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C-PAB Summit at the Getty

... comments and criticisms

Bill Murray - 3/24/02
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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.

Dennis 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.

A 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 Division C-PABs.

Each of the four LAPD Bureaus made Summit Presentations.

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 the public.

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 or questions.

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 litter problems."

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


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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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