As the Chief of Police, it is important to me that officers are constantly utilizing safe tactics in all of their daily activities. As a general rule when officers are riding in their patrol cars, the windows should always be rolled down and officers should be consistently scanning their surroundings for inherent dangers. Unfortunately the influx of new technological equipment, such as smartphones, has made it much easier to become distracted than in years past. While I understand it is very tempting to check non-work related voicemails or return text messages from our loved ones, we must be diligent in maintaining officer safety and be aware of our surroundings in order to expect the unexpected and never be caught off guard. Moreover, as representatives of the finest police department in the nation, we are not above the law and LAPD officers should act accordingly.
Always remember, we can never predict when an event will occur on our shift that will forever change the course of our lives. It is much better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.
General Services Police
Recently, the City approved the consolidation of the Office of Public Safety’s General Services Police (GSP) into the LAPD. The GSP is currently responsible for the security at City Hall, the Convention Center, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Bureau of Sanitation, Recreation and Parks, and our City libraries. With 97 sworn officers and more than 100 civilian security personnel, these officers would be a sizable addition to our ranks.
A Task Force has been put together to plan the consolidation and negotiations have begun with the appropriate unions, but the total consolidation may take up to 18 months. A new division, Security Services Division, will be tasked to manage many of the responsibilities, but the Areas will be delegated to respond to calls for service. I know we will provide the outstanding service we are known for to these new customers, and more importantly we will welcome with open arms the current GSP employees into the LAPD family.
By now you are all aware of the City’s financial troubles as we begin the new fiscal year. For the past couple of years we have had to endure the loss of personnel and resources while having to do more with less. However, it is our civilian employees who have had to endure the brunt of the City’s financial woes.
Earlier this year, we were faced with the possibility of laying off 159 of our filled civilian positions. These layoffs would have significantly impacted the entire Police Department and people we all know and have worked with; familiar faces and working relationships we have come to depend on. The Department never wanted layoffs and we did everything we possibly could to avoid them.
In May, the Budget and Finance Committee approved the 2012/13 budget with modifications that identified $16 million in savings and avoided layoffs which were scheduled to happen this month. The Committee approved $8 million for the first six months of the fiscal year to fund the positions, and set aside the second six months of funding for assessment and review of the City’s economic status in January. The Mayor has signed the budget with the modifications, making it official.
While this is only a temporary fix, it is a small battle won. Our civilian employees are some of our most valuable assets and I would hate to lose anyone. This development ensures our civilians slated for layoff will be with us through the rest of this year.
I know it has been difficult for our civilians hearing the constant chatter about their jobs being in limbo, but I want to thank you for your continued patience and professionalism throughout this ordeal. Rest assured we value your work as a Department and I will continue to keep you updated on any and all developments going forward.
History of Hollywood Area
Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, Hollywood represents glitz and glamour and the golden age of American cinema which makes it recognized worldwide.
Originally opened in 1913, Hollywood Area is situated west of downtown Los Angeles and is one of our most recognized areas. Serving a population of approximately 300,000, Hollywood Area encompasses the communities of Argyle, Cahuenga Pass, East Hollywood, Fairfax, Hobart, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Hollywood/La Brea, Little Armenia, Los Feliz, Melrose District, Mount Olympus, Sierra Vista, Spaulding Square, Sunset Strip, Thai Town, and Vine/Willoughby.
Hollywood Area is host to a number of special events including the Academy Awards and movie premieres, not to mention tourists from around the world. Hollywood Area has a staff of 409 employees and is located at 1358 North Wilcox Ave.
Fallen Heroes of Hollywood
A number of brave and heroic officers have given their lives in the line of duty while assigned to Hollywood Area:
Clyde Pritchett, EOW February 17, 1936
Clay Hunt, EOW February 22, 1955
Ian J. Campbell, EOW March 10, 1963
Robert J. Cote, EOW July 31, 1969
Russell Lee Kuster, EOW October 9, 1990
Joe Rios, EOW January 20, 1993
Charles Dean Heim, EOW October 22, 1994
One of the most infamous line of duty deaths of a Hollywood officer was chronicled by Joseph Wambaugh, in his book, “The Onion Field.”
I hope you and your family enjoy the July 4th holiday. Always remember that the most important thing that we can do for our loved ones is to make it home safe at the end of our shift. Thanks for all you do each and every day.