LAPD Chief's Monthly Message
October 2013


LAPD Chief
Charlie Beck
  LAPD Chief's Message
October 2013

by Chief of Police Charlie Beck

Last month four newly appointed Police Commissioners began their service on our civilian oversight board.  Steve Soboroff, Paula Madison, Kathleen Kim, and Sandra Figueroa-Villa were all chosen by Mayor Garcetti to succeed former Commissioners Andrea Ordin, John Mack, Richard Drooyan and Rafael Bernardino, Jr.

Commissioners Soboroff, Madison, Kim and Figueroa-Villa come from varied backgrounds where they have experienced tremendous success and gained knowledge that will serve them well in their capacity as Los Angeles Police Commissioners.  I look forward to working closely with them as we share common goals and objectives to better our Department and continue the valuable partnerships with those who live, visit and work in our City.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank former Commissioners Ordin, Mack, Drooyan and Bernardino for their time and distinguished service to our City.  With their help and influence they have presided over the hiring of ten thousand police officers, our release from the Federal Consent Decree, 11 years of City-wide crime reduction and improved credibility and community relations.  They leave a legacy of service our City can be proud of.   

History of Topanga Area

Topanga Area Community Police Station was opened January 4, 2009, and was funded by Proposition Q, a municipal bond that was passed in March 2002.  The station cost $34 million to build, and is approximately 54,000 square feet and sits on 6.5 acres.  It is a state of the art green building and houses patrol, detectives, vice, narcotics and other specialized units with approximately 290 sworn and civilian employees.

Topanga Area is the 21st and most recently built police station in the City.  The station was named “Topanga” after a contest held by the community.  Topanga is a Shoshone Indian name believed to mean, “A Place Above.”  This is Topanga's motto and it is displayed in the station's lobby.

Civilian Appreciation

October marks the beginning of Civilian Appreciation Month within LAPD.  While fewer in numbers as compared to sworn, the impact our civilian employees have in our capacity to function as a highly effective law enforcement agency is significant.  Day-to-day functions such as dispatching, fingerprint analysis, record keeping and information technology are vital to our success and are entirely accomplished by our civilian personnel.

With the economic outlook of the City beginning to take a brighter turn, our civilians are no longer subjected to furloughs which were burdensome to all during the recent recession.  The City has also begun testing for long-overdue promotions for our civilians.  It is my hope we will be able to fill some of the many civilian vacancies.

I want to sincerely thank our civilian employees for all they do each and every day.  I believe we have some of the best and most talented civilian employees of any law enforcement agency around and I am proud to work alongside them. 

I urge you to take some time and thank our civilian personnel, the true professionals, we work with for the great work they do on a daily basis.  We count on our civilian partners every single day we come to work… please let them know how valuable they are to the Department.  Our actions speak volumes when we treat our civilian employees as family members of this organization and praise them openly for their dedication to their chosen profession in law enforcement.  They certainly deserve to hear a word of thanks and recognition all year long.  They are, indeed, the unsung heroes of LAPD.  

Watts Bears

The Los Angeles Police Department's Community Safety Partnership has partnered with the Housing Authority to field a team of young boys from the Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Jordan Downs Public Housing Developments.  The Watts Bears football team was created in an effort to provide a safe and positive outlet for well-deserved kids who may not have an opportunity to play football. 

Coaching the team are LAPD Officers Zarren Thompson, Cesar Rivera, Sergio Sanchez and Grant Goosby.  Among the coaches and young impressionable players, is an unsung hero, PSR II “JJ” Lee.  As we see in many of our work place environments, it is the civilian employees who provide the essential backbone of our Department to reach our goals.

Affectionately known as “JJ”, she is the woman behind the scenes not only helping the coaches, the players and their parents during the football season but all year long.  She is currently assigned as the Administrator to the Community Safety Partnership Program and her passion for education and helping families is simply remarkable.  I commend “JJ” for her dedication to the Program and her many years of outstanding service at Southeast Division.  

Once again, thank you for all your hard work.  Take care of each other out there and keep up the good work.

Be safe,