Executive Summary
Shaping the Future of Community Policing in LA


Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.

International Human Rights Law and Policy
email to:

Attn: Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners

Rick J. Caruso, President
Rose Ochi, Vice-President
Herbert F. Boeckmann, II
David Cunningham, III
Silvia Saucedo

Executive Summary

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:

A. Over the past 4 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.
B. Second, 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:

.Measuring 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;

.Gauging the effect of specific crime prevention/intervention units and their efforts on crime rates by category and geographic area;

.Calculating the impact of local community-police meetings on crime rates; and

.Analyzing data on comparative recruitment, training and deployment techniques.

Practices in the foregoing areas vary widely by city and region.

II. Recruitment

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:

Criminal Justice departments of leading universities;
Specialized 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 and techniques.

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 partnerships.

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

Geographic patrol assignments;
Support for officer problem-partnerships;
Community Policing training for citizens; and
Problem-solving 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 are:

1. Innovative 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
2. There 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:

Violent Crime Prevention Task Forces;
Youth Gang Intervention Teams, such as Harbor Area Juvenile Impact Program; CLEAR; VIDA; Palermo model; many others;
Crisis Intervention Teams;
Homeless and Mentally Ill Outreach Teams (HOT; SMART; PET; CIT; SIP; CHAPSA; Diogenes; City Angels; Domiziel); many others in U.S. and Europe;
Drug and Alcohol Counseling/Intervention Units;
Mentoring and Civic Education;
Neighborhood projects, parks and gardens, including New York Youth Rehab Farms; Social Cooperatives; "Abito Qui"; Dutch and French models;
Interagency Cooperation Task Forces;
University volunteers;
Social 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

A. The 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 participation.
B. 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:

Handling officer complaints: Ensuring a swift, objective and analytical treatment;
Intake Screening and Complaint triage;
Role of civilian, I.G. components;
Appointment of a joint Labor-Management task force;
Review of new and successful approaches nationwide;
Police accountability in European cities: Use of Force, Minority Communities and Languages, Minority Profiling;
Training 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 responsibility.

Any active labor-management partnership implies that specific rights and responsibilities be shared with the authorized employee bargaining representative. They include:

A. Consultation rights;
B. Information rights;
C. Participation rights in planning and development.

This is an area in which LAPD must work strenuously to overcome the isolation and regression of the past 4 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 be:

To maintain and expand Community Policing on a permanent basis;
To define its tasks and goals clearly and to adhere to the adopted plan;
To recruit and train officers thoroughly in currently successful Community Policing precepts and practice; and
To engage the civilian community uniformly and comprehensively throughout the city.

Arthur A. Jones, J.D., Dr.jur.
Robin Wiseman, J.D., Dr.h.c.

Los Angeles, California
Genoa, Italy
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.

For additional information or a complete list of references, contact:

Dr. Arthur Jones