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Chief’s Message – April 2009

As one of the world’s finest law enforcement agencies, the Los Angeles Police Department is constantly evolving and striving to improve its capabilities and expertise as we seek to become a recognized leader in establishing and promulgating best practices.  This month as part of our continuing 140th anniversary celebration, we not only celebrate our past achievements, but we are proud of new advances that will enhance the future of policing in our Department and around the world.

As we move forward in our yearlong celebration of the Department’s 140th anniversary, during the month of April, we celebrate Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) in the LAPD.  In 1913 Lung Yip became the first API officer in the Department’s history, continuing with Stanley Ono in 1947 and Joyce Kano in 1967.  Throughout our history, Asian and Pacific Islanders have proven to be an important part of the LAPD family.  Throughout April, we will be celebrating their accomplishments, including those of Deputy Chief Terry Hara, the LAPD’s highest ranking API officer.  We will also remember the valiant heroes, such as Gary Murakami, the first API officer to die in the line of duty in the Department’s history.  We commend our Asian and Pacific Islander trailblazers for their contributions and thank them for their dedication to duty.   

TEAMS II Update
A significant part of the Federal Consent Decree has been the design and implementation of the Teams II initiative and its many complex systems.
The central component of TEAMS II is the Risk Management Information System (RMIS).  RMIS consolidates information from more than a dozen Department systems, including arrests, crimes, stops, citations, and complaints, uses of force, commendations and officer training.   RMIS makes this consolidated information directly available to individual officers through the TEAMS Report and to management for use in activities such as personnel evaluations, promotional and transfer reviews, and RMIS Action Item analysis.
Each evening, the RMIS Action Item process notifies supervisors of personnel whose activity requires further review.  Supervisors then are able to combine their direct observations of those employees with data provided by TEAMS II to determine a response, which may include no-action required, a commendation or an intervention activity such as additional training.  Each action item should then be discussed with the affected employee and documented.  
In addition, the RMIS Action Item allows supervisors to record narrative observations of exemplary performance.  RMIS Action Items have resulted in more than 110 commendations in bureaus across the Department.   A recent review revealed many positive comments from supervisors.
As RMIS and the other TEAMS II systems have been rolled out across the Department, you have voiced many suggestions for improvements and we have been listening.  Under the command of Police Administrator Maggie Goodrich, the TEAMS II Development Bureau has undertaken a program of continuous system improvements to enhance both the effectiveness and usability of the systems in a concerted effort to make it more user friendly.  For example, the Bureau recently was able to significantly reduce the number of data fields captured on FDRs.  The new process for capturing data is currently being piloted in Operations Central Bureau, and will be deployed Department-wide this spring.   
Another part of the continuous improvement of TEAMS II lies with each of you.  I encourage you to regularly review your own TEAMS Report.  If you have any concerns about its contents, immediately report them using the Data Correction process located on the TEAMS II web site.  Properly utilized, TEAMS II can prove to be a valuable and innovative information tool for you, your supervisors and the Department.


Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC)

Terrorism is a reality of 21st century policing.  We, as a Department, must continually seek to improve our abilities and capabilities to respond to any type of terrorist attack, including multiple assaults similar to the recent attacks in Mumbai.  We must constantly assess and learn from events that shape the way local law enforcement prevents or responds to acts of terrorism.  As part of that effort our Department is developing a Multi Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) Doctrine to improve our readiness to respond to, and defend the City from attacks similar to that recently experienced in Mumbai.  

Under the leadership of Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur, the development phase of this project is currently underway and includes both internal and external experts in the area of tactics, weapons and intelligence.  Special Operations, Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence, Detective, Incident Management and Training, Professional Standards Bureaus and Office of Operations personnel are all part of this effort.  The MACTAC project also involves officers and supervisors with special weapons expertise, counter terrorism tactics experience and several military personnel who have recently returned from tours in the Middle East.  In addition, the Police Protective League will be included in the process.  

Ultimately, we must design a counterterrorism force response that’s appropriate to our region and its particular needs.  The response should also include collaboration with other police agencies, such as the Sheriff’s Department and the other 45 cities in our region to handle large scale and multiple incidents of terrorism.  In the future, the committee will incorporate other City Departments, various county and regional agencies, as well as national partners.

The three primary goals of the plan are:
1)     Identifying state of the art equipment, tools and weapons for law enforcement response  
2)    Designing flexible, innovative, cutting edge tactics to swiftly resolve such an attack
3)    Developing Department-wide training to prepare everyone, from our officers in black and white patrol cars, to our Special Weapons and Tactics teams, to respond to such an incident

It is the expectation of our City leaders, our residents and visitors to Los Angeles,    that when a multiple assault event occurs, the Department will immediately switch from our community policing patrol-ready mind set to a rapid response-ready capability in a matter of minutes, not hours.  We have learned from our New York counterparts and those across the globe that minutes save lives during such events.  We are also acutely aware preparation and training allows you, the men and women of this Department; to do what you do best, protect the City from all threats and hazards, foreign or domestic.

The initial plan will soon be released and I fully expect the MACTAC doctrine will include an expansion of our Urban Police Rifle program, improve tactics allowing for a rapid response to react and neutralize simultaneous incidents.  Working side by side with our city, county, state and federal partners, we are working hard to ensure that we are in a position to respond, contain and eliminate any Mumbai type of assault in our region.

As I reaffirmed at a recent news conference, the Los Angeles Police Department is committed to designing initiatives and equipment that lead American policing and will become best practices for national models of police response.  We are a Department with a proud tradition of creativity and excellence and over the last several years, have significantly expanded our ‘suite of excellence and best practices.’  For 140 years, the LAPD has forged the way for modern day policing, emerging as a leader in the law enforcement community in its creativity, expertise and partnership efforts.  We should all expect nothing less from a Department that is second to none and continues to work together in furtherance of that goal.

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