Chief of Police Message - July 2011
Care Alert

Chief of Police Message - August 2011

Mid Year Crime Stats

With summer now in full swing and half of the year already over, the fruits of our labor are taking shape. Trends have been established and goals are within reach.  As you continue to serve the people of Los Angeles know that your work is making a real difference.  Every day the people count on you to keep them safe and you have not disappointed.

My review of mid-year crime numbers shows we are on pace for a ninth straight year of overall decline in crime. This is truly astonishing. Even with the odds stacked against us and a major fiscal crisis, we still manage to drive crime down to numbers this City has not seen in decades.  Nobody does more with less than you do and for that you should be tremendously proud.

Here are some key specifics.

Compared with the first half of 2010, as of June violent crime is down 9.6%, property crimes decreased 7.3% and Part I crimes fell 7.7%.  Even more telling is the homicide rate.  Compared with the first six months of 2010 homicides are down 8.1%.  We can all take deep personal pride in these results.

Particularly impressive is your attack on gang crime, which accounts for more than half of our total crime. Year to date gang-related aggravated assaults are down 7.7%, gang-related rapes are down 21.4% and total gang crime has been reduced 16.1%.  

Let’s never forget, these are not just numbers, they are people. Every percentage drop in crime, means fewer victims, fewer people who feel the deep personal pain of criminal victimization.  When I say you are making a difference, know that it is true.

Plenty of work remains to be done.  We can never rest on our laurels. As we continue forward, use this positive momentum to your advantage.  Let’s continue to make Los Angeles America’s safest big city.

LAPD Heroes Under Fire

On June 27th, Hollywood Area Officers Michael Kim and Jimmy Lam were working traffic control after a Monday morning hit-and-run traffic collision near Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue when they saw a Dodge Caravan unrelated to the traffic collision stopped at a nearby traffic light.  Heavy black smoke poured from under the Caravan.  After calling the LAFD, officers tried to free the occupant from the van but she was unaware of the danger and did not understand what the officers wanted her to do.

As thick smoke filled the van, the driver finally realized she needed to unlock the doors but in the chaos of the moment she could not free herself from her seatbelt.  Officer Kim used his pocketknife to cut her loose.  Then, as toxic smoke and flames engulfed the vehicle, the officers pulled the victim from the vehicle and used fire extinguishers from their police car to fight the fire until LAFD arrived.

Officers Kim and Lam’s decisive and brave actions, taken without regard for their personal safety, saved a human life.  We are all proud to be associated with people who willingly take these kinds of risks for a fellow man or woman.

At the same time, we must be continually vigilant against the rising dangers of policing in our City.  While crime rates are down violence against police officers is on the rise, both locally and nationally.  2010 was the deadliest on record for law enforcement officers nationwide.  Be extra careful out there.  Don’t make assumptions. Treat everyone with respect while always putting officer safety first.

New MOUs

For more than a year our civilian employees have endured the hardship of mandatory furloughs. Furlough days hurt everyone. Employees lose vitally needed income and the Department’s critical work goes undone.

Recently, members of the Coalition of LA City Unions voted to accept changes in their compensation in order to end furlough days.  This was a significant sacrifice which benefits the Department and City as a whole.  This concession, while not ideal, was needed in order to obtain increased stability.  I want to thank all of our civilians who voted to ratify the amendments and I look forward to moving on as a group, focusing on the business of keeping our City safe.  

Some civilian employees who are not a part of the Coalition still may be subject to mandatory furloughs. Please know the entire Department stands with and supports you during this difficult time.  Your continued hardship is on the minds of many. I hope we can quickly come to a solution that eliminates mandatory furloughs for all.

Over the past few months much work and many hours went into negotiations on a new Memorandum of Understanding for sworn employees.  We are finally at a point at which a majority of our workforce has contracts for the next three years.  I was not directly involved in negotiations, but I did pay careful attention and clearly understand the feelings of uncertainty you were feeling.  I want to thank everyone for your patience and understanding throughout this process.  You maintained the professionalism which has made our organization the world-class agency it is and I am deeply grateful.

Coffee at Harbor Station

Last month I had the privilege of attending an open meeting at Harbor Station. I was particularly pleased that the meeting was attended by a substantial number of civilian as well as sworn personnel. A good deal of our conversation centered on the problems caused by our extremely tight budget. We had a very fruitful and open exchange of ideas, complaints and suggestions. I really appreciate the willingness of everyone, especially civilian employees, to be direct, open and frank about their concerns.  I hope I succeeded in conveying to all the extremely high value I place on the work done by our civilian employees.  Over decades of service on the Department, I have come to appreciate just how vital our civilian employees are to the Department and the people of Los Angeles.  Our solidarity in these tough times has paid off in a safer city and will continue to reap benefits in the future when the economy recovers and we can reward all who have persevered thorough the present stresses.

Western States Police & Fire Games

In early June, the Western States Police and Fire games were held in Ontario. More than 10,000 full-time and retired firefighters and law enforcement personnel, including about 350 officers from our Department, competed in 64 sporting events.  Having been involved in Department sports for many years and having competed in these games, in basketball and in other events, I take great pride in knowing you are keeping the competitive spirit alive.

Some of the highlights of the games included our bowling team taking home 14 total medals, our wrestling team bringing back 10 medals, our paintball team winning a gold and bronze medal, our baseball team earning a gold medal and the LAPD “Hit Squad” coed softball club going undefeated in their two day tournament and bringing home a gold medal.

These are just some of the many successes our Department achieved.  Whether its police and fire games, local tournaments or intra-departmental scrimmages, our Department is one that not only competes but competes at a high level.  Keep up the excellent work and I look forward to hearing joining many of you at the upcoming World Police and Fire Games being held later this month in New York.

Comments

Now that we retified our contract lets start promoting once again. We must learn from the Conscent Decree about the need to have adequate supervision in the LAPD at all times. If we don't have sergeants in the field monitoring activities, officers should not have to request an outside supervisor for a refusal to sign a ticket, or a supervisor should not have to crank out 20 SBA's because there arent enough supervisors. Let not repeat the lack of oversight days and the Perez' scandals.

As an officer it makes me proud to see how much crime is down. However, I wonder how much longer officers will go out and be "hard charging" with the Police Commission's latest witch hunt concerning biased policing complaints. Reading the Blue Line and talking to league reps, the Police Commission is hot to burn some officers on these types of complaints.

I currently have two and I received both of them on radio calls!! I did not choose to stop these people but dealt with them on radio calls called in by citizens and the department still takes the complaint. And now the department has ruled that these complaints can not be unfounded but must be ruled not resolved if no misconduct is found. They did this so that the department can show a pattern of conduct.

I have 12 years on the job and have always been a very hard working proactive officer, however; these complaints almost make me just want to work the desk or take an inside job in order to protect my career.

If this witch hunt continues, I can already see our officers becoming "smile and wave" officers like we had when I came on during the Chief Parks era.

I thought no one could tell you,you could not file a complaint. Is my understanding wrong?

As a civilian citizen, have to say that comment about officers becoming "smile & wave" cops is pretty alarming!? In every job I ever had to work, I always gave it my ALL, despite how low I was paid, how my mean boss treated me, how unfair workplace was. Sorry about your bogus complaints, but there are citz ens out there who would never think of doing such a thing (and some like me who give my contact info to cops when I see an arrest happen in my neighborhood - that way, if a suspect tries to say officer roughed him up, I've got LAPD's back as a witness that it went down with no brutality). So if an officer can't handle complaints, they should get another job - the LAST thing L.A. needs are useless "wave and smile" police officers. What a waste of that badge :/

"Citizen" I am not responding to your post to be argumentative, butt the problem with the complaint process, is that the criminals, thugs, gangsters and facilitators have figured out that they can falsely complain about an officer and negatively impact his/her career. Most of us are all for a fair and proper complaint process so the law abiding community members have recourse if unfairly or improperly treated. If an Officer is found clearly in the wrong he/she can be fairly disciplined. But the problem is when these false complaints add up, the Officers hard work doing what you, me, and the rest of the community require of them from promotions or lateral movement in the department. The majority of the Officers on the LAPD are hard working public servants, who become a victim of their success in combating crime, only to watch officers who hide inside, where they're less likely to get complaints, promote and weaken the services we are expected to provide to our community. Because now most of what you get promoting, are Officers that only see the next rank, not the needs and safety of our community. It's a loose/loose.
Weak and ineffectual "leaders" are allowed to rise through the ranks, and developed into cancerous megalomaniacs, and the leaders with a hard and community oriented work ethic are stifled and passed over for promotions. A shame.
If you're going to promote the following should be a start to the discussion of the amount of time answering radio calls and actually serving the community and solving the everyday problems Patrol Officers encounter in the "field".

Sergeant = 7 years on the job, 5 in patrol, working in full uniform a radio car (A-car).

Detective = also 7 years on the job, 5 in patrol, working in full uniform in a radio car or another uniformed specialized unit (ie..GED, SPU, CLEAR, J-car). Case by case exception with respect to Dope, PCD and Vice.

But we need to put forth a structure of promotions that starts promoting team oriented individuals, not the current crop of narcissistic managers.
But the complaint process is a work in progress, and we have a long way to go, in terms of fairness to the Officers and the Community.
Ok, stepping down.

This unfair in so many ways. if no misconduct was found it should be end of story. You mean to tell me that they keep track of all the false complaints and then use that against you. The union should be going nuts. This is unfair.

Duke, I think you misread my comments. I did not say that I have become a smile and wave officer, in fact, I give 100% everyday. However, what I was saying is that with the current climate, I fear that many officers will become smile and wave officers.

I came on during the Bernie Parks era and I saw firsthand officers that refused to do proactive police work because of the burn em mentality of the department. I fear that our current Police Commission is setting that same climate within the department with it's witch hunt for biased policing complaints. As former Chief Bratton once stated, "I have never seen a police department that eats its own like the LAPD".

Duke, as a citizen of LA you deserve a police department that has hard working officers that provide outstanding service. However; the officers of the LAPD need a Police Commission and leaders that SUPPORTS its officers so that they can provide that service.

Duke...... Sir, thank you very much for your support. It's very much appreciated. We don't do this job for the money or the benefits, that I can assure you. I can also assure you that the majority of the LAPD are not smiling and waving. we're out there actively looking for the predators in our community. Though I do share my fellow Officers concerns, in regards to the complaint process. We will continue to work hard for the people out there, we just need a few more like you to be vocal about our efforts. Unfortunately, nowadays, it takes citizens speaking out against the thugs and criminals and also calling and writing commendations to the Captains of the LAPD divisions the reside, about the Officers that are doing good work. It is not something I'm happy to tell you is necessary, but commendations from good, caring citizens like you, help balance out the complaints our Officers get from thugs, thus keeping the officers out in the field protecting our city.
Again, thank you for your support and we'll keep fighting, no matter what the complaint process is. Just really could use more support from the community.

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