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
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 LACP.org 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:
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.
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
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
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."