Class 2-13 Recruit Graduation

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August 9, 2013 – On the athletic field at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park, the newest members of the Department proudly stood at attention as they awarded their diploma of graduation.  Twenty-nine individuals underwent six months of intense training which culminated with today’s ceremony in front of Department command staff, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, dignitaries and their family and friends.

There is little down time for these new officers as many of them will begin their new assignments on the streets of Los Angeles within the next 36 hours. For more information on how you can become a Los Angeles Police officer, please visit

Chief’s Message June 2013

The month of June marks the start of the summer months and many organized events I’m especially proud of.  Programs and events our Department is involved in go a long way in helping the youth in our City steer clear of gangs and gang violence.  One of these programs, which has been recognized nationally for its effectiveness, is Summer Night Lights.  Now in its sixth year, the Summer Night Lights Program is an example of collaboration and community policing at its finest.  Thirty-two parks in some of our most vulnerable neighborhoods throughout the City will remain open after dark, providing a safe haven for families and strengthening the bond between us and our communities.  I urge you to get involved and be an active participant in the program whenever possible.  It’s yet another opportunity for you to be a positive influence on our youth.

The fourth annual Safe Summer Tip-Off Youth Safety Festival and Basketball Event is being held at the USC Galen Center on Saturday June 29th.   Our Department’s undefeated team proudly challenges LAFD in a “friendly” game of basketball.  Interactive displays and demonstrations by both Departments, a free BBQ lunch and celebrity appearances will all lead up to the big game.  We have beaten the Fire Department in every year of this game’s existence and I expect more of the same this year.  But the real winner of this event is the community so come on out and bring the family.

History of Devonshire Area

Devonshire Division began as nothing more than a storefront station in a shopping center in 1968 before formally opening the doors of its permanent site in 1973.  It encompasses the communities of Granada Hills, Northridge, Porter Ranch, Chatsworth and part of North Hills.  At nearly 54 square miles, Devonshire is among the largest of the Department’s geographical areas and provides dedicated service to nearly 250,000 residents of Los Angeles.

The Division is comprised of six basic cars, each of which represents culturally diverse segments of the community that sponsor in excess of 50 Neighborhood Watch groups.  Devonshire has a long-standing reputation of community involvement, incorporating several dynamic groups, including Supporters of Law Enforcement in Devonshire (SOLID), the Cadet Program, Police Activity League Supporters (PALS), and the Jeopardy Program.

Significant Events

Devonshire Division has a storied history of memorable events.  Sadly among the most noteworthy events have been tragic and unforgettable: the Northridge Earthquake (1994), the Jewish Community Center shooting (1999), the Metrolink railway collision (2008), and the Sesnon Fire (2008).

Fallen Heroes of Devonshire

Regrettably, two Devonshire officers have died in the line of duty.  On February 12, 1976, Officer Zlatko Sintic, 33 years old, and a nine year veteran, was shot to death while responding to an early morning alarm call at a McDonald’s restaurant, mere blocks from the police station.   The suspect remained barricaded for several hours before taking his own life.

On February 22, 1994, Officer Christy Hamilton, a 45 year-old probationary officer, responded to a domestic disturbance at a Granada Hills residence.  As she exited the police vehicle, she was shot by a troubled teen who moments earlier, killed his step-father.  The suspect ultimately took his own life.  A memorial honoring the memory of these two slain heroes stands in the station foyer.

Ask the Chief

Several officers have asked me why I plan to donate the proceeds from my appearance on “Southland” to Homeboy Industries.  This is a valid question and I appreciate your inquiries regarding my stance on gangs and gang crime.  Although you may not agree with my decision, it is important to me that you understand where I’m coming from.

Keep in mind; we are all in the business of keeping this City safe.  Over the years our crime statistics have decreased at an unprecedented rate.  This is not by happenstance, nor did it occur overnight.  The end of this year’s first quarter, our total gang crimes were down by 20.5 percent from 986 to 784 and gang related homicides dropped 29.3 percent from 41 to 29.  I would be remiss if I did not thank you and recognize each of the hard working officers for your dedication and being a part of the total solution to gang violence.  It is your work I’m most proud of.  I thank you for your commitment and collective efforts in driving crime down to historic lows and commend you for the innovative methods in which you continue to maintain this great feat.
My stance on gang crime has always been an “all hands on deck” approach to tackle the problem and find solutions that actually work.  That total solution involves prevention to stop the flow of our youth into gangs, intervention to rescue those already involved, suppression to deter criminal acts through effective law enforcement and re-entry to provide an alternative future to gang members returning from incarceration.  I have always believed it is everyone’s job to make a difference.  We cannot be successful on our own nor can we arrest our way out of the gang crime problem.  We need the community to ‘own’ the problem and to be actively involved in the solution.  It means giving people a second chance and an opportunity to make a difference.  I have seen first-hand and have come to value the work of interventionists as an asset in reducing incidents of retaliatory shootings and murders in some of the most violent areas of the City.  Yes, police officers and interventionists clearly have different ideas and roles, but we must recognize we do share the same common goals; reducing violent crime and saving lives.

Intervention programs such as Homeboy Industries are designed to help gang members turn their lives around.  Not all succeed, but every innocent life saved from a senseless killing or retaliatory shooting makes all the difference in keeping our communities safe.  This was the reasoning behind my decision to donate my check to Homeboy Industries.  It is my hope and expectation that you also recognize there is great value to working together with people from all walks of life to achieve one common goal.  I reaffirm what I have always believed in; Cops Count, Character Counts and the Community Counts.

As always, I welcome your emails and look forward to working with you soon.

Be safe,

Chief’s Message February 2013

This month marks the formal addition of General Services Police Department into the ranks of the LAPD family.  I take great satisfaction knowing we have complemented our organization with such dedicated and talented individuals.  I know together we will continue to have a positive impact on the communities we serve.

Community Relations

With every radio call you handle and every interaction you have, you have an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on the community we serve.  I truly believe in treating people as you would like to be treated or as you would expect the police to treat one of your family members.  The value of unsolicited explanations or chats with those who live and work in our City, as you drive from radio call to radio call, is priceless.  I challenge each of you to stop and take a moment to engage your community.  I’m not saying that every contact will be positive but for the most part the public appreciates our service and is happy to see us in and around their neighborhoods and businesses.  You never know when you are going to need the community’s good faith to work to your advantage.  Whether it’s to generate votes for positive budgets for the Department, or to get a community member to call in a tip on a crime that has occurred, it is the positive impressions of our Department that can go a long way.  It’s a two way street, and when we continue to extend ourselves the others will follow. 

Crime reduction and community engagement assists us in building and maintaining our partnerships with the community, schools, and clergy as we all can help one another when an incident occurs in our City.  When community members receive a friendly smile and a wave from a street cop, you have instantly calmed their fears and eased their sense of anxiety.  For many of you now tasked with visiting our schools, in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, please recognize that you are making a difference each day you put on your LAPD uniform and badge.        

History of Newton Area

Newton Division was established February 23, 1925.  The first station to house Newton officers was located at 1354 Newton Street.  The boundaries were 6th Street to Slauson and Avalon to the Los Angeles River.  The 42,000 citizens living within Newton’s boundaries were served by 105 officers, covering approximately 5.57 square miles. 
In 1964, the original station was renovated to accommodate more personnel.  The western border was extended to the 110 Freeway and the southern border became Florence.  The boundaries have remained unchanged since.  Recognizing the need for larger facilities and closer proximity to the residential side of the division, Newton moved to its third and current station, located at 3400 South Central Avenue, in 1997. 

Today, 350 employees call Newton home, covering nine square miles, serving a population of 150,000 people.  The community is home to the largest Produce Market in the world.  The
Coca-Cola Plant, Santa Fe Railroad, Guess and Los Angeles Trade Technical College are some of the recognizable institutions found within the division. 

Fallen Heroes of Newton

Policeman Norbert Huseman, Serial No. 7425
End of Watch:  December 31, 1945

Police Officer Ricardo Lizarraga, Serial No. 36046
End of Watch:  February 20, 2004

Gone but NEVER forgotten…May you both rest in peace.

Newton Area Significant Events

On December 9, 1969, police served search warrants for illegal weapons at the Black Panther Headquarters at 41st and Central.  The Black Panthers resisted with vigor as more than 5,000 rounds were exchanged during a four hour standoff.  This was the first major, televised event of its kind in the history of American policing and infamously known as The Black Panther Shootout. 

Ask The Chief:

Now, this is where I need your help.  I need to know what’s on your mind, whether it is about changes within the Department or what my stance is on current police related issues.  There is much to be said about our ever evolving role in law enforcement and how we fight crime in our great City.  So, beginning with this month’s message, I’d like to address some questions which I‘ve received through my email account.    

Question:  What are the chances of re-implementing the divisional ALPO Units ? 

The Office of Operations collaborated with Detective Bureau and SID in a pilot program that re-instituted the ALPO officer position in each of the 21 Areas; based on divisional deployment needs and at the discretion of the specific Area’s Commanding Officer.  This program was largely initiated due to the loss in SID personnel and the increase of property crimes requiring print analysis. Each of the 21 Areas were to select two officers from their Area to investigate property crime scenes and any lifted prints, containing evidentiary value.  This effort would then free up SID personnel to focus additional resources on violent crime scenes.  In exchange for the assistance, SID committed to a quick analysis of 10 property crimes, per Area, per month in addition to the violent crime results that they would normally provide.  SID’s goal is to return these results to the Areas within 8 weeks.

Question:  When will 484 arrests be added to the revised Direct Cite RFC procedures?  

It is anticipated that a Department Notice will be published in the next 60 days that details the requirements in order to issue an RFC in lieu of a physical booking for a first-time shoplift arrest.   Detective Bureau is finalizing their research on the feasibility of completing an RFC in lieu of a physical booking for first time 484 shoplift offenders.  They have researched procedures used by other law enforcement agencies in the region as well as the results of earlier pilot programs.  Key to the success of the time-saving strategy is ensuring the revision does not result in more shoplift activity by those involved.  Once completed, the proposed procedure will be reviewed by the Chief of Police. 

Question:  Is it true you showed up to work patrol on Christmas Eve so an officer could take the night off?

Yes, it is.  I worked a Mid-PM Watch A-car on Christmas Eve in Rampart Division.  This came about last month when I met with your patrol watch commanders during a recent training session.  I offered them the opportunity to recommend an officer I should work for and in exchange, the officer was given the opportunity to take the night off and enjoy Christmas Eve with his/her loved ones.  Amazing and to his credit the officer, Police Officer II John “Troll” Chavez, Serial No.  25399, elected not to take the night off but instead came to work and participated in the Watch’s potluck dinner.  Many thanks to the men and women at Rampart Area, they fed me well and I enjoyed another busy night at The Castle!

Thank you for your email.  Please keep them coming!

Take care of each other as brothers and sisters in blue and be safe,