Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
International Human Rights Law and Policy
email to: Arthur@lacp.org
Attn: Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners
Rick J. Caruso, President
Rose Ochi, Vice-President
Herbert F. Boeckmann, II
David Cunningham, III
Shaping the Future of Community Policing in Los Angeles:
Comparative Experience and Applications in Other
US Cities and in Key European Police Forces
This outline describes our current work in progress, and will accompany
a brief presentation at the May 28 meeting of the Board. It is a
comparative analysis of Community Policing programs in effect throughout
the United States and the European Union. Emphasis is on innovative
problem-oriented units as they address a spectrum of issues both
within the police departments and in the communities they serve.
The purpose of the study is to inform the Los Angeles Board of Police
Commissioners, the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles
Police Protective League, and all interested residents of Los Angeles
on the subject of current and projected trends in Community Policing
nationwide. We will also make a number of suggestions for practical
application in the various areas listed below, based on successful
programs in other jurisdictions.
I. Defining the Concepts
First, we submit that it will be necessary to agree on definitions
of terms and concepts in Community Policing for use in documents,
training curriculum, and standard usage. Two main reasons:
Over the past 4¾ years, top LAPD management redefined some essential
policing terminology arbitrarily, to fit subjective uses and
purposes. One result of that semantic shift was that Community
Policing was denigrated and reduced in recognition. The crime
prevention aspects of Community Policing were largely neglected.
Community partnerships turned into passive public relations
events. The phrase "problem solving" in reference to Community
Policing gained currency through frequent repetition by top
management, and served as a substitute for critical thought
and method development.
Before Los Angeles can rejoin the international dialogue on
innovations in Community Policing and relative success rate
measurement, we must re-establish standard definitions and usage.
We also need to introduce a large number of useful reference
works and research studies that were developed during the Parks
era but were largely unheeded by LAPD top management.
it will be necessary to adopt uniform definitions and concepts
in order to provide for objective measurement of effectiveness.
Community Policing should feature prominently throughout recruitment,
training, and deployment. Many projects, partnerships, and specialized
units will require feedback and outcome data. We will need to
measure what works and how well it works.
Medium- and long term examples include:
the impact on officer morale and performance of several recent
improvements affecting deployment, including the reinstatement
of Senior Lead Officers and the introduction of Flexible Work
Schedules. The goal is to build a statistically meaningful database
that will help inform future organizational changes. Criteria
should include effects on recruitment, retention, recognition
of achievement, individual officer initiative, job satisfaction,
rising or falling rates of sickness/injury, and many other factors;
the effect of specific crime prevention/intervention units and
their efforts on crime rates by category and geographic area;
the impact of local community-police meetings on crime rates;
data on comparative recruitment, training and deployment techniques.
Practices in the foregoing areas vary widely by city and region.
We propose a comprehensive review of comparative approaches nationwide.
It should chart the patterns of successful recruitment campaigns
and their features. Adjusting for factors such as remuneration and
benefit packages, there is a need to isolate and identify the qualities
and candidate perceptions that distinguish successful recruitment
campaigns from the unsuccessful.
Also, we will submit a comparative consideration of employee-management
cooperation structures and their impact on recruitment success.
III. Officer Training: The Community Policing Component
The comparative study divides here into two main perspectives:
Horizontal, or the introduction of Community-oriented applications
throughout the entire Police Academy curriculum, to ensure officer
familiarity with principles of Community Policing in all aspects
of on-the-street practice; and
Vertical, or in-depth courses on specific Community Policing
techniques as a specialized academic subject matter in course curriculum.
The cumulative data from other departments' experience in training
content will provide points of comparison and evaluation. Also,
input will be reviewed from:
Justice departments of leading universities;
institutes such as the Pat Brown College, the Regional Community
Policing Institutes, and many others; and
Federally sponsored programs funded or developed under National
Institute of Justice (NIJ); Community Oriented Policing Service
(COPS) Office, U.S. Department of Justice; Police Executive
Research Forum (PERF), and others, including European counterparts
at local, regional, national and supranational levels.
The present curriculum or series of workshops on Community Policing
topics for in-service officers should also be expanded and feature
the study of successful programs nationwide.
The most effective High-Impact Community Policing projects internationally
are strengthened by specific, concentrated academy training in practices
IV. Deployment: A Mayor's Commission on Community Policing Development
This section will compare data and success rates of various programs
across the country, and several leading police departments in Europe.
Based on the leading components that most or all of those thriving
Community Policing programs share, we intend to propose the formation
of a Mayor's Commission on Community Policing to prepare
a formal written strategy for creating and nurturing citywide neighborhood
According to US Department of Justice LEMAS (Law Enforcement
Management and Administrative Statistics) Report of 2001, local
police departments with a detailed written manual or plan for Community
Policing are 50 percent more likely to have successful implemented
strategies such as
for officer problem-partnerships;
Policing training for citizens; and
partnerships on a permanent basis.
Over the past four years, we have been compiling continuous studies
of the most effective methods now in use by over twenty of the largest
police departments in the country. We compare those successful programs
with the specialized anti-gang and other Community Policing programs
operating throughout the European Union, and assess their impact
on violent crime rates in ten countries.
Our results and conclusions are similar in many essential respects
to those of the most comprehensive recent studies now available
(see, e.g., the University of Nebraska study, Jan. 2002, by Jihon
Zhao, Ph.D., and Quint Thurman, Ph.D.; also see The Heritage Foundation,
Washington, DC, June 2001 study, "Do Community Oriented Policing
Services Grants Affect Violent Crime Rates?"). Those chief findings
and specialized Community Policing programs (including but not
limited to High Intensity Community Policing, Anti-gang teams,
and Interagency Teams) are the single most effective means of
reducing violent crime; and
is no evidence that increased patrol deployment alone decreases
violent or property crime.
In our own studies as in the other surveys we reviewed, all authorities
concluded that narrowly focused teams, targeted toward reducing
specific activities, are the most effective means of combating violence
and homicide in the community. These include intensive or high-impact
targeting of gang areas and hot spots; combing for illegal firearms
possession by criminals; intervening where domestic abuse/violence
patterns are known; and proactively targeting repeat offenders.
In addition to reviewing current innovations and trends in neighborhood
policing (e.g., Senior Lead Officers, Beat Officers, Community Policing
Officers, or their equivalent designation in programs of other cities),
the paper will analyze specialized approaches such as Interagency
Outreach Units (IOUs), including but not limited to:
Crime Prevention Task Forces;
Gang Intervention Teams, such as Harbor Area Juvenile Impact
Program; CLEAR; VIDA; Palermo model; many others;
and Mentally Ill Outreach Teams (HOT; SMART; PET; CIT; SIP;
CHAPSA; Diogenes; City Angels; Domiziel); many others in
U.S. and Europe;
and Alcohol Counseling/Intervention Units;
and Civic Education;
projects, parks and gardens, including New York Youth Rehab
Farms; Social Cooperatives; "Abito Qui"; Dutch and French models;
Cooperation Task Forces;
Science, medicine and mental health faculty consulting volunteers.
The Mayor's Commission would play a crucial role in uniting
the City in a dynamic plan for Community Policing innovations based
on the best and most effective models extant.
V. Community Policing and Neighborhood Participation
study will feature a detailed review and comparison of C-PAB
programs in Los Angeles and other cities. It will make proposals
for opening up the program to broader grass-roots input and
The study will also propose a new campaign for Neighborhood
Meetings (cf. Beat Meetings in other cities), and will feature
comparative city approaches; advance publicity and notification
of meetings; gaining attendance and active support; assigning
duties and responsibilities in the community; and proven methods
for tracking the effectiveness of meetings and policies over
extended time periods (cf. Chicago, San Diego, Buffalo, Memphis,
Sweden, Switzerland, and others).
VI. Renewing Core Values and Strengthening Civilian Oversight
Officer Misconduct Complaints Here, the study will review and analyze
the experience of many other cities and the comparative success
of their best programs for processing misconduct complaints, including:
officer complaints: Ensuring a swift, objective and analytical
Screening and Complaint triage;
of civilian, I.G. components;
of a joint Labor-Management task force;
of new and successful approaches nationwide;
accountability in European cities: Use of Force, Minority Communities
and Languages, Minority Profiling;
and Academy curriculum components.
VII. Employee-Management Relations
This section of the study will comprise a review of recent trends
and innovations in modern labor and industrial relations nationwide
to discern and identify practices with proven track records. Here,
we will incorporate the research and specific suggestions of the
departments of criminal justice and of industrial relations of a
number of major universities across the country.
We will also consider application of the Community Policing philosophy
to internal employee relations: openness and partnership, shared
Any active labor-management partnership implies that specific rights
and responsibilities be shared with the authorized employee bargaining
representative. They include:
rights in planning and development.
This is an area in which LAPD must work strenuously to overcome
the isolation and regression of the past 4¾ years. The starting
place could be a commitment by top management and by the authorized
bargaining representative, to exchange positive proposals and all
relevant data in a free, open and timely fashion.
A change of environment - from hostility and confrontation to cooperation
- must take place even during the selection process for a new chief.
A Mayor's Commission on Community Policing Development should be
appointed without undue delay.
The aim of the foregoing analytical and comparative process will
maintain and expand Community Policing on a permanent basis;
define its tasks and goals clearly and to adhere to the adopted
recruit and train officers thoroughly in currently successful
Community Policing precepts and practice; and
engage the civilian community uniformly and comprehensively
throughout the city.
A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.
Los Angeles, California
May 21, 2002
--- Arthur A. Jones and Robin Wiseman are international human
rights lawyers with legal educations in the United States and Europe.
They are consultants and authors on international policing, social
policy and human rights.
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