C-PAB Summit comments
The 8th annual Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) Summit
was held on Saturday, March 23, 2000, at the Getty Museum.
The agenda included several highlights.
McCarthy, the award-winning columnist from the Daily
News, gave an excellent Keynote address, during which he encouraged
the publishing of "good news" stories (like the worthwhile
contribution of community members) in the media.
standout was an update offered by Assistant Manager Claudia
Dunn from DONE
(the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment), who suggested a synergy
between each of the now forming Neighborhood Councils and the local
Each of the four LAPD Bureaus made Summit
Besides all the LAPD there, several other City dignitaries attended,
including Danielle Holwerda, the Mayor's Policy Analyst for the
Police Department, Mark Chapa and Alexander Kim, from the Mayor's
Office of the Neighborhood Advocate, and Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski,
who chairs the Public Safety Committee.
In general, the day ran smoothly, but several references were made
to the fact that no press was there to promote such a worthwhile
community based policing event.
Too bad, too. The contribution the C-PABs make all year long improving
the quality of life in Los Angeles is nothing less than extraordinary
… and this was a truly newsworthy opportunity to promote them.
Some constructive criticism
The choice of using the Getty museum for the Summit (it's a
beautiful place) eliminated the possibility of any resident of LA
not already enrolled in a C-PAB to attend.
Besides the size of the venue, the need for security at the Getty
was sited to me as the reason other potentially interested community
members could not be included. Yet scores of armed LAPD Officers,
dressed in "Class A" uniforms were there.
LAPD events (and all other City events) should be open to
Throughout the year, the C-PABs are not encouraged to talk to
each other. No contact lists are ever allowed to be distributed
by LAPD (see the section in this website on C-PAB contact).
Unfortunately, the format of the program at the Getty did not allow
for any real networking of the C-PAB members, and this is the single
time each year we get all 18 of the C-PABs together.
There was almost no give and take, no "sharing" between the attendees,
because there was no opportunity for the C-PAB members from one
part of town to meet and talk to others. Without seminars or break
out groups, the program's format eliminated this vital exchange.
The only potential gathering time was early in the morning over
breakfast (the food was excellent). As soon as members arrived,
registration and the breakfast were held on an outdoor mountain
top patio until about 8:30 am. The early morning weather was decidedly
brisk … a chilly wind was blowing. People naturally huddled with
others in their own group.
After breakfast, we were ushered inside, where a single assembly
followed. Attendees chose an auditorium seat and tended not to move
around. Once there, we were lectured to until 11:00 am. Few people
on the program were members of the community and, other than during
the DONE presentation, there was virtually no time allowed for comments
Although the auditorium was filled, giving the appearance of a well-attended
event, many seated there were LAPD Officers, not members of the
community. The program ended with an invitation to spend some time
visiting the Getty.
The outreach, from the perspective of many C-PAB members, was poor.
Although C-PABs were told ahead of time the date and location of
the event, information about the program itself was never released.
Timely and accurate outreach about similar events is a constant
criticism from the community in general and among the C-PABs specifically.
Apparently a final letter announcing the arrival time of the Summit
(but still not describing the program) was sent out a few days prior
to the event ... but only to the Division Captains and their civilian
C-PAB Co-Chairs. There were no instructions to photocopy and distribute
this information … nothing that indicated the other Division C-PAB
members were not being individually notified.
Finally, and on a personal note, I'd hoped to take advantage of
this unique once a year opportunity to spread the word about this
LA Community Policing website, LACP.org, to all the C-PABs. I'd
prepared a simple flyer describing this website and asked through
official channels for permission to distribute it to the attendees.
Word came back to me that unfortunately "the Getty had a policy
against giving out flyers or business cards because of potential
I let it go, and ended up bringing my flyers home with me ...
Yet as I left the assembly hall there it was ... a long table with
any number of LAPD flyers and pamphlets displayed, and everyone
was invited to take them.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised …
Once again, it seems anything that encourages a robust dialogue
about instituting dynamic community policing policies in Los Angeles
will be up to all of us …