Chief’s Message September 2012

The month of September marks the beginning of fall and the exciting start of the new school season for many young children, but it is bittersweet because we will always remember the innocent civilians and our first responder brothers and sisters who lost their lives during the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks.  Despite the passage of 11 years, this loss still resonates with us today.   Although, it motivates us to continue our fight to prevent current acts of terrorism both domestically and abroad.

In the years since the attacks, the LAPD has developed some of the leading counter-terrorism strategies and tactics in the nation. Programs such as iWatch have been nationally recognized and implemented in other cities throughout the country.

Recently, we also hosted the Joint Counter-Terrorism Awareness Workshop in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counter-Terrorism Center and the FBI.  The two day seminar brought together 350 regional first responders and private sector representatives from the Los Angeles area to share information and discuss some of the latest strategies and tactics to identify and combat terrorist activity.  This collaboration between local, state, federal and the private sector partners will ultimately help safeguard our region.

The war on terror is one that will continue indefinitely, as we are always targets to those who view us as the enemy.  We must continue to be vigilant and unwavering in our commitment to keep the people in the City of Los Angeles safe and we must take proactive measures in order to prevent attacks before they occur.

Officer Safety

Your safety is my number one priority and I want to stress the importance of not over-driving when working in the field. Traffic related collisions are one of the leading causes of injuries to officers.  While I understand you want to get to the scene of a radio call or incident as quickly as possible, it should never be at the expense of arriving safely.  Over-driving can put you, your partner, and the public in dangerous predicaments where injuries or even fatalities can occur.  Please drive safely and always wear your seatbelt because I want nothing more than for all of you to make it home unharmed to your family at the end of your shift.

In addition, I want to remind you we are quickly approaching the end of the year.  As a result, officers tend to accrue more expenses and have many more responsibilities occurring in their personal lives.  The combination of these things can cause increased stress levels that can potentially have a negative effect on your personal and professional life.  Fortunately there are a number of resources available to you including the Los Angeles Police Relief Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League and Behavioral Science Services. Take advantage of these resources if you find yourself in a difficult situation because help is always readily available.

Carmageddon

At the end of this month the second phase of the 405 expansion will occur and a portion of the freeway that connects the Valley to the West side will be shut down for an entire weekend.  When the first phase was completed last year, we were able to avoid traffic gridlock and public hysteria by successfully working with our state and local partners to make the community aware of the pending closure.   For this expansion phase, we also have been working with our state and local partners for months in order to coordinate our efforts to avoid “Carmageddon.”   Many individuals have been working diligently on the planning and strategic phases and I want to thank those of you involved in this cumbersome process.

Weight Loss Challenge

For the past couple of months many of you have been exercising diligently and watching your diet all in the name of competition and good health.  Likewise, many divisions and sections have organized group exercise sessions, dietary instruction, and offered motivational messages with the hopes of taking home the title of weight loss champions. With the challenge now in its final stages, I urge you to continue with your beneficial changes and good habits you developed in order to apply them to a permanent lifestyle of wellness. The benefits of your hard work are noticeable and I sincerely appreciate your hard work and inspiring spirit.

For those of you who might have missed out on this year’s challenge, it’s not too late to begin a workout regimen and develop healthy habits of your own.  Personal wellness should be a lifelong undertaking as the benefits are countless. Congratulations to all of this year’s participants on your accomplishment and I wish you continued success as we move forward.

History of West Los Angeles Area

West Los Angeles Station provides service and protection to over a quarter of a million people, stretching over sixty-five square miles. West Los Angeles Division began its life in 1922 when it was known as “Sawtelle Division” due to its location on Sawtelle Boulevard.  The current West Los Angeles Division, located on Butler Avenue, is in the heart of West LA and was constructed and dedicated in 1974.

West LA is home to some of the most valuable real estate in the United States.  It also the home of many internationally recognized individuals in the entertainment and business community.

Fallen Heroes of West Los Angeles Area

Two West Los Angeles Police Officers made the ultimate sacrifice.

Police Officer Fred Early, EOW March 23, 1973 - succumbed to a gunshot wound from a confrontation with a burglary suspect.

Police Officer Michael McDougal, EOW January 19, 1975 - was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Significant Events in West Los Angeles Area

West Los Angeles has been the scene of some of the City’s most famous and infamous crimes:

* The death of  Marilyn Monroe in Brentwood
* The Manson murders in Benedict Canyon
* The murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman in Brentwood
* The rape arrest of Roman Polanski in Bel Air
* The murder of Ennis Cosby on the 405 Freeway at Skirball Center Drive
* The murder of Playmate of the Year 1979 Dorothy Stratton
* The murder of Dag Drollet in Bel Air with the arrest of Christian Brando
* The Manslaughter of Michael Jackson in Holmby Hills

It is with honor and pride that the officers and civilian employees protect and serve the West Los Angeles community.  Together we make West L.A. a great place to live and work.

Stay safe out there and always look out for each other.


Chief of Police Message - August 2012

Chief’s Message
August 2012

The month of August marks the 29th year anniversary for National Night Out.  This year’s event will be held on August 7th, and will be our 13th consecutive year of participation.  Many of our geographic areas get actively involved by holding cookouts, block parties, open houses, and peace marches to name a few.  I urge you to take this time to engage with the communities we serve and celebrate our partnership.

Command and Control

Part of the Department’s evaluation of critical incidents is the assessment of supervision and scene management – command and control.

The responsibility of exercising timely command and control at the scene of a critical incident such as a barricaded suspect, armed suspect, OIS or termination of pursuit – is applicable to all supervisory personnel, and can also apply to the primary or senior officers at the scene.

Absent unique or exigent circumstances, it is imperative that supervisors avoid becoming part of an incident so they can effectively exercise command and control of the scene.  

Understanding the time constraints inherent in a rapidly unfolding and dynamic tactical incident, the primary role of the supervisor is to quickly assess the incident and assume command and control as soon as possible.  That supervisor’s job is to ensure the safety of personnel; limit as much as possible, the risk to the public; and to coordinate effective tactics to address a threat or take the suspect(s) into custody as quickly and as safely as possible.  

You can find additional useful information by reading the TacOps Newsletter which you can access on the Department’s Local Area Network (LAN).  Simply click the UOF Review Division link under the “Divisions and Sections” folder.  Once on the UOF home page, click on TacOps Newsletter.  I encourage you to be proactive and take advantage of this valuable resource.  

Police Commissioner Andrea Sheridan Ordin

Last month we welcomed back a familiar friend in Ms. Andrea Sheridan Ordin, as she was confirmed by the City Council to serve on the Board of Police Commissioners.  Having previously served on the Board from 2005~2010, she adds her considerable experience and knowledge of the Department to the Commission and I look forward to working with her once again.



History of Wilshire Area

Established in 1922 as the Pico Street Division, Wilshire originally spanned from Culver City to the edge of downtown Los Angeles.  Three years after opening, it moved to its longtime home at 4526 West Pico and took its name from Wilshire Boulevard.  The divisional headquarters remained there until 1974, when the current station opened at 4861 West Venice Boulevard.

Throughout the years, the division’s boundaries have changed to encompass some of the City’s wealthiest areas such as Hancock Park and the Miracle Mile.  More than a quarter of a million people call its nearly 14-square-miles home, while another 250,000 work, visit and study inside its boundaries each day.  It is home to CBS Studios, the Farmers Market, The Grove, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles High School, Museum Row and the famed La Brea Tar Pits.  

Fallen Heroes of Wilshire Area

Policeman Thomas Scebbi        
EOW June 20, 1958        

Policeman Robert Endler
EOW February 1, 1964

Detective Sergeant Charles P. Monaghan    
EOW February 1, 1964        

Policeman Keith G. DuPuis
EOW October 27, 1966

Policeman Fred Early        
EOW March 23, 1973    

Police Officer David Kubly
EOW September 27, 1979

Policeman Charles Rodgers            
EOW November 28, 1980    

Police Officer Mario Navidad
EOW December 22, 1996




Significant Events

Two high profile homicides that gained a great deal of media coverage include the 1984 murder of R&B singer Marvin Gaye and the 1997 unsolved murder of Rap Artist Notorious B.I.G.   

More than a dozen Wilshire officers have earned the Medal of Valor in the past two decades, and recently three officers were awarded the Purple Heart.  

Crime Stats

This year’s numbers show continued declines in almost all Part I categories compared to 2011. Robberies are down more than 10%, Aggravated Assaults down 7.3% and Homicides are holding steady at last year’s rate with Rapes showing a slight increase.  Total violent crime is down nearly 8.5%.

While overall Property Crime is down 1% compared to last year, BTFV and Theft has increased more than 2%.  Let’s pay close attention to these areas so we can ensure that number doesn’t continue to rise.    

In gang related crime the numbers speak volumes.  To date we are experiencing a 15% decrease. This is on top of last year’s 13% decline.  This is something you should be very proud of as the terrible toll that gang violence reeks on our communities is getting smaller every day.

Closing

I know you hear me say this a lot but that’s because I can’t say it enough;  I sincerely appreciate the great work you are all doing.  The positive impact that your hard work and dedicated service has on our communities, and in people’s lives, is truly immeasurable.    


Be safe,
Charlie


Chief of Police Message - July 2012

Chief’s Message
July 2012



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.            

Civilian Layoffs

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

Significant Incidents

One of the most infamous line of duty deaths of a Hollywood officer was chronicled by Joseph Wambaugh, in his book, “The Onion Field.”

Closing

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.

Be safe,
Charlie



Chief of Police Message - June 2012

Chief’s Message
June 2012


With all that we have going on at work and in our personal lives, it seems as though the months fly by leaving us wondering where the time has gone.  It’s hard to believe that we are already six months into 2012.  So, as we enter this half way point of the year I want to thank you for your continued dedication and sacrifices that you make for this Department and the citizens of Los Angeles, each and every day.  

2012 Safe Summer Tip-Off Event
This year’s Safe Summer Tip-Off basketball game is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 9th at the USC Galen Center.  Already in its third year, this collaborative event features the game itself, static displays of police and fire equipment, celebrity appearances, gift giveaways and a free BBQ lunch.  Having won the game in both prior years, I fully expect the Department to turn out a “three-peat” victory as we face the Los Angeles City Fire Department in our annual battle of the badges basketball game.  The basketball game is a lot of fun and a real showcase of the spirit of competition between the LAPD and the LAFD.  I hope to see all of you there and please make sure to bring your friends and family to the event.    

Summer Night Lights Program
This month kicks off the fifth year of the City’s “Summer Night Lights Program.”  This extremely successful program involves 32 parks and gives youths, in some of our roughest neighborhoods, a safe haven where they can participate in a number of programs and activities during the summer months.  

With your positive influence and generous participation, this year’s “Summer Night Lights Program” is sure to be a repeat success.  

LGBTQ Month
During the month of June we support our LAPD brothers and sisters who are proud members of the gay community.  Their service within our sworn and civilian ranks makes our organization a more authentic reflection of the communities we serve.  Our diversity remains one of our primary strengths and we must remember that we are all one Department.  One family.

This also gives me the opportunity to remind you of our new Transgender policy, which should be familiar to everyone by now.  The policy’s essence is simple;  Treat everyone with respect. Familiarize yourself with the policy and put it into practice.  You can find a copy of the Notice on the Department’s LAN Homepage and on our public website, LAPDOnline.org.


History of Harbor Division
Located at the entrance of the Port of Los Angeles, Harbor Community Police Station encompasses 27 square miles of inland and coastal property which is patrolled by the LAPD.  Harbor Division services Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, San Pedro, Vista del Oro, the Port of LA, Terminal Island, Rolling Hills Highlands and Wilmington.  In 1928 Harbor Division was originally located across the street of the Beacon Street City Hall complex, in San Pedro, California.

In the late 1950’s plans were made to build a more modern police facility which was erected on Gibson street.  In 1962, the station was completed and began providing service to the nearly 162,273 Harbor residents.  The new Harbor Station opened in April 2009, the same year Harbor Area celebrated its 100th Year Anniversary.  The 50,000-square foot Harbor Division Police Station and jail is located at John S. Gibson Boulevard which is at the site of the old Harbor Division headquarters.  Some of the many features of this new modern facility are a helipad, a 400-space parking structure, and a 16,000-square-foot jail which can hold up to 300 inmates.

Notable Harbor Alumni
On February 25, 2012, Harbor Division Senior Lead Officer Joe Buscaino was sworn in as a Los Angeles City Councilman for District 15.  A sixteen year veteran of the Department and a lifelong resident of Council District 15, Councilman Buscaino joined a small group of other LAPD officers who have gone on to become political leaders in the City of Los Angeles.     

Always In Our Hearts
Let us never forget Harbor personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving the citizen of Los Angeles…..

Policeman Herbert Klade           EOW:  02/08/1926

Policeman John V. Wicks           EOW:  03/23/1927
 
Policeman Alfred C. Madon        EOW:  06/16/1935
 
Policeman Glenn H. Clark          EOW:  07/08/1950
 
Policeman John E. Dunphy         EOW:  06/22/1954
 
Policeman Robert Sweet            EOW:  12/26/1956
 
Police Officer Robert Mata          EOW:  09/19/2000

Budget
By now you have all heard the news of the City’s latest financial woes related to the budget for Fiscal Year 2012/2013.  There are many tough decisions being made that will deeply impact our civilian brothers and sisters.  The City’s financial situation has not improved, as you well know, and there will be concessions that must be made as we enter the next fiscal year.  

As I write this message in May, it is important that you are aware that the information coming from City Hall is all very fluid and seems to change from day to day.  What I can tell you, with certainty, is that I will always be truthful with you.  Unfortunately at times the truth is not pretty but at the very least you will have the most current and up to date information, via the Department’s LAN Homepage, on matters that affect you and your job.  

You and Your Family
As you all know we work in a profession where we put our lives on the line on a near daily basis.  Although crime is at historic lows, attacks on police officers have increased at an alarming rate.  As part of overall employee wellness, I want to remind you to please make sure that your “house" is in order at all levels.  I’m referring to matters involving living trusts, wills, health directives, beneficiary information, disability and health insurance.  

Some of these are simple decisions to make, while others involve more thought provoking and difficult discussions with family members and professionals.  In my thirty five years on the job, it has been my experience that random tragic life events, injuries and catastrophic illnesses can happen to anyone at any time.  I can assure you that taking care of business now will help make the grief and recovery process a little easier on your loved ones.  

If you are unfamiliar with where to start, the Department has several resources to assist in navigating these types of matters.  If you need assistance with links to resources, please contact the Department’s Wellness Coordinators, Sergeant Mary Kite, at 213-944-6819 or Sergeant Whit Pauly, at 213-925-0963.

Closing
My appreciation to all of the officers who worked last month’s May Day events.  For the most part the demonstrations were orderly and the demonstrators were able to exercise their right to free speech in a peaceful and respectful manner.  Unfortunately, the day’s events were marred by a few cowards who came to the downtown area with the sole purpose of starting trouble and assaulting LAPD officers.  During a confrontation at 4th Street and Hill Street, one officer was injured and sent to the hospital and several other officers were assaulted during two unprovoked attacks.  Luckily, we were able to identify and arrest the suspect from one of the attacks and are  working diligently to identify and arrest the outstanding suspects.

Assaults on our officers will not be tolerated and I assure you that I will do everything in my power to locate these suspects and bring them to justice.  I thank you for always being the true professionals that you are and for showing tremendous restraint during these types of situations.
 
Remember to always keep the tactical edge;  stay alert and aware of your surroundings and always watch each other’s backs.   

Be safe,
Charlie
 


Chief of Police Message - May 2012

Chief’s Message
May 2012



Police Memorial Month
The month of May is recognized as Police Memorial Month.  During this period, we take the time to honor those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice to our profession and those who we’ve lost while serving in the Military.  

To date, 204 Los Angeles Police Department officers have died in the line of duty; 53 have passed during my time as a police officer.  Many of those who have passed are friends, all of them are family.  It is important that we honor them through our remembrance.

Police officers are asked to do extraordinary things.  Police officers are asked to risk their lives for those that they don’t know, and for their law enforcement brothers and sisters.  That risk is only worthwhile if we honor them.  Take time to visit the Los Angeles Police Department’s Memorial To Fallen Officers, and recognize those who have given so much for so many.   

Memorial Ceremony
On Thursday, May 3rd, we will host our annual Police Memorial Ceremony at the Ronald F. Deaton Auditorium at the Police Administration Building.  This event will feature a reading of the names of the fallen officers, as an airship performs a fly over.  Many of the family members of those who have been killed in the line of duty are scheduled to attend.  This is an excellent opportunity for those of us who have survived to show our recognition for these fallen heroes. It is only through honoring them that their sacrifices are repaid.  

During the month of May, let us show our support and pay homage for those who have died in the line of duty by wearing the mourning band on your badge.  Please do so with pride and in tribute to our fallen comrades.  

Above & Beyond
For the first time ever, the Medal of Valor and the Purple Heart Ceremonies will be combined at this year’s Above & Beyond, Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Ceremony.  The event is scheduled for May 10th, at the Grand Ballroom of the Hollywood and Highland Center.  This is a great event that honors our heroes; those who have sacrificed so much, who have performed so brilliantly and have made our profession proud.  This year’s 15 recipients will etch their names in the history books alongside those who have displayed courage and embodied the heroism of the Los Angeles Police Department.  

United States Police and Fire Championships
This year’s United States Police and Fire Championships will take place June 16th – 24th, in San Diego, California.  Approximately 10,000 police and firefighters will attend and participate in everything from badminton to bowling, motocross to softball, and basketball.  This is a great way to show your pride in the Los Angeles Police Department, and pride in your own athletic accomplishments.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the various sporting venues.  

History of Hollenbeck
In 1927, Hollenbeck Station was named in honor of Mr. John Edward Hollenbeck and family.  Mr. Hollenbeck was an influential businessman who purchased approximately 6,700 acres of land on the east side of the Los Angeles River and established a variety of businesses in the area.  Hollenbeck Park, located on the corner of Saint Louis and Fourth Street, was erected from land donated to the City by Mr. Hollenbeck.
   
Hollenbeck’s Fallen Heroes

Police Officer Steven Gajda, Serial No. 27686, was shot when he stopped to investigate a loud party on December 31, 1997.  Officer Gajda died from his injuries on January 1, 1998.  

Police Officer Jerry Maddox, Serial No. 14317, was shot and killed when he stopped to investigate a loud party on August 19, 1969.

Significant Hollenbeck Events

-Joseph Wambaugh, author of the The New Centurions and the Onion Field, retired from Hollenbeck Station.

-Kathleen Soliah (A.K.A. Sarah Jane Olson) placed a pipe bomb under a Hollenbeck detective’s vehicle in August 1975.  The device did not detonate.

-Officers assigned to the Hollenbeck Station arrested Richard Ramirez, the infamous “Night Stalker” in 1985.

-On October 16, 2010, to honor Rudy de Leon, the first Mexican American and Latino to hold the position of Captain at Hollenbeck, the station was retitled the “Rudy de Leon / Hollenbeck Community Police Station.”

Closing
The things I speak of today; The Medal of Valor and Purple Heart, deaths in the line of duty, all these things transcend the financial burdens that are set upon us by the city’s economic issues.  It’s been a tough couple of years, with the financial picture not looking any better in the coming year.  As a result of these hurdles, the city will continue its struggle to meet the goals of public safety; but I have absolute faith in the men and women of the LAPD.  

What I ask of you is simple; at the start of each shift always remember to do the right thing.  Whether it’s in your private or professional life, always make the best decision based on your training and experience, your morals and your heart.   

Be safe,
Charlie


Chief’s Message-April 2012

In the business of law enforcement, success and failure often hinge on the commitment of the organization to its goals, the employees which serve, and the collaborative efforts within the community.  As a Department we could not achieve our successes without the help from our community and the dedicated service of our sworn and civilian employees.  There is one unique way, however, in which community and police work come together and have a tremendous impact on the lives that we protect and the community that we serve.  I’m referring to our Reserve Officers.


Since their early days during World War II, Reserve Officers have been woven into the fabric of our Department as they serve alongside our officers, with pride and distinction.  Reserve Officers volunteer their time while performing many of the same duties and taking many of the same risks as you.  With a volunteer force of more than 700 officers, their commitment and service to the community is a valuable asset in our efforts to combat crime.

With April being Reserve Officer Appreciation Month, let us take the time to thank our Reserves for their service to our Department and our communities.  The selfless acts they perform everyday are consistent with the proud traditions of our organization. I ask that you join me in thanking our Reserve Officers for a job well done.

20 Year Anniversary of the LA Riots

Twenty years ago this month the eyes of the world were on Los Angeles as civil unrest engulfed our great City.  Images of buildings burning, stores being looted, and innocent civilians being attacked by fellow Angelinos are permanently embedded in our minds.  It was a dark moment in the history of our Department and our City.

Through that darkness however, we emerged a stronger and much more capable Department.  We are now much better prepared to deal with situations, like civil unrest, through specific training which wasn’t available back then.

Perhaps most importantly, our relationship with the community is much better and stronger than it was back in 1992.  Your efforts to engage with the communities we serve and foster a relationship of trust and collaboration have taken us to unprecedented heights.  Those of you who were on the job back then can also attest to the cultural changes which have improved our Department in many ways.

So as history goes, we must always remember our past but keep our eye to the future.  Keep strong our relationships with the communities we serve and continue to foster goodwill through our everyday efforts to protect and to serve.

History of Southwest Area

The Southwest Area of the Los Angeles Police Department was originally known as University Division.  The original location was near Jefferson Boulevard and Menlo Avenue which is now part of the University of Southern California campus.  At that time, University Division was at the southern edge of the City.  Everything south of the divisional borders was open pasture and grassland.  University Division was first established in 1905 and its station in 1909.
During the 1970’s, University Division was renamed to Southwest Area and is approximately 13 square miles.  It is a culturally diverse community with a population over 165,000 people.  The area includes the communities of Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, Crenshaw Community, Jefferson Park, Leimert Park, Crenshaw District, West Adams Community, and University Park.

Southwest Area is also home to some of the greatest landmarks in the City of Los Angeles, such as;  the LA Memorial Coliseum, Sports Arena, University of Southern California, Exposition Park, Mount Saint Mary’s College, Shrine Auditorium, West Angeles Church, First AME Church, and the Galen Center.  Southwest Area has been instrumental in hosting high profile events, such as the Olympics, entertainment award shows, political events, and sport events.   Southwest Area is also the proud host of the Annual Kingdom Day Parade, which celebrates the life and achievements of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

Fallen Heroes of Southwest Division

Fourteen Southwest Area officers have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.  This is the highest number of officers killed in a single division in the Los Angeles Police Department.  Their selfless acts protecting the people of our City cannot be overstated and their loss will live on live on in our Department’s history forever.

Significant Events in Southwest Area

January 15, 1947 – Elizabeth Short (Black Dahlia) was found mutilated.  Her body sliced in half at the waist.  She was found in the Leimert Park Area.  The Black Dahlia unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story.

December 14, 1963 – The Baldwin Hills Reservoir was a water storage basin located on a low hilltop in Baldwin Hills.  The water storage was built directly on an active fault line and underlying geologic strata that was considered unstable for a reservoir.  In three hours the dam breached, releasing approximately 250 million gallons of water onto the surrounding neighborhood.  In the process, 277 homes were destroyed and 5 lives were lost.  The rescue efforts averted a greater loss of life.  The reservoir is now part of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

July 28, 1984, Southwest Area held the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXIII Olympiad at the LA Memorial Coliseum.


Baker to Vegas

The 28th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is set to take place April 21-22.  Many of you have been training for months as you and your teammates prepare for the grueling race through the desert.  The miles you’ve run and the time invested have prepared you for this celebrated multi-agency law enforcement competition.  

Keeping true to the spirit of competition, represent your Department proudly and give it your best.  But most of all have fun.  The time spent with your colleagues builds relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.

I also want to give a special “thank you” to the many organizers and members of the support teams who help out during the race.  It is not easy making that slow-speed drive through the middle of nowhere and throughout the night.  It is because of your unwavering commitment to teamwork and competition, that this extraordinary event can happen and for that reason all of the participants in the run are truly grateful.

Best wishes for a safe and successful race and I look forward to seeing you there and hearing of your triumphs upon your return.  

In closing, be safe and always take care of yourself and each other.  
Charlie


Chief’s Message March 2012

In December 2011, the Managed Hiring Committee approved our repeated requests to grant some long overdue promotions and upgrades.  Since then we have advertised 85 sworn upgrades, nine Detective IIIs and 76 Police Officer IIIs.  Additionally, we have promoted 11 Lieutenants and 24 Sergeants.  For Civilians we have hired a Police Administrator I to be the Risk Manager for the Department, promoted three Personnel Analyst I’s and upgraded one Criminalist II. 

Rest assured I will do everything I can to secure the future of our Department by continuing to work for the promotions you deserve.

Heroic Actions

I know that many of you are involved in commendable acts everyday but I wanted to acknowledge two that have occurred recently: 

On January 15, 2012, Rampart Division Officers Seree Rattanapichetkul and Anthony Farias were on duty in the area of 12th Street and Westlake Avenue when they noticed a plume of smoke.  The officers drove north on Westlake Avenue where they immediately observed heavy smoke coming from the top floor of a two-story house.

The officers arrived at the location and were met by Captain Rigo Romero’s sister on the front patio.  She told the officer’s that her 89-year old mother was still inside the house.  Without hesitation Officers Rattanapichetkul and Farias raced inside the home and, through the burning smoke, located Ms. Romero and brought her to safety.

On January 7, 2012, at change of watch an on duty Southwest Patrol Sergeant collapsed in the parking lot area of Southwest station.  Officers Adolfo Vazquez and Miguel Lopez-Munoz put out a help call, requested an RA and began life saving efforts on the supervisor.   Sergeant Brian Bixler, retired Sergeant Bill Smith and Detective Joe Chavez ran out from inside the station and assisted with the CPR.  Officer John Knighton and Officer Luis Barrera retrieved the portable defibrillator from the station and used it on the sergeant.  Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and transported the sergeant to the hospital.   There is no doubt in my mind that the sergeant is alive today thanks to the lifesaving efforts of these officers.   

These are examples of the tremendous impact that you have on the lives of the people we serve and work with each and every day.  Thank you for a job well done.

Baker to Vegas

The 28th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is set to take place April 21-22.  This year our Department will have 35 teams competing including our Women’s Team and our Department Open Team.  Those of you participating in this year’s race have been training for some time now.  Many hours and many miles have gone into it so far and many more will be had.

For some of you this will be your first time competing.  For others this will be yet another year making that grueling trek through the desert.  Whatever your reason for competing, your drive, determination and commitment to maintaining your personal wellness is to be commended. 

Employee wellness has been one of my Department-wide goals since becoming your Chief.  Personal fitness is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  For those of you who are not competing in this year’s Baker to Vegas relay or those of you who just don’t like running, it is never too late to start an exercise regimen.  Whether its utilizing fitness centers located at your facility or just taking a walk with some colleagues, take the time to take care of yourself. 

History of Rampart Area

From serving as the model police station for the opening scene of the television show Adam-12, to being the first LAPD area to effectively utilize cameras as a crime fighting tool in a seriously crime-ridden area, Rampart has a storied and historic significance.  Rampart Area also holds a special significance to me.  Thirty-five years ago this month I was sitting in the roll-call room as a brand new P-I, eager to begin the career that had always been in my bloodline.

The Area first opened in 1966 as a brand new station to accommodate the growing population in the City.  In July 2008, the old station at 2710 West Temple Street was replaced with a brand new, “green,” state of the art station at 1401 West 6th Street (the previous location of Central Receiving Hospital).  Rampart Area underwent further transition in January 2009 when two new stations opened up reducing the Area from 6.5 square miles to 5.5 square miles. 

Fallen Heroes of Rampart Area

On August 18, 1970, Policeman Michael W. Parker was the passenger officer in the secondary vehicle involved in a pursuit of a possible stolen motorcycle.  As the driver of the secondary unit tried to overtake the primary unit, the driver lost control and crashed into a large palm tree.  Officer Parker was ejected from the vehicle and passed away from his injuries at the scene.  A photo of Officer Parker is posted at the front desk lobby area of the station as a memorial of the lone Rampart officer lost in the line of duty.

Closing

Let’s keep moving ahead putting forth the effort to support one another, and continuing to maintain the highest level of professionalism in any situation we encounter.  Always recognize that at the end of your shift you go home knowing you made a huge contribution to the people of the communities who depend on us each day.  As always, be safe. 


Chief’s Message February 2012

As a world-class law enforcement agency, ensuring public safety is the mandate of the  Los Angeles Police Department.  A review of the 2011 End of Year crime statistics reveals, once again, that your hard work and dedicated service to the citizens of Los Angeles is paying off.   

Crime in all of the major Part One categories, with the exception of homicides, was down for the ninth straight year.  While year-to-date homicides increased by one, the overall homicide rate remains at levels that we have not seen since 1967.  This is a remarkable accomplishment.

Particularly impressive are the gang-related statistics.  Gang-related crimes account for a large portion of the City’s total crime; this is why the 15.2% drop in criminal gang activity is a particularly impressive accomplishment.

Perhaps the most telling figure to come out of the final crime statistics for 2011 is that there were 6,447 fewer victims of crime, compared to last year.  But these are not just statistics, these are the many lives that were spared the agony and sense of violation that comes with being the victim of a crime.  This is why our job is so important and the reason why we chose a career with the
Los Angeles Police Department.

As crimes rates continue to fall and the quality of life for the people of Los Angeles continues to improve, it is clear that our way of doing business is effective.  You should be as proud of your achievements, as I am of you.  

Hollywood Shooting

During the morning hours of December 9, 2011, a deranged gunman, with total disregard for human life, including his own, began terrorizing people in one of our most recognizable neighborhoods.  Armed with a handgun, the suspect began shooting at random, striking three innocent bystanders and killing one.

Working nearby on a plain clothes detail, Detective I Craig Marquez and his partner,
Detective I Travonne Dixon, rushed to the scene of the active shooter.  Police Officer II
Kevin Cotter, who was working at a near-by off-duty movie detail, also heard the shots and quickly responded to the suspect’s location; it was immediately evident that the suspect had no intention of surrendering.  Detective Marquez and Officer Cotter engaged the suspect and ended the threat to the public.  

While the gunman’s senseless act of violence tragically claimed the life of an innocent victim, the heroic actions of our officers prevented what surely would have been the devastating loss of additional lives.  

When you took the oath to become a Los Angeles Police Officer, you understood the scope of your commitment to protect the safety of our citizens – regardless of time, location or circumstance.  Detective Marquez, Detective Dixon and Officer Cotter, reacted with split-second resolve, precision, and courage thus fulfilling their duty in the highest traditions of the
Los Angeles Police Department.

History of Central Area

Beginning this month, I will highlight one of our 21 Areas and some of their significant incidents and accomplishments.  For February we focused on Central Area.

Central has a long history of being at the center of events impacting our City and our Nation.  The division first opened in 1869 and was originally located in the old City Hall building on Broadway in between Second and Third Street.  In 1896, with the rapid growth of Los Angeles, it moved to a larger facility on First Street where it remained for 60 years.  Today, Central Area is located on Sixth Street and serves an area of four and a half square miles and 40,000 people.  Central Area is under the command of Captain Horace Frank and has a staff of 440 sworn and civilian employees.   

Fallen Heroes of Central Area

On December 19, 1984, Officer Duane Johnson was shot and killed by a robbery suspect in Chinatown.  Officer Johnson and his partner responded to a radio call of a jewelry store robbery and were, unbeknownst to the officers, let into the location by one of the suspects, who was posing as a store employee.  A shootout ensued and Officer Johnson was mortally wounded.  

On December 12, 1988, Officer Manuel Gutierrez, Officer David Hofmeyer, and Officer Derrick Connor were killed in a traffic collision while responding to a back-up call at 6th and Wall.   

These are just two examples of Central Area officers making the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.  Their loss leaves a permanent void for our Department and the entire law enforcement community.  

Significant Events in Central Area

  • OJ Simpson Murder Trial – January thru October 1995
  • Democratic National Convention @ Staples Center – August 2000
  • Immigration March in Downtown L.A. – March 2006
  • Michael Jackson Memorial Service @ Staples Center – July 2009
  • NBA All-Star Game – February 2004 and 2010


Recently, Central Area personnel worked tirelessly with the Occupy LA movement as the protesters exercised their right to free of speech.  Months of negotiation and respect for the first amendment rights of all participants resulted in a non-confrontational and symbiotic relationship that garnered respect from all involved.  As the movement progressed, Central Area officers displayed great restraint and professionalism, and the final coordinated action culminated into a positive result that many said was respectful of the rights afforded by the United States Constitution.

Closing

I thank you for the outstanding service and professionalism that you display each and every day as members of our great organization.  You never cease to amaze me with your commitment to our Department, and to the people of this fine City.  I am so very proud of your achievements and I encourage you to remain steadfast and focused as we face the New Year together.  
As always, be safe!