardless of the candidate, the good ones always float to the top,” Williams said.

But if top-tier candidates were not from a specific minority group, Williams alleges, “They didn’t want them, so they sat on the shelf.”

Other LAPD sources who asked FOX 11 to protect their identities for fear of retaliation corroborated Williams’ allegations.


“A lot of the people that are being hired right now should not be police officers,” another said.

“The LAPD started manipulating the standards and the guidelines, which was a major issue with me,” Williams tells FOX 11.


When asked how the standards have changed, one LAPD insider says, “The physical fitness qualifier; you’re supposed to have at least a 50% to get into the academy. We’re now hiring people with 40%, 30%, and – in some cases – lower than 10% physical scores.”


Our sources say the written exam is much easier because it’s now a multiple-choice test.


In the past, a background investigation revealing a candidate’s bad credit or financial problems could have resulted in rejection. Not anymore. Williams, who used to be a cop for a different agency before becoming a background investigator & supervisor, says it’s dangerous to hire people with money problems.

“People that are in deep financial problems often are tempted by money. The temptations out there on patrol are vast. You may pull over a drug dealer with hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you hire somebody with no integrity, what do you think they’re going to do, they’re going to steal,” says Williams.


While both sides have shared opposite views on the department’s hiring practices, one source says, “It’s going to be devastating if you lower the standards any more than they are right now, and who’s going to suffer from that? I think primarily the community.”