Chief's Message

The Future of the Department

As we look around the nation, we are reminded of the challenging work ahead of us within the law enforcement community. You may find yourselves reaffirming your commitment to serve the people of this City.

For our Department to be truly successful, people by and large must willingly comply with the law. They will not do so in significant numbers if they do not believe in you. If the community believes we are a legitimate authority tied to the community, they will forgive mistakes. They will reach out. They will be our eyes and ears. They will do all of that, but if they think we are self-serving, if they think we are not fair, not just, that won't happen. And not everybody will turn against us. As a matter of fact, most won't. But for those of you who were here in 1992, you will remember that 10% unruly populace is about 9% more than we can handle.


The true measure of a police department is not the absence of crime, but the presence of justice. That is the absolute truth. We've worked so hard to reduce crime, but if we don't create justice, if we are not viewed as fair, if we are not viewed as an equitable and enforcement arm of the state; it means nothing.


In the past few weeks, you have all done a tremendous job. No one can look at what you've done in crowd management and the disciplined manner in which you held the line and say we weren't effective and we weren't fair. I saw young cops and old cops bend over backwards to be fair. But when it came to be effective, we were effective. We did it in a fair way. On one of the first nights of protests, I saw a news clip of an African-American metro officer nose-to-nose with what appeared to be a middle-class college student who happened to be Caucasian and the student was calling him every name in the book, including a traitor. The cop never flinched. He wasn't baited, he didn't break lines. He gave the perfect impression of the kind of police department that I want us to be. So I found him that night when I went back out on the streets and I told him what I saw, he humbly said, "I don't even remember what you're talking about." I had to double-check to make sure I had the right guy and I did. But, that's exactly what we are about. That's what makes this organization great. I see it in all of you. Every one of you.


As you all know, we are the poster children for West Coast policing. Maybe even for national policing. This will come home for us and there will be incidents, but its about how we respond to it. I need everybody to be committed this year. I need everybody to pay attention and to support each other. We all have a responsibility to create justice, fairness and effectiveness, no matter what rank, classification or assignment you hold. I ask that you keep this in mind and think about ways you can be a part of making things right in the work you do within the communities you serve, or whether its within your watch, unit or office.


Deputy Chief Rick Jacobs


I have often said that everyone in this Department is replaceable, including myself. We hold positions to pass them onto the next generation. Hopefully we retire and leave the Department better than when we started. Chief Jacobs is as close to being irreplaceable as one can get. He has been a partner, friend, advisor, navigator, organizer, leader, and the Chief of Staff during a tenuous time of our Department. His unique perspective and multitude of Department experiences are unprecedented. Although I am very confident in our recent Command Staff promotions, Chief Jacobs will be missed. Congratulations on a great career. Enjoy your family and wishing you health in your retirement. Thanks brother.


LAPD Civilian Wellness Program with Parker Foundation


This past year the Civilian Wellness Program was established and has already assisted several employees with emergency relief and grants. This is a program in which I support and believe in, but we need support of each member of this organization to help it grow.


The William H. Parker Foundation has stepped up and has provided a tremendous amount of support for this program, created out of need. The Civilian Wellness Program provides financial assistance for civilian employees who are experiencing catastrophic illness or a death. The sworn membership have such support from the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, however there was a gap for our civilian employees.


Outreach has been continuous and ongoing for the Civilian Wellness Program in partnership with the Parker Foundation. I invite you to participate in fundraising efforts and events held throughout the year or make a tax deductible cash donation to help support the Civilian Wellness Program. This is yet another way the LAPD family can demonstrate support for our civilian professionals.


“Obey The Rules of the Road” Public Service Announcements (PSAs)


Three new PSAs produced by Central Traffic Division are redefining the LAPD’s community outreach to bring much needed public attention to pedestrian, cyclist and vehicle safety. Central Traffic Division has taken the lead on this traffic safety campaign and I commend everyone involved for their efforts in producing a high quality production with the help of celebrity actors and our very own traffic officers. The “Rules of the Road" PSAs are posted on various digital media sources, including lapd.online.org and the LANs.


This year we remain committed to promoting traffic safety through the use of these PSAs and will continue to focus on awareness in an effort to save lives. These PSAs are a great tool to continue the conversation between each and every one of us in our own lives. I encourage you to watch these short (30 second) videos. These simple reminders apply to all of us, with a very powerful message to stay safe. I need every one of you to work safely and wear your seat belts so you can get home to your families each day...they will be thankful you did.


Happy New Year and be safe,


Charlie

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