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To Rate Your Cop or Not?

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Photo by discarted via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Today, the Daily News looks into one of the internet's latest fascinations -- RateMyCop.com, a site, which happens to be based locally in Culver City, that gives people the opportunity to review an officer they've had an interaction with. Of course, concerns over officer safety and privacy are at the top of the opponents' lists to the site. "Law enforcement should never be trivialized, and this appears to do just that," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told the paper. "The concern is for the safety of law enforcement personnel. If that can be compromised in any way, this shouldn't be done."

Another opponent is looking to get legislation to block the site. "The California Police Chiefs Association is totally opposed to the Web site RateMyCop.com," Jerry Dyer, president of the association, said in a statement. "The CPCA's first and biggest concern is the safety of our officers: publishing the names of officers and their agency could allow anyone to access personal information, via the Internet, about that officer and/or their family, without their knowledge, placing the officer or their family in grave danger. Secondly, officers who are rated face unfair maligning without any opportunity to defend themselves."

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On the positive end of things, reporter Rachel Uranga points to LAist's video of Sgt. Wayne Guillary that turned him into an internet sensation (when she says "somebody" below, that would be LAist, wink, wink):

But others praise officers like Sgt. Wayne Guillary of the LAPD's Northwest Division: "Proud to be a citizen of Los Angeles with a police force like officer Guillary." Guillary had been tasked with crowd control at a Scientology protest when somebody caught him on video giving instructions and posted it on YouTube.com.

The 20-second video - in which he tells protesters it's their right to be out there and encourages them to stay on the sidewalk - prompted more than 25,000 hits to his name on RateMyCop.com.

"I was a little surprised because that is just me every day," Guillary said. "But people are always going to be able to look at you and access you. We live in a technological society."

His motto is to always be professional. That way there is nothing to worry about.

"People see you doing a good thing, it's positive," he said, noting he has no objection to RateMyCop.com. "And it brings a positive note to the agency."

Still, despite the good press it can bring to a department, it will be fought and the aforementioned legislation will end up debated somewhere with an outcome unknown for now. But in the words of Mashable, "RateMyCop will end up showing the truth of the situation, and a cultural misconception will be corrected, or the greater ills in the system will be shown for what they are so that we may better work to remedy them."