Patrolling the streets of Los Angeles is the first assignment a police officer works after graduating from the academy. While the experiences and lessons learned are invaluable, the true gratification for police officers sinks in well after officers respond to a 911 call and make an arrest. The follow-up in the aftermath of an incident; the detective work to find clues; the scientific work to narrow down a search; all of these skills and much tough, unglamorous work are vital to any police force. The gratification of telling a victim their suspect is in custody is what our line of work is all about.
The public must have confidence in us to not only prevent crime but solve it. Recent arrests in some very high profile cases have rightly earned LAPD some well deserved recognition. The downward crime trend continues and the people of Los Angeles are feeling a heightened sense of security. This is something for which we can justly feel very proud.
Our Department solves the big cases. During the past year, you helped bring one of the most notorious serial killers this City has ever seen to justice…The Grim Sleeper. His reign of terror came to an end thanks to the unprecedented perseverance and professional investigative effort by LAPD detectives.
Teamwork and pulling together during difficult times or serious threats to the community are a part of how we do business. Recently this was the case where Olympic, Wilshire and Southwest Areas experienced a series of highly publicized robberies in which the suspect was armed with a shotgun. There were strong indications two recent murders in Olympic and Wilshire were the work of this “shotgun bandit”, who had committed nine robberies in a short span of two weeks. The viciousness of murdering a citizen who offered no resistance heightened the urgency to identify the suspects and capture them before another murder would occur. Detectives had few leads in and theorized that both victims were being robbed prior to their demise. The Olympic, Wilshire & Southwest Areas met together to share information, and develop a strategy to end this violent crime spree. Their planning and teamwork developed a great lead, which was quickly shared with everyone from the patrol level on up. Thanks to a quickly circulated vehicle description, Wilshire Senior Lead Officer Spiro Roditis was able to spot the suspect vehicle and take two suspects into custody.
This great teamwork didn’t end with these arrests. The combined investigative efforts of Wilshire & Olympic detectives, who worked jointly on not only two murders, but eight robberies led to a series of filings by the District Attorney’s Office. The work on this case is far from done but the cooperation of these Areas to identify and arrest these vicious suspects illuminates the wealth of expertise, professionalism and dedicated service at the Area level. Area supervisors, officers and detectives are routinely solving complex crime trends and series each day on this Department and I thank each and every one of you.
By these kinds of extraordinary efforts, we are sending an important message to the criminal element; if you break the law, we will find you and arrest you. Not only is this at the core of what we are entrusted to do, but your success in solving crimes and putting criminals behind bars allows me to tell your story and get you the resources you need to do the job.
It’s not just the big cases that matter. I know that many of you are working hard and making great arrests that really make a difference in the communities you serve. When I hear of the good work you are doing, I make it a point to write a personal desk note to each of you, expressing my pride and appreciation.
World Police and Fire GamesSome of you will be heading to New York City to participate in the 2011 World Police and Fire Games from August 26 through September 5, 2011. This bi-annual event has become the second largest multi-sport event in the world, surpassed only by the Summer Olympics. As you continue to train and prepare for this competition, keep close to heart your sworn brothers and sisters from the New York Police Department and other agencies who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. These games will respectfully coincide with the ten year remembrance of that tragic day. I look forward to hearing your stories of triumph as you represent our Department with dignity and class.
It will come as no surprise that the Department continues to struggle with budgetary constraints created by the City’s financial crisis. As of this writing, the LAPPL is still involved in contract negotiations that will affect many of you.
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. I deeply appreciate the way in which the men and women, sworn and civilian, of the LAPD have come together in these financially difficult times. I hope you will continue to support one another whenever you discover a coworker is financially, emotionally or otherwise under great stress. The LAPD family has never needed each other more than now, and it has never been stronger than it is today. We are indeed blessed to have each other to lean on. Thank you, and be safe.