C-PABs can ensure an element of safety in all the Neighborhood
Input from the 18 Community-Police Advisory Boards (each of the
18 local LAPD Divisions has a C-PAB) should be included in the now
rapidly emerging Neighborhood Councils.
At least that's the opinion of Ms
Claudia Dunn, the Assistant Director of the Los Angeles Department
of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE),
which is charged with overseeing the Neighborhood Council certification
We wholeheartedly agree. It's a natural partnership.
a presentation during the Annual C-PAB Summit in March, Claudia
explained the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment seeks to promote
public participation in government, and make government more responsive
to local needs, by facilitating the creation of Neighborhood Councils
throughout the City of Los Angeles.
Not only will DONE help establish these Neighborhood Councils but
it will also offer education, training and support to Neighborhood
Councils once they are certified.
The goal is to make each Neighborhood Council as independent as
possible from government, and to give them influence to affect Citywide
and local decision-making far beyond what neighborhood groups have
now. DONE seeks to help the residents of each community form a valid
and influential base, truly empowered to guide the futures of their
Membership in a Neighborhood Council is inclusive ... a "stakeholder"
is defined as anyone who lives, works or owns property in an area
... and any and all stakeholders who wish to may join and participate
in their local Neighborhood Councils.
By that definition it might well be argued that off duty LAPD Officers
may belong as well, since they obviously devote large portions of
their careers within the area.
Mission of C-PAB
NOTE: If you don't know about LAPD's Community-Police Advisory Boards
(C-PABs) and how they function please take a few minutes to go through
the short community policing tutorial "CP Tutorial" here on the
The C-PABs act as liaisons with LAPD, meeting monthly with the Area
Commanders in each of the 18 local LAPD Divisions. Each C-PAB is
Co-chaired by the LAPD Captain of the Division and a civilian.
They already exist.
The Community-Police Advisory Board groups are themselves essentially
comprised of inclusive and engaged individuals from each of the
neighborhoods. Members regularly bring official and current information
from LAPD to their local communities, and at the same time serve
as a conduit by which the community can express its concerns to
Synergy between the two
Exactly what relationship the Division's C-PAB might have with the
local Neighborhood Councils will have to be established by each
body, since each of the over 100 Neighborhood Councils now being
considered for certification has been charged with the responsibility
to create itself, within certain guidelines, to meet the perceived
needs of the stakeholders from the local area.
But there's no doubt that every neighborhood will seek crime suppression
and public safety as one of its primary goals, along with the reduction
of fear and an improved quality of life.
As the Councils form some may well create a Board Seat dedicated
to these concerns, while others may envision "Safety Committees"
or liaison positions as more appropriate.
But are the C-PABs ready?
Many Neighborhood Councils will, at a minimum, invite regular input
from stakeholders who are already participating members of Community-Police
But will the C-PABs be ready?
Los Angeles Community Policing emphatically says, "Yes!"
and we agree with Claudia when she suggests our C-PAB members should
form strong relationships with our local Neighborhood Councils,
in which, by definition, we are stakeholders.
She supports this for any number of reasons.
C-PABs are already
working with law enforcement to deal with issues that affect the
causes and proliferation of crime
through active participation in smaller communities within each
regularly seek crime suppression and fear reduction solutions by
collaborating with Problem-Solving Units, Senior Lead Officers,
Neighborhood Watch and Business Watch programs, SARA projects, etc.
understand that to improve
the quality of life it's often necessary to promote the use of a
variety of City service programs outside of LAPD, knowing it
frequently takes a
collaboration with the many and various Departments within City
C-PAB members can help the Neighborhood Councils understand that
the quality of life do not always imply public safety solutions.
Goal Statements and By-laws which essentially say: We take responsibility
for our neighborhoods (within each of the 18 LAPD Divisions).
We understand and accept the premise that the communities need to
take a large measure of responsibility for their neighborhoods and
for creating improvement strategies.
Claudia says this "can only really occur by virtue of a neighborhood
lobbying power base … another
way to describe community-based government !"
Again, we agree ...
The early establishment of a strong relationship between C-PABs
and Certified Neighborhood Councils is important precisely because
C-PAB members are already knowledgeable.
We can immediately play an effective, significant and informed role
by participating with each emerging Neighborhood Council, whose
stakeholders form such a large power base, and
include representatives from all groups: residents, workers, businesses,
stakeholder group in a Neighborhood Council has a voice, and
now, with C-PAB's help, the public safety voice ... and the voice
for improving the quality of life ... can truly be heard !