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Community Policing at its Finest

LAPD Commission gets my vote

Bill Murray - 3/10/02

When I spoke at last week's Police Commission meeting during the Public Comment period I thought I'd use my three minutes only to make them aware I'd created this LA Community Policing forum. And indeed, I did begin that way.

I talked about how I consider the implementation of a rigorous Community Policing policy at LAPD to be essential to the recovery of the Department, and how I believe a sincere partnership with the community will not only help reduce crime and improve Officer morale, but eventually will contribute to recruiting new personnel.

I spoke of how I support the Officers and think the Los Angeles Police Department needs the assistance of an engaged community now more than ever. I said I hoped that and its e-group will become valuable communication tools to improve the quality of life.

Finally, I informed the Commission that initial response to the website I'd just launched was enthusiastic ... overwhelmingly so.

And then I looked up from my notes at the podium, and seeing their faces, was moved to add an additional spontaneous remark.

You see, mine was to be the last comment before the five member Commission adjourned to Private Session.

Here's what I added:

"Before I leave I wish to say I echo some of the sentiments I have heard here today. And I know I speak for many who could not attend.

To me you represent the hallmark, indeed the benchmark, of what Community Policing is all about. You are non-paid volunteers, appointed to this role with a mandate to have independent oversight of LAPD. Over the last several weeks I've attended the meetings of this Board regularly, and I have come to admire it.

I want you to know the community is aware of the challenge that lies ahead for you now, and I want you to know we are with you as you begin what may well be the toughest job you'll ever have ... evaluating the Chief. The decision you make will have ramifications for the City for years to come.

You've come up with criteria for this, and made it public. I have looked at the document and believe this criteria to be at once firm but fair. Over and over I have heard you say you will make your choice based solely on the merits, and I have heard the Chief say that's all he asks.

I have heard you say you go into this open-minded, without predetermination, ready to do your duty for the residents of Los Angeles and the Officers of LAPD.

I believe I have come to know your hearts, and your hearts are in the right place.

As you adjourn to Private Session to begin this task I want you to know the community at large supports you. It has upset many of us to see how some of you have been attacked lately, especially your President, Rick Caruso. We are very sorry this happened to you, Sir, you did not deserve to be treated this way.

And so know we are behind you. Make your evaluation based on the merits. And should your choice be for the Chief to serve another five years so be it. But if not we assume you will use the same sort of criteria to measure any other candidates you should choose to consider.

When I look at this Board I see the faces of the community of Los Angeles. You include an Asian, a Hispanic, a Black, a German and an Italian. You have two women and three men. Some of you are attorneys, some members of the business community. It's hard for me to imagine a more balanced and representative Commission.

When I look at you I see Los Angeles itself ... you are us.

You are an example of Community Policing at it's finest.

As you adjourn, we wish you well, and thank you in advance for the service you are about to render."


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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