This week’s Police Commission meeting was held at the Peck Park Auditorium in San Pedro and was a part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to hold their weekly meeting in a different council district once a quarter. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff thanked the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks for allowing the Commission to hold the meeting in the Peck Park Auditorium. He also thanked City Councilman Joe Buscaino for attending the meeting as well.
President Soboroff then proceeded to state the goals for the Police Commission for fiscal year 2014-15. They are as follows:
Represent all Angelenos: provide independent, visible, and transparent civilian oversight by exercising their authority and responsibilities in accordance with the City Charter.
Strength in Numbers: achieve the goal of 10,000 police officers with the hiring of police recruits who reflect the diversity of the City of Los Angeles.
Have a Better Picture of what Occurred: implement the Police Officer On-Body Camera project in cooperation with all stakeholders. Adopt the necessary policies regarding the use and control of recorders and recordings.
Conflict Resolution: embrace fairness for all employees by supporting and monitoring; develop guidelines and standards for imposition of Conditional Official Reprimands; and implementation of a formal Department Conflict Resolution Program that encourages communication so as to reduce internal complaints and lawsuits involving Department employees.
Financial Priorities: support the Department’s budget proposal and efforts to achieve the incremental reinstatement of cash overtime and pay parity for newly hired police officers with those hired over four years ago.
Save City Funds while Protecting Employees and Residents: support and monitor the Department’s implementation of a global and proactive Risk Management Program and development and implementation of a lessons-learned process after disputes or incidents are litigated or settled.
Buckle Up: ensure the Department implements a program to mandate the wearing of seat belts by all personnel who operate and/or are a passenger in a Department vehicle.
Hit & Stop: mandate the Department implement a traffic education program focused on education, enforcement and engineering to improve pedestrian, automobile and bicycle safety and to reduce the incidence of hit and run traffic collisions.
Kids of All Ages: celebrate and support the various Department programs and encourage Community Policing such as Cadets, Community-Police Advisory Boards, Magnet High Schools, etc.
After the Commission stated their goals for the year the floor was given to Council District 15 representative Joe Buscaino. Mr. Buscaino welcomed the Commission and Chief to his Council District and reflected on his seven years as a Los Angeles Senior Lead Police Officer. He informed the Board his area led the City in overall crime reduction and attributed that success to youth programs and partnerships with community organizations and non-profits. Councilman Buscaino completed his comments by stating his commitment to ensure funding continues for the Department.
Police Chief Charlie Beck thanked Councilman Buscaino for his commitment to maintain the Department budget and said he was familiar with the area from his days working as a Sergeant at Harbor Division in the 1980’s. He informed the Board he rode with a gang officer in the area for a few hours earlier that day and proceeded to provide the city-wide crime statistics. Chief Beck completed his comments by saying there are currently 9,914 sworn and 2,796 civilian employees on the Department.
Harbor Area Captain Gerarld Woodyard introduced new patrol Captain Jennifer Thomas to the community members in attendance and informed the Board crime is currently down 18.5% in the area. The C-PAB chair and Teen C-PAB chair give brief remarks relating to their on-going community outreach efforts. South Bureau Deputy Chief Bob Green then gave brief remarks reaffirming his commitment to the area community.
The final portion of the meeting was the public comment period. The members of the community who spoke expressed concerns over issues affecting their quality of life and also thanked the officers in the area for their service. More than 10 people took advantage of the opportunity to address the Board.
The Board of Police Commissioners as well as the Chief of Police look forward to these special meetings as they serve as an opportunity for community members to attend who might otherwise not be able to attend the regular meetings of the Board in Downtown Los Angeles. The Commission plans to hold these special meetings in each Council District in the upcoming months.