Recently, we have come under sharp criticism regarding the training and abilities of the police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a homeless man on skid row. Critics opined that any four officers who could not take a single unarmed suspect into custody without resorting to deadly force must be incompetent. I will not comment on the specific officers involved in the shooting or whether the tactics employed were proper. As you all know the investigation is far from complete, but I would like to comment on this mistaken belief that physical conflicts are completely predictable and controllable. Los Angeles Police officers are the best trained in the nation, but with that training comes the realization that the dynamics of extreme physical conflict are such that every instance is different, and every situation has the potential to escalate quickly with deadly results. Because policing is done so publically and has been the subject of so many portrayals in works of fiction, everyone believes they are a subject matter expert.
During this time of criticism, take a moment to know that you are supported by the vast majority of the public, and most importantly, by me. I know you are the best trained officers in the world. Continue to do the great work you do every day, and reflect on the number of people you’ve helped throughout your career and the many more who depend on you to keep them safe in the future.
LAPD Reserve Officer Appreciation Month
The month of April marks our annual appreciation and recognition of our Reserve Corps program. Many of you know that almost 40 years ago, I began my law enforcement career as an LAPD reserve officer, and it’s a program I’m very proud of. I know firsthand how reserve officers are a tremendous force multiplier for our Department. Each day reserve officers work different assignments side by side with full-time police officers in a seamless way. The public has no idea reserve officers put their lives on the line for no pay.
Reserve officers are the truest form of community-based policing. The value reserve officers bring to the table is immense, and their hard work and dedication are a priceless benefit to the City. Reserve officers are not content to play a passive role in life. They get involved for the betterment of our community, and by doing so, they live up to the Reserve Corps’ motto, “To be a reserve is to be twice a citizen.” In your daily assignments, as you work alongside a reserve officer, please join me in recognizing and thanking them for their service.
Thank you for all you do and be safe,