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Real Community Policing; not a nicety, a must

There's a Costly Lack of Vision at LAPD

Bill Murray - 2/21/02

While the crime rates rise, officer moral gets worse, and the community becomes more and more disenfranchised with the Department, the top leadership at LAPD refuses to implement, indeed, to even consider, a real full-fledged Community Policing policy. Yet it knows such programs exist, and are a great success, across this country and around the world.

The lack of vision is, to say the least, appalling.

The attitude seems to come from a fear that Community Policing reduces the power and authority of the Department. Old militaristic ideas are cherished and protected, to the detriment of the City. There is no more than a wink and a nod at the possibility that anyone outside Parker Center might have a good idea. And any proposed policy change is seen as treasonous even to suggest.

Repeated offers have come from other cities, government departments, and established experts suggesting time-tested Community Policing alternatives. Their offers to assist the LAPD in their implementation seem to fall on deaf ears.

Yet there are many who are still ready to share.

Why? Because it is well known by those who experience them that partnerships between the police and the community have many favorable and demonstrable results.

Among them:

Lower crime rates occur because of the emphasis on sharing of information, and proactive crime control and prevention

Trust is established as the community begins to perceive the Department and police officer as non-adversarial

Minority communities begin to feel empowered, and a part of the greater whole, as they find they have a real voice and a vital role to play

Moral within the Department increases because police officers respond well to community involvement and problem solving

Better recruitment occurs as the reputation of LAPD improves and the Department becomes more attractive as a career path

Training which includes Community Policing at the Academy produces officers who are eager to interact with the public they serve

Officer retention becomes less of a preoccupation, since more Officers are happy with their jobs

There are tremendous financial benefits to the city, as the partnership with community members reduces the need for additional officers, and the cost of crisis management comes down

The quality of life in the City of Los Angeles improves as residents become participants in protecting and serving each other

Those who have freely shared with the Department on a regular basis include a who's who in law enforcement. Despite the fact that their offers have thus far fallen on deaf ears, the US Department of Justice, the German Police Institute, the Italian Federal Police Labor Unions, the Swiss Federal Police, the Departments in London, Buffalo, Chicago, San Diego and our own LA County Sheriffs Department, all of who have successful programs, are eager to share just for the asking.

The concern for a lack of vision in all this is real, founded. The current LAPD leadership has no intention of letting go of old ideas. It is committed to them.

In today's world, where the City of Los Angeles must live with the threat of both international and local terrorists, real Community Policing is not a nicety it's essential.

It seems it's up to us community members to lead the way ...


Note: This list will not be shared with any other group, nor will it be used for purposes other than promoting Los Angeles Community Policing.

Yours in service,

Bill Murray
Bobbie Logan

Thank you for supporting your LAPD Officers.


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