Los Angeles – On September 10, 2013, the members of the Los Angeles Police Commission held elections and unanimously elected Steve Soboroff to serve as the new President, and Paula Madison to the Vice President post. The five members of the Police Commission are Steve Soboroff, Paula Madison, Sandra Figueroa-Villa, Kathleen Kim and Robert Saltzman. With the exception of Commissioner Saltzman, all Commissioners are newly appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Upon being elected to the President post, Commissioner Soboroff made the following comments:
During the last decade, as a result of the dedication and hard work of a number of people from Washington DC to Los Angeles CA (many of whom are here today) the badge of the LAPD has been polished to be the finest in the nation. Large and small police departments from all over the world, looking at best practices to improve their own departments, call and visit the LAPD every week. From K-9 to SWAT, from the equestrian Mounted Patrol to the Cadets programs, we are admired. Our Police Academy goes "above and beyond" in so many ways, it is admired worldwide. Your LAPD has been released from the Consent Decree as a reformed group that has brought its motto "To Protect and To Serve" to a new level.
However, the release from the consent decree states ...what remains to be seen is how the department will continue to reform, especially when a new mayor and new commission come in to play. It says: "The Question is: will the institutions of Los Angeles , under new management, be able to protect and enhance the reforms that have been achieved?"
Today is the beginning of the era where we will answer that question...
...and it is our plan to succeed by aggressively acknowledging, promoting, and innovating the positive while also transparently, tirelessly, and appropriately dealing with the problems that arise. During our term, we will hold a Los Angeles Police Commission meeting in each council district. I look forward to visiting every station in every part of this City, in each of the four Bureaus.
The community policing model embraced by Chief Beck needs to be supported, expanded, technologically improved, and celebrated by this department and every single citizen in this great City. For example, we need the technology of in-car cameras, complimented or supplemented by lapel/on-body cameras soon. I mean within 18 months not 18 years! ...to quote from the Consent Decree Final Report "this initiative is critical and will protect against biased policing while enhancing officer safety and risk management analysis, and mitigating liability claims." It will save tens of millions of dollars in court cases, thousands of man hours in both the LAPD and City Attorney’s offices, and serve to further cut crime as the "he said, she said" arguments will be a thing of the past.
Men, women and children from every neighborhood need to be surrounded by the prospects of jobs, programs in our parks/libraries/schools, improved public education opportunities, and healthy choices. Experience certainly has shown that being surrounded by those is far better than the alternative of being surrounded by the four walls of a jail cell. The constitutional and civil rights of EVERY citizen and EVERY officer are sacred/crucial.
So, as the poster that I have from the Smithsonian gift shop and will hang in my office in this building, says: Are YOU Doing All YOU Can?
I ask that question of myself, of each of the 13,000 uniformed and civilian employees of the LAPD, every corporation, every business, every foundation, every house of prayer, and every resident of Los Angeles, Are You Doing all You Can?
Because if you do...those heading to gangs will find better paths to follow
If you do, those businesses contemplating locating in Los Angeles will make the move, creating jobs by the thousands
If you do, our parks/libraries/schools will thrive
and, if you do, those who need help will get it...
...and this department will, for generations to come, be well run from top to bottom, and be as diverse as the community which it serves. We can accomplish that by working in partnership with the City Personnel Department relative to the Police Officer Recruits that are hired. Also with the Chief to help him in his quest to ensure that there is diversity and women in all of its ranks, that the organization continues to remain open to women and members of the LGBT communities.
Citizens of Los Angeles: This commission, supported by this Mayor, this Chief, this Department, this City Council, this LAPPL, this community of Organized Labor, and YOU, stands ready to do its job to help the Los Angeles Police Department protect and serve. Today we start on that mission.