End of Year Crime Stats
Major crime in Los Angeles has fallen to levels we haven't seen in more than four decades, when our population was 30% smaller. For the first time since the late 1960s, LA ended the year with fewer than 300 murders, an enormous drop from the early 1990s when more than 1,000 Angelinos were killed every year. Other violent crimes and major property crimes were also significantly down. Most importantly, there were 8,046 fewer victims of crime.
That’s real progress, and it's due in very large part to the hard work of and smart policing by the men and women of LAPD.
Coming in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the fact that LA now has one of the lowest homicide rates among major U.S. cities is truly impressive. But we can’t rest on our laurels or ever forget the terrible toll crime continues to inflict on the victims of homicides and other major crimes. For them and for all the people of Los Angeles, there is still much more progress to be made. We will not be satisfied until everyone no matter who they are or where they live is safe and secure.
Conventional wisdom holds crime increases during tough economic times as some people turn to crime as a last resort. Your hard work and dedication to community policing have helped prevent this from becoming our reality. While we could not have reduced Part 1 crime without the help of our partners in the community, you have been the driving force behind our success. Without you there would be no major decline in crime, something you should be very proud of.
Public Safety is the cornerstone of a civilized society. If LA isn’t safe, it can’t nurture and grow its economic base. Mayor Villaraigosa and I are taking this critical message to our communities and city leaders to retain their support for funding the department adequately so we can maintain the sworn and civilian strength of the LAPD.
Celebrating 125 Years of African-Americans in the LAPD
This month we celebrate 125 years of African-Americans in the LAPD. From the first African-American police officer in 1886, Robert W. Stewart, to the first African-American LAPD officer killed in the Line of Duty in 1923, Charles P. Williams; the blood, sweat and tears of African-Americans are deeply embedded in the fabric of our organization. In 1992 Willie L. Williams became the first African-American Chief of Police. Los Angeles City Councilmember Bernard C. Parks followed as the second African-American Chief of Police in 1997. Today African-Americans are found throughout the Department’s ranks. From Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger to the newest recruits, African-Americans are critically important members of the LAPD family.
February is African-American History Month and what better time to recognize and celebrate the history, contributions and accomplishments of African-American LAPD officers. These officers will be prominently featured and honored on our Department website: www.lapdonline.org throughout the month.
Southeast Area Officer Involved Shooting
On Sunday night, January 2, 2011, Southeast Area patrol officers responded to a home invasion robbery call that involved two armed suspects inside the location with victims, some of whom were actively being pistol whipped, gagged and bound. The first responding sergeant at the scene directed a quick investigation then formed a tactical plan to conduct a rescue. An officer involved shooting occurred when one Southeast officer was met by a suspect armed with a fully loaded Tec-9, who was running out the side door. The suspect was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The entry team rescued the victims inside the location. They had in fact been pistol whipped, gagged and bound. The officers also arrested the second suspect and recovered a secondary weapon.
Situations like this serve as a reminder of the danger and split second decisions officers must face on a daily basis. I’m thankful that this incident did not result in death or serious injury to the officers or the victims. I am so proud to be Chief, of the brave men and women of this great Department.
Together We Can…
In an effort to make myself available to you in a less formal capacity, I’d like to have a cup of coffee with you at your police station. Beginning in January I am scheduled to visit Area roll call rooms, as often as possible, throughout the year. I will share time with the rank and file, and civilian workforce and openly discuss whatever timely issues are on your minds over a cup of coffee.
As all of you are aware, the budget problems facing the City have not gone away. I am working closely with the Mayor and the City Administrative Officer on our department budget. We are doing everything possible to protect the employees of this department. I remain adamant that we cannot suffer any additional losses such as furloughs or position eliminations. I will continue to work with staff to do everything within my power to prevent this from happening. I believe each and every one of you, sworn and civilian alike, are essential to the success of public safety.