PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

9/21/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:092118A
Subject:
City of Long Beach Initiates Outside Review of Police Department Direct Messaging Application
Contact:
LBPD Media Relations
562.570.5273
LBPDMediaRelations@longbeach.gov





The City of Long Beach is announcing an independent outside review of the Long Beach Police Department’s use of a direct messaging application called Tiger Connect. The review was initiated by the City Manager in partnership with the City Attorney and will consist of an outside firm hired to independently review the use of the messaging application within the Long Beach Police Department. 

“I applaud the Chief’s decision to immediately discontinue use of the messaging application and strongly support the initiation of this independent review to understand how the system was used and to ensure that the City is complying with all applicable laws,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

“Initiation of an outside review is the best course of action to fully review the facts of this matter and provide an independent, neutral review of this complex issue,” said City Manager Patrick H. West.

The review will include, but not be limited to:

  • The origin and implementation of the messaging application within the Police Department and the Technology and Innovation Department.
  • City policies and procedures related to mobile messaging.
  • How the messaging app was utilized.
  • Policies and procedures for documentation of evidence.
  • The City’s record retention policies.
  • Best practices for other law enforcement entities related to messaging applications.
  • State law and any other relevant topics. 

The outside review will be done in conjunction with the City Attorney’s Office, and the results will be made available to the public to the extent allowable under California State law.

“We have discussed this with our City partners and agree with this review and will cooperate fully,” said Police Chief Robert Luna.

Additional Background Info

Use of the application began when the Police Department transitioned to iPhones, which did not have a built-in secure communication feature sufficient for the needs of the Department. The primary purpose of the Tiger Connect application was to allow for a continued means of transitory, immediate, and secure communications regarding operational and personnel matters. Police Department employees have been trained to and do document any exculpatory/discoverable evidence in a police report or other formal departmental communication. Of the 291 Police Department-issued mobile devices, the Tiger Connect texting application is installed on 145 mobile devices, including the mobile devices of Command Staff and specialized details such as Homicide and Internal Affairs. For reference, the Police Department has a total of 1,214 employees.

Additional actions taken by the City of Long Beach in this matter include:

  • The Police Department issued a Special Order addressed to all employees on Tuesday, September 18, 2018, to immediately cease use of the messaging application. No further use of the application has occurred since the issuance of the order.
  • The City has requested all available data from Tiger Connect to conduct the review.
  • The City Manager and City Attorney have directed an immediate review and collection of documents from both the Police Department, the Financial Management Department and the Technology and Innovation Department to assist with the review.
  • The City has determined that the first purchase order for this software originated on June 16, 2014, and consisted of a purchase order for $9,888 that has been renewed each year for the past four years. Under the City’s purchasing policies, purchases under $25,000 are approved at a department level.
  • The City has created a website as a repository for information available to the public and documents related to this matter at http://www.longbeach.gov/police/how-do-i/public-records-requests/tiger-connect-communication-application/.

Further information regarding this matter will be available after the review has been completed. 

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.