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CHIEF’S MESSAGE – JUNE 2009

If you were to read a news headline that said, “Banks Fail, Fortunes Lost, Government Dumps Millions into the Economy” you might think it was printed in either 2008 or this year…  In fact, it is a doom and gloom headline from 1869, the same year the first eight Los Angeles Police Officers took their oath…      

One hundred forty years later, amidst similar headlines, we find ourselves in one of the most interesting periods in law enforcement history…  Through unprecedented transparency we have given academicians and pundits of every type a front row seat to the extraordinary work we are doing and the changes taking place in our Department…  Front row or not, being a member of the “audience” can never compare to being a member of the LAPD team.  You are on the team that is the envy of police departments around the globe…  

I was fortunate enough to become the leader of the LAPD nearly 8 years ago.  As your Chief, I have worked tirelessly to give unprecedented access to the Department…  I have opened doors to writers, reporters, researchers, both critics and supporters alike…  For those already serving, and for those desiring to serve on this Department, I will work just as hard to make sure that your personal goals are achievable as well…

Whether your goal is to attend a “roll call” and “clear” for radio calls in a Black and White on the day you retire and every day before, or whether your goal is to someday sit in my chair, as the Chief of Police, there is honor in both…  I take pride in the fact that I have torn down artificial barriers and broken glass ceilings whenever and wherever I’ve found them, and I will continue to do so…  My commitment to you is that your goals will be achievable in an organization free from discrimination based on race, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status or domestic partner status…  We celebrate diversity…  

July is the month we celebrate the diversity of gays and lesbians on the LAPD…  We have people who are openly gay or lesbian and others who choose to be private about their sexual orientation.  Either way is completely appropriate…  Through this diversity, we are becoming a Department that reflects the community of Los Angeles…  It makes good sense that through diversity, we are better equipped to protect and serve…       

The Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender Forum exists to help me understand and address the unique issues faced by this community…  At regularly scheduled meetings, members of this community can voice their concerns directly to me and other command officers…  As a show of my support to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender community, I plan to participate in the 39th Annual Los Angeles Pride Parade later this month…  In years past, I have found this event to be very worthwhile...    

Through events such as the 39th Annual Los Angeles Pride Parade, the forum, and through ongoing efforts by our Recruitment and Employment Division, the LAPD demonstrates an eagerness to hire qualified candidates from the gay and lesbian community…  The next gay and lesbian hiring seminar will take place on June 20th at 9:00 a.m. at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center…

In September, the Gay Peace Officers’ Association will be hosting the 13th Annual International Criminal Justice Diverse Symposium…  This year, the Symposium organizers have arranged for first-rate training on topics including hate crime investigations, domestic violence in gay and lesbian relationships and police officer suicides…

As we strive to continue to build our ranks based on diversity, we are on course to set an all-time high for sworn deployment in 2009…  Somewhere at a recruitment seminar, in the testing process, or visiting www.joinlapd.com is the 10,000th officer…  He or she will enjoy the most up-to-date training, facilities, radios, and technology in the history of law enforcement - anywhere…  In the staffing and equipping of the Department, the taxpayers of this City and the leadership whom they’ve elected have given you a vote of confidence.

The LAPD, sworn and civilian, is an investment…  For eight consecutive years, the investment in the LAPD has paid substantial dividends…  A safe Los Angeles will help to lead California and the Nation from this recession… When we reduce crime, real taxpayer dollars are saved, not to mention the incalculable devastation on families…  In the first weeks of May 2009 compared to the same time period last year, more than 40 fewer people have been murdered…  In April 2009, and for the first time in my tenure, Los Angeles experienced a seven day stretch without a single murder…  

In fact, as of the week ending May 2, 2009, every category of Part One Crimes is in negative numbers:  Homicide -32.6 percent, rape -7.4 percent, robbery -2.1 percent, and aggravated assault -6.9 percent…  On average, total violent crime is down by 5 percent...  Property crimes are also on the decline:  Burglary -4.9 percent, grand theft auto -18 percent, burglary theft from motor vehicle -3.2 percent, and personal theft -4.6 percent…  On average, property crimes are down by 7 percent…  

As we near the mid-year mark in 2009, I am looking forward to even more milestones and to telling more of your success stories…  I am proud to be the leader of a Department of men and women who are so committed to this profession and to the communities we serve…  You were called to a noble profession and you should feel enormously proud... Each and every day you are proving that cops count and police matter...

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