Chief's December Message

With the holidays upon us, and the year near its end, it is appropriate to pause for a moment to reflect on the experiences of the past year. The year 2007 has been a good one for the Los Angeles Police Department, and for the people of the City of Los Angeles. We have much to be thankful for and now is the time to count our blessings.

First and foremost, crime in our city is down. You’ve heard me say it before, it is the story to tell here. Crime levels in Los Angeles are down dramatically for the fifth year in a row. This is due, in no small part, to you and your nonstop efforts. Only pure talent, sheer determination and consummate professionalism can deliver the sort of results we have seen here in Los Angeles. We are a historically understaffed Department charged with policing a sprawling city- a city that was once considered the nation’s murder capital. The yearly decreases in crime that we have produced together are truly inspiring.

The LAPD of today is leading the way in law enforcement and laying the foundation for what I believe will be a future of peace and safety in our city and on our streets. For me that future begins with my second term as your Chief. I am grateful to the members of the Los Angeles Police Commission for giving me the opportunity to lead for another five years. My job here at the LAPD is far from finished. I intend to continue to focus on the goals I established when I became your Chief in 2002: continuing the yearly reductions in crime, fully implementing the consent decree, building a renowned Counter Terrorism prevention Bureau, increasing the size of the LAPD and procuring for you the very best technology and tools available to help you do your jobs better and protect your lives. If you were not able to attend my swearing in ceremony, you can listen to the podcast of the event on the LAPD Blog. A link to the Blog can be found on the internal LAN homepage, as well as the homepage of LAPDOnline.org

The year 2007 was also good to us in that, thankfully, we have not lost a single officer in the line of duty, despite the major spike in assaults on officers we’ve seen this year. Success against such odds makes this good news even better. I want to commend each of you for working so hard and successfully reducing crime in our city, all the while knowing of the ominous statistics at play. Bravery and courage are essential to the success of any police officer, and I am privileged to see so much of it in the officers of this Department.

Speaking of bravery and courage, this year, 16 Department employees-15 sworn and 1 civilian- will be overseas on military duty for the holidays, away from their families and friends. This level of service is the epitome of the holiday spirit. Please join me in saluting each and every one of them and please take time to remember their loved ones during this holiday season as well.

Another salute goes to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation (MC-LEF), an organization that, with one overwhelmingly generous act, has just helped change the lives of the members of the Selleh family. As we all remember, Mission Area Narcotics Detective Mike Selleh was involved in a fatal off-duty motorcycle accident on the 101 Freeway last July. The MCLEF has just gifted his two children, Scott and Jessica, each with full college scholarships. These scholarships are without limit, and will cover the entirety of their undergraduate, and any postgraduate, studies. With this single act of generosity, the Selleh family will never incur any educational expenses for Scott and Jessica, ever. The MCLEF has given over $27 million dollars to 2600 children of fallen Marines and police officers over the past 12 years. A non-profit organization, they receive funding from private donations and every single dollar they receive in donation goes right back out in the form of a gift. The Department extends sincere gratitude to the MC-LEF for this gracious act and all the good work they do, and we send our love and support to the Selleh family this season, as we will every season. The gifts of education, and the close relationship between the military and law enforcement communities, are both priceless.

On the subject of gifts, the Department and the communities we serve will again join forces this year for the LAPD Angels Toy and Book Drive. An annual tradition, the Toy and Book Drive underscores the very best aspect of the holiday experience: giving. It is also a community relations initiative that unites us all in a common cause other than law enforcement, and helps to build relationships between the Department and the people of our city. We will once again ask our generous community members to donate gifts and new or gently used books to local underprivileged youngsters by dropping off the unwrapped items to their Area stations this month. Once collected, all the Department’s police stations will then reach out to families in need within their own communities and distribute the gifts in the days before Christmas. Each year, LAPD officers give thousands of toys and books away for the holidays, and this year should be no different. We are brave, talented, law enforcement professionals, and we also have heart.

No holiday season should go by without a good party. This year, my wife Rikki and I would be honored to have all of you join us in what we hope will again be one of the great parties of the season. The LAPD Holiday Party will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2007, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the downtown Marriott Hotel. We all deserve some fun and merriment so, to that end, there will be live music in multiple ballrooms, dancing- including salsa and dance instruction- complimentary guest portraits, and even door prizes. We do it in high style, so dress up, but black tie is optional. For those interested in staying the night, we have negotiated a favorable room rate with the hotel. Call Marriott Reservations and reference the LAPD Holiday Party to receive your room discount. Tickets to the party are available through our good friends at the Police Foundation; you can reach them at 213-489-4636. We sincerely hope to see you there and share a happy evening of revelry together.

We have accomplished quite a lot in 2007, and we have much to celebrate as this year comes to a close. Your constant efforts at reducing crime have delivered positive results and will make happy, peaceful holidays for Los Angeles residents. Personally, I have experienced many things in my 37-year law enforcement career. Now as I enter my second term as your chief, I have nothing but tremendous pride in your achievements, and am humbled by the great work you continue to do. I couldn’t be in a better place than I find myself in today as your leader. I celebrate you, and I wish all of you warm, safe, happy holidays with loved ones and friends.


Chief's November Message

Last month I focused my message on the many positive changes that have occurred here at the Los Angeles Police Department over the past five years. As I begin my second term as Chief of Police, it’s an appropriate time to talk about a number of additional initiatives. They represent more of our efforts to achieve best practices, and I believe they are further evidence of our commitment to one of the Department’s Core Values: QualityThrough Continuous Improvement.

Throughout my 37-year career, I have always dealt with adversity and controversial issues and incidents forthrightly and transparently. I always seek to learn from both success and failure and to emerge from crisis, controversy, and challenge better informed and strengthened. As I have
previously discussed with you, in reference to the events in MacArthur Park on May 1st, much of what happened that day was inconsistent with the way we normally perform our duties and responsibilities. But even though it was a setback for us as a proud Department, confident of our skills, reputation and capabilities, we have learned some very valuable lessons. We must embrace and move forward with the lessons learned and articulated in my October 9th report to the Police Commission, that provide the framework for developing and institutionalizing “best practices” for future events. As that report so succinctly shows, training- constant, regularly updated training- as well as modern technology and comprehensive, coordinated planning, are essential elements for the successful management and control of major events. The report clearly described many of our leadership, management and individual failures during that event, and we will learn from the experience. We are a proud and exceptional organization that is also a learning organization that consistently seeks to learn and create best practices. A major positive outcome from the events of May 1st is the creation of the Incident Management and Training Bureau.

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING BUREAU

The Incident Management and Training Bureau (IMTB) came into being in the weeks following May 1st. The new Commanding Officer of IMTB, Chief Mike Hillmann, and his team spent all of July conducting updated training for 4 Area stations. In August, they analyzed the information they gathered in the July sessions and refined the curriculum to make it as meaningful as possible. September saw them return to scheduled Area trainings, which will continue for all areas through spring 2008. It is then my intention to have every sworn member of the Department go through the Crowd Management and Control Training every two years.

Aside from developing and conducting the Crowd Management training curriculum, IMTB has had other projects to handle as well. In the aftermath of May 1st, they provided updated training to the entire Metro Division, sought out and trained more instructors to work the Area training sessions, and put long hours into the preparation of the Department’s MacArthur Park after-action report. In August, ITMB, together with Hollywood Area and West Bureau, worked with the Los Angeles Fire Department in a first time ever practice evacuation of homes in a 1-square mile area near Griffith Park in response to the fires that affected this community last May. Emergency preparedness being a priority for all public safety organizations, members of ITMB also went to Minneapolis to meet with officials and study their response to the devastating bridge collapse they faced last August.

Clearly this new Bureau has become highly productive in a very short period of time and we have the May Day march to thank for its creation. That is positive response defined, and in the weeks, months, and years to come, we will all benefit from this positive outcome of the May Day events.

TEAMS II

I am also pleased to report that over the past several months, the Department has made significant progress in the implementation of TEAMS II, the major component of the Consent Decree. Department wide deployment of the new Complaint Management System was completed in April 2007. Additionally, the TEAMS II Development Bureau made significant improvements to the Use of Force System, simplifying the processing of categorical uses of force within the system, making the experience more efficient for users. TEAMS II personnel will continue to work with all of you to make the system more user-friendly.

Risk Management Information System (RMIS) Action Items were deployed Department-wide in March 2007. As of September 21, 2007, 1688 action items had been issued and 1222 had been completed and approved through the Bureau level. Because RMIS has gradually become the Department’s data repository, TEAMS II staff have been developing an ad-hoc reporting tool to take advantage of the available data and develop meaningful analytical reports.

In January 2007, the Independent Monitor for the Federal Consent Decree began its review of the TEAMS II system. To date, the Monitor has found 10 of the 15 TEAMS II–related paragraphs to be in compliance with Consent Decree requirements. The remaining five paragraphs are still under review by the Monitor and will be evaluated in the next Monitor Quarterly Report. We anticipate at this time that we will be in full compliance with all 15 paragraphs, a major milestone and one that is essential to allowing us to come out from under the Consent Decree. Out of the negative of the Rampart problems has come- not without a lot of hard work- state of the art, best practices management and personnel accountability systems that will be more fair, more timely, and consistent throughout the Department.

BOUNCE

The Recall Program, nicknamed “Bounce,” was approved by City Council on September 14, 2007. Bounce extends the DROP Program’s end date, allowing sworn personnel to be hired back by the Department after retirement for a period of up to twelve months, as needed. The Department will bring back only those employees that are deemed necessary for critical selective assignments. In this process, it is possible that an officer may be recalled to a vacant position. In this case, we have committed to the League that recalling officers will not adversely impact promotional opportunities for active officers. Bounce is a temporary, one year only, extension, after DROP.

MOBILE RADIOS

I have continuously mentioned that having the best equipment is equally as important as best practices. In this regard, mobile radios are critical to the job you do, and to keeping you safe. We are continuing the installation of the new Motorola XTS 5000 mobile radios in selected unmarked vehicles
and in all new black and whites. To date, 750 have been installed. As cars come in for service, they will have their radios replaced, with the exception of cars whose odometers bear 90,000 miles or more. Additionally, we are expecting 590 new cars to replace salvage cars in the 1st quarter of next year and each of these cars will receive mobile radios as well. The Department goal is for all cars to have the new mobile radios by the end of next calendar year. The Motorola XTS 5000 meets the Department of Homeland Security guideline that all new radio purchases be compliant with Associated Public Safety Communications Officials Project 25 (APCO P25) standards. P25 compliance means these radios are capable of supporting inter-agency communication in the event of a widespread, grand scale emergency. We will also be continuing our efforts with the City Council to get funding authority to replace our now seriously outdated portable radios.

Buildings Update

Metro Bomb Squad, Valley Bureau/Valley Traffic Division and Rampart Area facilities have now passed the 90% completion mark, with move-in projected for next year in February, March and July respectively. The Mid-City station is currently 80% complete, and Harbor, Hollenbeck and Northwest Valley stations are all about three-quarters of the way complete, along with EOC/DOC/Fire Dispatch. The new jail facility is 60% complete while our replacement headquarters is at 25%. In 2008 and 2009, there will be many building dedications and move-in celebrations, finally giving our first class Department first class facilities.

In closing, thirty-seven years ago, I became a cop. I have never regretted that decision. As you all know so well, there is no other occupation or profession that allows you to have a life of such significance and impact.

Everything that you do counts- cops count. As we perform our duties, we will make mistakes. We will work with the limited resources available to us. We will work in the face of adversity and criticism. But when all is said and done, I am confident that as Los Angeles Police Officers, we will be able to say, “We made the difference.” Thank you for the opportunity to work with some of the best cops in America in a Department second to none, the LAPD, making a difference in our Department, our profession, our city, and our country. You are creating change by becoming the change.


Chief's October Message

All organizations have one person in a position of leadership, the overall decision-maker who, working with the members of the organization, sets the goals and creates the strategies and tactics to achieve them. Five years ago, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to become that person, as Chief of Police, here at the Los Angeles Police Department. Our LAPD is a legendary organization, with a storied past, and a rightful place in popular culture, and is looked to and venerated by our peers in other departments around the world. I have been given the chance to work with some of the finest cops in our profession, along with a dedicated civilian workforce, in a city that presents daily challenges other places can only imagine. Upon my appointment as Chief, I quickly learned that LA is like no other city, and the LAPD is like no other police force, and together both faced significant challenges. Crime had been on the rise for seven years, fueled by a gang problem that was not being addressed effectively. The Department was struggling to implement the reforms mandated by the Federal Consent Decree, and September 11th had left the nation, and the City, anxiety-ridden over the potential and likelihood of future terrorist attacks.

When I was sworn in, I had a vision for this Department and where it should go. I openly referred to myself as a change agent, and I was welcomed with respect and a commitment to work from both sworn and civilian employees. Together we set the three goals of reducing crime, achieving compliance with the Consent Decree and significantly expanding terrorism preparedness. As I have repeatedly challenged you to achieve these goals, you have continuously and successfully responded to the challenge.

I have told you many times that if you give me a good story to tell, I will tell it. What has happened here at the LAPD since my first day on October 25, 2002, has been more than a good story. This Department has undergone a massive re-engineering, refocusing and recommitment during the past five years, resulting in historic changes and accomplishments. And, best of all, you did it. You made positive change happen.

First of all, our crime numbers. Under the leadership of Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, we have seen significant declines, in all categories. The crime rate in LA is lower than it has been at any time since the 1950’s.

Los Angeles is now the secondsafest big city in the United States of America. Compared to five years ago, violent crimes are down by more than 46%. Total Part I crimes are down more than 31%. But that’s not all. Gang violence, which has wreaked havoc on our City for far too long, and accounts for so much of the overall fear and violence, has also declined. Gangrelated homicides are down more than 45% in these five years. In many neighborhoods of the city, residents can feel the difference. We are also on track with this year’s goal of a 5% crime reduction. These are successes that you should feel proud of because they are yours. You prove each and every day that cops count – that you count. You are the difference.

To more effectively implement the mandates of the Federal Consent Decree, and to maximize its benefits to the Department, we established the Consent Decree Bureau, headed by Police Administrator Gerald Chaleff. This Bureau, with your participation and cooperation, has done a superb job of incorporating the Federal Consent Decree into the operations of the Department. It has not been an easy process. It is always painstaking and sometimes onerous, but something that must be done. The vast majority of the Consent Decree, excluding TEAMS II and financial disclosure, was met by June 15, 2006, as targeted. Primarily because the incredibly complex and innovative TEAMS II computer systems took longer to create and implement than we had originally anticipated, the Consent Decree was extended to June 2009, at which point we will have met all of its mandates for at least two years, as required. None of you should underestimate the ultimate importance of that compliance. Once again, it could not have been done without your hard work and commitment.

With the help and creativity of many capable Department members, in 2003, we launched the Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau. Today, headed by Deputy Chief Michael Downing, this talented group has helped establish the Department as a nationally recognized leader in terrorism prevention and preparedness. The creative development of the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, Project Archangel, and Terrorism Liaison Officer Program stand as examples of how we can work proactively as a Department. We focus on prevention and disruption of terrorist plots, as opposed to merely reacting to events. Together, we have created a counter-terrorism capacity and capability second to none.

As a further reflection and demonstration of your professionalism during my time with you, you have continually demonstrated agility and flexibility in embracing many needed “best practices” policy changes. We rolled out thoroughly researched and creative new policies including shooting at or from moving vehicles, the new vehicle pursuit policy, and the false alarm/home burglar alarm policy. These policies have presented significant changes in the way you conduct your work on a day-today basis. You quickly adapted to those changes and made them a reality for the members of our Department, and improved safety for not only yourselves but for the public as well.

The Department is also growing larger and younger at an accelerated pace. The huge impact of the DROP program, plus our regular attrition, presented a potentially damaging decrease of sworn officers on our force. Recruitment Section was tasked with developing strategies to prevent this crisis, and they have succeeded. Under the direction of then-Commander Kenneth Garner, and, now, Commander James Cansler, Recruitment Section has not only averted the crisis, but totally changed the momentum. The Department is on target with recruitment goals that are resulting in a younger and historically diverse workforce throughout all levels of the Department. As the City’s population mix is changing, so is ours. The challenge is to not lose the skills that age and experience bring and that have been so instrumental to our success.

The Los Angeles Police Department is also thriving in this age of information technology. The only thing holding us back from reaching our true potential in this critical area is money. Nonetheless, we have upgraded and modernized many of our systems. The prototype Smart Car, a stunning combination of automotive power and technological capabilities, delivers license recognition software, facial recognition software, GPS software for pursuit management, Mobile Data Computers, and in-car video cameras, in one package. These vehicles represent cutting-edge policing technology and, combined with our highly trained LAPD officers, create an unbeatable crime-fighting capability. We will work aggressively in future years to try to obtain the resources necessary to make Smart Cars our basic police car.

We have also begun using cameras extensively to help police our City. Hollywood Area has used cameras with great success. In the Jordan Downs Housing Project, a particularly crime-ridden area, cameras have helped to create a much safer environment. Following the installation of the cameras more than a year ago, crime has been reduced by 29 percent in the housing complex, and 19 percent in the surrounding area. To measure the effectiveness of the program, the surrounding area was analyzed to ensure that crime was being reduced and not just displaced. Rampart Area has also used cameras to great effect in restoring safety to the Alvarado Corridor, and in returning MacArthur Park to the community. A great park, this area was infested with gangs, drugs, prostitutes and violence for years. Now, with crime in decline, joggers can be seen circling the lake, and youth soccer teams play on the field. Cameras in Los Angeles seem like an obvious idea, but it was the LAPD of this era, with creative leaders like Deputy Chief Charlie Beck and our Chief Information Officer Tim Riley, that continued against great odds to get it done.

Parker Center is an icon in Los Angeles. “The Glass House” has served the Department well since it’s opening in 1952. Unfortunately, it hasn’t aged well. It has been in use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 55 years. It is outdated and not up to code, falling short of modern-day safety standards. But it will only be our home for a couple more years. With the support of the Police Commission, and the approval of City Council, we broke ground on the new $440 million dollar headquarters building in January of this year. The new 10-story building is one of three aspects of the new headquarters complex that also includes a vehicle maintenance facility and a public plaza. Scheduled to open in May 2009, our new headquarters will put more of us under one roof and provide us with the most modern police headquarters facility in the nation.

We are also replacing our old jail facility. The current jail has only 72,000 square feet and features midcentury technology, at best. The new “Type 1” facility, projected for completion in March 2008, will have the most current technology available and 179,000 square feet for housing up to 512 inmates.

Many of our Area stations have also outgrown their use and were in desperate need of replacement. Hollenbeck, Rampart, Harbor, and West Valley, among the oldest of our geographic Areas, are all being replaced. For the first time in decades, we have added a new Area, Mission, to service an area of the valley whose needs expanded rapidly. Two more Area stations are also on the way: Mid-City and Northwest.

Another history-making new facility came in the form of the new crime lab, the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center. This 5-story building, with over 209,000 square feet, represents an unprecedented collaborative effort between LAPD, the LA County Sheriff’s Department, and California State University LA. Having just opened this year, the building features the latest technology and office space for more than 400 employees, while it provides a single location and the necessary tools for our forensic specialists.

While the aforementioned aspects of the Department have been changing, so have some of the most fundamental tools an officer uses as well. My many years in law enforcement on both the East Coast and, now, the West Coast, have exposed me to many “best practices,” which include “best equipment.” For the first time in the Department’s history, flat badges are available for our sworn force. These badges are enclosed in a case and fit comfortably in a pocket, are easy to carry and easy to present. We have also adopted Glock safe-action pistols as our weapon of choice, a major change to the most basic of the officer’s everyday essentials. These firearms are safer, better, and easier to use than the previous official handgun.We also designed the new “LAPD flashlight,” which will become a prototype for many other agencies. We are also in the same testing and design process with a new streamlined Taser that features a mini video camera. This initiative is still in the testing phase, and more news will come on that in the future.

We have come a long way from where we were in October of 2002. We have grown, advanced, and evolved in a relatively short period of time. Crime levels are at historic lows. We are better prepared than ever to prevent and/or respond to a terrorist attack. We are near 100% compliance with the Federal Consent Decree, a major milestone. We are achieving and frequently exceeding our own stretch goals.

This month, I will make history as the first Chief to serve a second term under the new limits set by the City Charter, which would not have been possible without you, the fine men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department. It is your story and accomplishments that I have been proud to tell for the last five years, and that served as the foundation for my reappointment. It is your continuing story that I will be privileged to tell in the years ahead. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I know that you will not let me- or the City- down, and my promise to you is to do all I can to lead you with pride, commitment and respect.


Chief's September Message

As we move into the last half of 2007, I want to update you on the progress of our number one Department goal, reducing crime and the fear of crime. At the beginning of the year, I announced that after four straight years of crime reductions, we could achieve another 5-percent drop during the first six months of 2007. While some questioned that strategy, I never doubted your ability and desire to prove the critics wrong. At a recent news conference with Mayor Villaraigosa, I was able to announce that as of June 30th, all Part One crime categories, with the exception of Burglary Theft from Vehicles, are down, and some are down significantly.

Each of you has worked tirelessly fighting crime in Los Angeles. The following chart gives you a snapshot of violent, gang and overall crime in each of the City’s 19 Geographic Area’s during the first six months of 2007.

When I became your Chief nearly 5 years ago, I made crime reduction a top priority. I’ve challenged you each year to continue to make the city’s streets safer and you have never let me down. You, the men and women of the LAPD, have proven that hard work, dedication, and consistent, compassionate and constitutional policing have made the City of Los Angeles a safer place to work and live in, and to visit. When I announced the good news, I was able to share some remarkable examples of lives that have been saved. Homicides had dropped a total of 21%, which meant 50 lives were saved citywide during the first six months of this year, compared to the same time period in 2006. While the numbers look good on paper, and make for positive headlines, the crime reductions restore hope and show that positive change can take place in our communities. I commend you for not only protecting and serving, but for helping to restore faith among a weary and uncertain public.

With these encouraging declines in crime, residents of L.A. began their summer with good news, and we have been able to feel a sense of pride in a job well done. Naturally, however, the work of any police force is never done. We still have a way to go to deliver on our goal of a total 5% reduction by the end of the year. Simply put: keep doing what you’re doing. Our declining crime levels are the product of strategic, professional, dedicated police work, and evidence of our commitment to the communities we serve.

Moving on to another matter, I began this message with a reference to the Six-Month Crime Update news conference. It was the media that communicated the good news of all of your hard work. We need the media to tell our stories, good and bad. It is up to each and every one of us to work with the media when we are called upon to do so.

Since the incident at MacArthur Park, the Department has been examining our protocols with respect to the media and looking at how best to work with them while at the same time performing our duties protecting the people of Los Angeles. We have been conducting this examination in a number of
different ways, some of which have included:

● Meeting with media representatives on the Sunday following the May Day Rally to discuss what occurred in MacArthur Park, and what immediate changes the Department should consider making with regards to policing public demonstrations and protecting the First Amendment rights of the media.
● Meeting with representatives from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California to discuss issues of concern to their membership, particularly media access at crime scenes and media credentialing.
● Hosting a gathering of managers of local television and radio stations, major print publications, wire services, and network news bureaus to discuss the events of May Day and to discuss ways to train together and improve the working relationship between Department personnel and
journalists.
● Reviewing the Crespo Decision, the settlement agreement between the City of Los Angeles and members of the media regarding the media’s right to cover First Amendmentprotected demonstrations and rallies.

Our findings from this period of examination have been helpful and informative. We have made some changes, and many more are in the works. Among these changes:

● Public Information Officers (PIO) are to be clearly identifiable at events. We have begun using LAPD PIObranded vests to visibly identify PIOs at gatherings. On sight, a member of the media can now easily recognize and
locate a PIO.
● In the event of unlawful assembly, we must designate a media viewing area in theimmediate vicinity in order for the media to witness, report, and record the gathering for their organizations.
● Training Division is modifying and improving modern media relations training for recruits and tailoring it for the post-MacArthur Park era.

Additionally, the Public Information Office participated in the training sessions conducted for both Metro Division and Command Staff, updating both groups on current media relations principles and techniques. We are looking into updating the training at supervisor schools and Watch Commanders’ schools, and we are considering bringing the media in to participate in future sessions.

The media response to our outreach has been positive. Members of the media have been very generous of themselves and their time, and many have indicated an interest in participating in some of our future training sessions.

What is now clearer than ever is we must have a positive working relationship with the media, and we must never breach this relationship. Understand the media is not our enemy and, in many instances, they are critical to our success. The media is our single best vehicle for informing the public and for appealing to the public on our behalf when we need information. Many crimes have been solved as a result of media attention.

Every contact with the media, and in particular that first contact, should be a positive one. This is extremely important at crime scenes. The media is not to be artificially barred from covering news, ever. They have the right to be in any area where the public is allowed to be. The media has a job to do and we have to let them.

Lastly, the key for success with the media lies in communication. When working with the media, do what is possible to facilitate their needs. In maintaining this relationship and keeping it healthy, our work can only be positively impacted. In facilitating the needs of the media, you facilitate the needs of the Department.

Nobody knows the amount of pressure that comes with being a cop more than I do. We are asked to do work that is dangerous and are often second-guessed. We are constantly under a media microscope and are criticized after the fact for life and death decisions. I am asking you to make our crime
numbers drop further and perform the myriad other aspects of your job to Department standards, all while remaining mediafriendly at any given moment. I know I am asking a lot, but this is what comes with being a member of this great organization, protecting and serving our city. I know of no other group of people better equipped or more capable of doing so.


Chief's August Message

While the month of August finds the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department on the streets working hard to keep our communities safe, some new and positive changes at the Department should help to make their jobs easier. These changes are improvements that will help each and every member of this Department- sworn and civilian- on a daily basis.

NEW FORMS REPOSITORY

First, Planning and Research Division has just launched the new Forms Repository on the Department Local Area Network, or LAN, homepage of our internal website. The repository is the go-to destination for any Department form staff may need in the course of their regular workday. In the repository, staff will find a total of 589 forms. Each is easily accessible, in its most current version, and ready for use. A new internet-based software, IBM Workplace Forms, enables any form to be filled out, printed, and saved to a drive or disk. The Forms Repository replaces the previous database, Forms Filler, which housed only 200 forms and was less user-friendly.

By making this upgrade to the new repository, the Department will save money in both printing and labor costs, a positive fiscal benefit given this year’s tight budget. We also take a step toward going “green,” an environmentally responsible and necessary measure in this age of global warming. Lastly, by changing the way Department forms are revised and accessed- and providing all employees with new or revised forms immediately as directives are published the Department achieves compliance with standards set by the Consent Decree.

TASER X26

Equipping our Sworn Officers with the latest in crime-fighting technology is a major priority for the Department. We have been field testing a new and improved stun device, the TASER X26. The premiere device for law enforcement, the X26 can reach a distance of 21 feet and is also less bulky, lighter in weight and easier to carry on the officer’s belt than previous models. The field testing yielded a positive result and we are now budgeted for the purchase of up to 1,200 of these devices. This purchase is now in the preliminary stages.

While testing the X26, we also began testing an innovative camera device that can be affixed to the X26, which videotapes the suspect’s actions during activation. The field testing of these TASER “cams” is to culminate in September, at which time we will evaluate the cameras and the feasibility of purchasing a quantity of the cameras. I will keep you informed on the TASER initiative in the near future.

PREVENTABLE TRAFFIC COLLISION POLICY POINT SYSTEM

I have often talked about my efforts to bring about a change to our discipline philosophy, and bring an end to the “gotcha” mentality by giving employees a chance to correct their behavior without the formality of a personnel complaint.

One effort to this end comes to us courtesy of Police Commission Vice President Alan Skobin, who requested we create a new traffic collision policy for accidents that are not the result of misconduct. Mr. Skobin, who is also a Los Angeles County Reserve Deputy Sheriff, recommended we create a policy similar to that of the Sheriff’s Department, which employs a point count system. Our new Preventable Traffic Collision Policy will impact traffic accidents that are found to be preventable, but are not the result of misconduct, using this same type of point system.

The new policy categorizes preventable traffic accidents that result from ordinary inattention as a matter that can be corrected, and not misconduct, subject to a personnel complaint. The point system will assign a number value to a traffic accident based on its level of seriousness. The number value of the points, coupled with a review from Department management, will deliver officer accountability for these accidents, rather than a personnel complaint. After the review, refresher training will help improve the officer’s performance and at the same time provide the officer an opportunity to reduce accrued points. The policy has been approved by the Police Commission and is now in the meetand- confer process.

INCIDENT MANAGEMENT AND TRAINING BUREAU

While we are now several months past the event that took place in MacArthur Park on May 1st, what happened on that day leaves room for improvement in the way we manage crowds and the media at marches and rallies. Within weeks of May 1st, I created the new Incident Management and Training Bureau (IMTB,) led by Deputy Chief Michael Hillmann. A seasoned Department veteran, and the ideal person for the job, Chief Hillmann and his group are tasked with developing and coordinating a set of universal and highly refined critical incident management strategies, tactics and training for the Department to adopt and employ. IMTB is working to create the protocols that this Department will rely on to take us into the future.

IMTB opened up shop just last month and the people in that group have been working aggressively to develop new training initiatives. One of their most urgent orders of business is 21st Century Mobile Field Force Doctrine Training, which began on July 10, 2007. This endeavor is designed to provide modern crowd management training to all Department uniform personnel. The training sessions will be conducted by Area, one day at a time, on-site at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos. This day of training will be information-rich and consist of both classroom instruction and practical application in the field. Chief Hillmann compiled the training curriculum from a variety of sources, including federal and state entities, as well as the Police Protective League. The League is also generously providing lunch to all attendees. This training is mandatory and I expect every uniformed officer to report to these training sessions with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

These are but a few of the new developments taking place here in our Department. The Department is constantly working to improve the experience we offer our officers, so their workdays are improved and they can perform more efficiently and safely. Easy access to bureaucratic forms, state-of-the-art taser devices, a workable traffic accident system, and the Incident Management and Training Bureau are examples of the Department’s response to needs that have become apparent. It is my  responsibility, as Chief, to serve these needs. I ask that our officers, in turn, remain focused on their responsibilities so that we continue to ensure this is a Department that we and the people of Los Angeles can be proud of.


Chief's July Message

In any business, a budget determines how a company’s objectives are to be met over the course of the fiscal year. Although as a law enforcement agency we do not generate revenue or profits, we are no different: the budget is the bottom line, and is, therefore, the guide for strategizing the coming year of police work. In late May, the City Council approved the Department’s 2007-2008 annual budget, which contains a total increase of more than $52 million dollars. Within the new budget are some significant and favorable changes that I want to share with you. It’s going to be a very tough budget year in the City, but we got much of what we were looking for.

Vehicles are vital to the work we do, and many of ours have met or exceeded the replacement criteria in the past year. In the new budget, we have successfully added funding- a total of more than $4.5 million dollars- in order to deliver 426 vehicles and 22 motorcycles in the next fiscal year. The replacement vehicles will include 92 black and whites, 40 hybrids, 210 plain vehicles, 66 undercover vehicles and 18 specialty vehicles. We also have a new helicopter on its way.

City Council has added $1.3 million dollars to the budget, specifically for the purchase of tasers. As I mentioned in my message to you last month, we are continuing the field testing of a new and improved taser, the X-26. The budget increase will allow for the purchase of up to 1,250 of these X-26 tasers in the new fiscal year.

The new budget will allow us to beef up our staff in Scientific Investigation Division, an area of increasing importance and in growing demand in this modern era of policing. We will add 19 positions in SID, including 12 in the DNA Unit, 6 in Firearms Analysis Unit and 1 in the warehouse of the new Regional Crime Lab. Three of the positions added to Firearms Analysis Unit will allow the Department to redeploy three Police Officers to field activities. Additional funding has been added for DNA analysis equipment and for other technical equipment for the Firearms Analysis, Photography and Latent Prints units. The overall effect of these additions and upgrades will be a more state-of-the-art and efficient operation than ever before in the history of the Department.

The Cold Case Unit, whose successes are oftentimes very dependent on the progress made in DNA technologies, as well as the dedicated efforts of our esteemed, departed Commander Jim Tatreau, will add 9 new positions to its staff. This will increase the Department’ s ability to perform follow-up investigations and use forensic techniques that might not have been available at the time of the original investigation. The additional detectives will also assist the Department in responding to the anticipated increase in DNA hits on cold cases caused by the implementation of Proposition 69. As we solve more crimes, we make more arrests. The budget reflects the increased workload demands in Jail Division by adding 20 new Detention Officers.

Recruitment, with the reality of DROP-related attrition upon us, is a top priority for the Department, now more than ever. The proposed signing bonuses that were the focus of much media attention last winter now have financing. Over $1 million has been added to the budget for these signing bonuses. The proposal is that new recruits entering the Academy receive $5,000, half of which will be delivered upon graduation, with the remaining balance due upon completion of probation. Individuals coming to us from other law enforcement agencies would receive a bonus of $10,000, with half being paid upon completion of the Lateral Program and the balance due upon completion of probation. This bonus would be retroactive to June 2006.

The new budget will enable the Department to add a total of 780 officers in the coming fiscal year. This figure represents an addition of 226 officers to the 554 officers that were already budgeted for the coming year. It is an ambitious number, but one that we are on-target to meet, thanks to the
diligent efforts of our Personnel Group. Historically, the Department has been understaffed. We are making a concerted effort to narrow the gap and come closer to more favorable officer to-citizen ratios enjoyed by other big cities.

Staying on the subject of recruitment, there is more good news to share: the Department has surpassed 9,500 officers for the first time in 12 years. Furthermore, we recruited and hired more officers last year than in the previous year and, although we lost approximately 545 officers due to
attrition, we hired 730. The average class size since January 2007 has grown to 65 candidates, which exceeds expectations. We are also successfully recruiting candidates who are more representative of the demographics of Los Angeles. The recruit class of June 2007 consisted of 14% African American, 38% Latino, 9% Asian and 39% Caucasian candidates. The current total sworn population of the Department is more diverse than in recent memory, with a breakdown of 12.4% African American, 38% Latino, 8.1% Asian 40% Caucasian sworn officers. The number of Female Officers has also grown to 18.6%.

The result of all of your hard work is a lot of the news making headlines. We can and should all take pride in the decrease of homicides and crime over the last five years. By the end of May, there had been 43% fewer murders over five years. Aggravated assaults are down 60% over five years. Total Part I crimes are down by almost one third, at 31%. These are historic drops and historic lows. Further encouragement comes from the gangrelated crime statistics, where 9 out of the 11 crime categories have seen mostly double-digit drops over the past 5 years. Gang-related homicide is down by over 51%, with aggravated assault down by 32%.

The Los Angeles Police Department enters this new fiscal year with great momentum, a workable budget, recruitment tools and statistics that will significantly further our goals of a larger, more diverse force, and crime statistics that even our harshest critics have to commend. Behind all of this good news, are the men and women of this Department, Sworn and Civilian. We are a Department made up of extraordinary people whose commitment to excellence and dedication has made a noticeable difference for the people of Los Angeles. My personal congratulations on the great job all are doing.


Chief's June Message

In today’s era of policing, changes come rapidly and dramatically. More than ever, change is a reality for anybody who pursues a career in law enforcement. Our Department itself is changing, almost daily. The command staff promotion ceremony last April, which saw the advancement of more women and minorities than the LAPD has seen in recent memory, exemplified that. Change is good, and the ability to adapt to change is essential for growth and success.

For the past four and a half years, I have been working with the Department leadership on a change to our discipline philosophy. As I have said in the past, it is time to bring an end to the “gotcha” mentality that seeks to punish employees to administrative violations via the use of unnecessary personnel complaints. This practice is counter-productive and can breed a host of negative byproducts, including fear, resentment, and even defiance. In order to bring an end to the “gotcha” era, the Department must give employees a chance to correct their behavior without the formality of a personnel complaint. This is not something that can be done quickly, but I assure you, we are working toward that end.

On March 8, 2007, the Department’s new discipline philosophy was presented to the entire command staff. Over the course of two 4-hour sessions, I directed command staff to begin seeking intelligent solutions to their internal personnel problems, and to view the personnel complaint as their last possible option. I expect Department leaders to be creative, not just in fighting crime and the other essential jobs they do, but also when it comes to employee development and accountability. I have directed the Commanding Officer of Professional Standards Bureau, Deputy Chief Mark Perez, to elaborate upon and implement this philosophy.

While I expect the leaders of this Department to take well-reasoned, well-informed risks when using means other than personnel complaints, there are boundaries. Employees who have been counseled or cautioned to change, and who repeat their behavior anyway, must know there will be consequences for these actions. Repeat offenders will face possible downgrading, demotion, suspension or termination if they cannot- or will not respond to creative leadership. In these cases, there is little other recourse for the Department than the personnel complaint system.

I expect Department leaders to embrace and implement this philosophy. Likewise, I expect all employees to respond professionally and rationally to being held accountable for their actions. It is time to focus more on fighting crime, not fighting each other.

SEATBELTS SAVES LIVES

While on the subject of changing behavior, we are still not in 100% compliance with the State’s seatbelt law, despite all the troubling statistics. In 2006, there were 737 LAPD officer-involved auto collisions. Of those, 664 were using seatbelts. It is statistically more likely for an officer to be killed in a traffic collision than in an officer-involved shooting. We know for a fact that the use of seatbelts can prevent significant injuries in auto accidents. Even with airbags in vehicles, seatbelts are considered the best protection. Seatbelts are as much a part of our protective gear as our ballistic vests. Furthermore, the law is clear, and so am I. WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. It is our sworn duty to enforce the law, and follow it ourselves.

TACTICAL OPERATIONS RESOURCE HANDBOOK

This month Use of Force Review Division will post the much anticipated Tactical Operations Resource Handbook on the Department Local Area Network, or LAN, homepage of our internal website. The handbook was designed to be the singular go-to source for use of force issues and consolidates all the information - Department Manual Sections, Special Orders, Notices, Training Bulletins, and Consent Decree paragraphs related to the use of force - into one electronic binder. The handbook features a powerful index of topics as well as related documents connected by hyperlinks, making navigation simple for the reader. Additionally, digital imaging and, eventually, video streaming, will deliver a visual component to help provide a clearer understanding of the issues being presented. The handbook will be updated constantly and will reflect the most current information.

X-26 TASER

Equipping our officers with the latest in crime-fighting technology is also a major priority for the Department. We are continuing the field testing of a new and improved taser, the X-26. The next step is to test the taser with a special camera attached. These special TaserCams provide a necessary safeguard for the officer who uses the device in the line of duty. Training Division has received the cameras and is in the process of attaching them to the tasers. They will then go through another round of testing. Once completed, I will share with you the results of that testing.

This Department continues to succeed thanks to the combined efforts of its employees, both sworn and civilian. I would like to acknowledge one civilian in particular, Principal Public Relations Representative Steven Reifel. For the past four and a half years, Steven has collaborated with me on my monthly message. He, too, is seeking a change with more career opportunities. He has taken a job with the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System. I want to thank Steven and wish him all the best.

It is important to remember that with change, comes even more challenge. But, what remains constant is our continued commitment to the Department, to each other, and to our City: to protect and to serve. Continue in your duties, focus on your objectives, as we do our part to continually evolve and grow, as only a world-class police agency can.


Chief's April Message

In this month’s message, I want to update you on several issues and projects we have been working on to help you reduce crime in the City of Los Angeles. First, we are making headway in the area of sworn deployment. For the first time since November 21, 1999, the Department is deploying more than 9,500 sworn personnel. As of March 4, 2007, our sworn count was 9,503.

Helping to further augment our ranks, the Voluntary Recall Ordinance, or “Bounce” Program, will go before the full City Council for a vote. The Bounce Program effectively extends the DROP Program’s end date and will allow officers from the ranks of Lieutenant and below to be hired back by the Department after retirement for a period of up to twelve months, as needed. The Department will bring back employees that are deemed necessary for critical selective assignments.

There has been much discussion from officers concerning the new Dell 610 Mobile Data Computers, or MDCs. Some of the problems regarding syncing issues between the laptops and the modems are caused by the MDCs not being properly shut down at the end of watch. Not only should officers log off, they also should shut down the MDC using the proper procedure after each watch. This should eliminate any possible syncing problems for officers on the next watch. Understanding there are issues and challenges surrounding the MDCs, the personnel in the Information and Communications Services Bureau are working to formulate a permanent solution. As recently as last month in Southwest Area, ICSB was field-testing a solution relating to the docking station issues. Additionally, on June 5, 2007, a new mobile application will be launched to further resolve several of the MDC related concerns.

Regarding TEAMS II and our continuing efforts to reach compliance with the Consent Decree, the first Action Items, providing supervisors with up-to-date employee risk management information, were sent through the automated Risk Management System in January. Use of Force related Action Items were sent in February. By the time you read this message, the system will be able to initiate all other risk management Action Items, including those related to complaints, traffic collisions, and pursuits for supervisors to investigate and act on.

The Complaint Management System became operational for Professional Standards Bureau in November and in February, Central Bureau was able to input complaints directly into the system. By the end of April, the remaining three bureaus should also be up and online.

TEAMS II personnel, actively working with field supervisors, have identified system enhancements to make the Use of Force System more userfriendly. The development of these upgrades should begin over the next few months.

Through the input of officers and detectives, several modifications to the new Department flashlights have taken place. These modifications caused some delays in the delivery of the flashlights from the vendor. Shipments of flashlights from the vendor to Supply Division will begin the first week of April. The new flashlights will be distributed to the geographic Areas in South Bureau first, followed by geographic Areas in Valley Bureau, Central Bureau and then West Bureau. Once you receive the new flashlight, you will no longer be allowed to carry the traditional flashlight.

These new flashlights have a threeway switching system for tactical use and a 90-minute running time. They emit 135 lumens of light from a lightemitting diode or LED. Because of the LED technology, these flashlights will not dim as the batteries run low. Therefore, a five-minute warning alarm has been incorporated into the unit. Additionally, these flashlights utilize state-of-the-art lithium batteries that will hold up to 1,000 charges.

And one more thing regarding the new flashlights: their primary use is for illumination. The Department discourages the use of flashlights as an impact device. Consistent with the Use of Force policy, the use of the flashlight as an impact device shall be reported, and its use will be critically reviewed.

On the topic of the installation of In-Car Digital Video, we have started contract negotiations with IBM to provide this new technology. South Bureau patrol vehicles will be the first to be outfitted with this technology that ensures transparency and accountability, and that provides concrete evidence for officers being investigated on allegations of misconduct. We have requested funding for the 2007-2008 fiscal year to install In-Car Digital Video in an additional bureau with the goal of having this technology deployed Citywide as soon as possible.

The new Force Option Simulators have been distributed to the 19 geographic Areas with each station receiving one unit. Two simulators each have been delivered to the Davis Training Facility and the Elysian Park Academy, and one has been delivered to the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center for the use of the Pacific Area LAX Field Services Division. These simulators are now up and running and the feedback has been very positive. Some areas, like Newton, have even created a special room for the training tool. The new Force Option Simulators are state-of-the-art and provide realistic training previously not available to us.

And finally, I want to remind everyone of the importance of complying with the Fair Labor and Standards Act. Employees have an obligation to request overtime approval from supervisors and to submit overtime slips in a timely manner. Likewise, the Department has an obligation to compensate employees for extended hours worked. Watch commanders, watch supervisors, and other employees are not permitted to work uncompensated overtime to prepare for roll call or any other duties. A failure to follow these rules is misconduct and will lead to disciplinary action. These rules and policies will be vigorously enforced and I expect full compliance with this policy.

So, as our sworn numbers are growing and we make additions and improvements to our technology and procedures, we continue on the path toward meeting our goals of reducing crime, dismantling gangs, complying with the Consent Decree, and becoming the safest big city in the country. Each of you has an integral role to play in these efforts. I have no doubt that we will succeed because of your professionalism, skills, commitment and integrity. You are second to none.


Chief's March Message

Since my appointment as Chief of Police in October 2002, the men and women of this Department have worked together to reduce crime, and we have made outstanding progress. For the fifth year in a row, we have shown significant decreases in crime in Los Angeles. The per capita crime rate for Part I crimes remained below the 1956 level for the second straight year, and we hold the distinction of being the second-safest big city in the nation. Many other large cities are now seeing a spike in crime, while you continue to keep crime at historic lows. We have made incredible strides toward regaining our place as national and international leaders in law enforcement, and we have significantly improved relations with the communities we serve.

Although the Department is making steady progress on our overall crime reduction goals, gang-related crime is up. Last year, crimes specifically related to gangs increased by 15.7 percent Citywide. That’s 1,046 additional gangrelated crimes over 2005. Those crimes include 12 additional homicides, 127 additional attempted homicides, 238 additional felony assaults, and 494 additional robberies. Our efforts over the years in determining what crimes are gang-related have been boosted by our intelligence gathering capabilities and by our increasing use of technology. So as we reduced crime overall across the City, we now have the ability to look at the different subsets that make up the total crime picture, and what that picture shows is that gangs continue to be a major contributor to crime in L.A.

Gang violence is an unfortunate reality for the people of Los Angeles. Recent headlines underscore this point, although it comes as no surprise to anyone in law enforcement, or to our media savvy and well-informed public. While Los Angeles is not alone in having a gang problem – many other cities have L.A.-style gangs, though not on the same scale – the difference for us now is that we can bring some of our real time analysis capability to bear on identifying the players and addressing the issue head-on. We’ve got significant intelligence and your tremendous street level experience. As part of our renewed crime and gang crime reduction efforts we are going to focus our attention and resources on certain gangs and individual high activity gang members in an effort to get these predators off the streets of L.A.

We can be proactive and aggressive in targeting gangs and still fulfill our sworn obligation to do so consistently, compassionately and constitutionally. And that is just what we are going to do. We have all had enough of going to crime scenes in the aftermath of gang shootings, seeing the distraught families, and of being shot at, disrespected and endangered. We are going to attempt, with our limited resources, to turn the tide and make it increasingly difficult for these murderers to operate their illegal drug-fueled enterprises on our streets.

As I mentioned in last month’s taped message, we have already begun a fullscale effort directed at the 204th Street Gang in the Harbor Gateway area of the City. We have also increased our efforts in the San Fernando Valley where gang crime and violence has been particularly prevalent, showing an increase of 44 percent over last year. (The gang crime numbers in the valley have been historically much lower than in the South and Central Bureaus.) Together with other local law enforcement agencies and through significantly increased cooperative efforts with the Federal government, we have started a new comprehensive set of initiatives against the gang members with the highest levels of violent assaults against cops and those involved in racial violence. As you know better than anybody, Los Angeles has been terrorized by, victimized by, and made to fear these gangs for far too long.

Our new initiatives are intended to stop the growth of gang crime that we experienced last year and to begin to reduce the overall levels of violence as you had been able to do in the previous four years.

First, we will be launching the South Bureau Criminal Gang Homicide Group. This new LAPD command will bring together over 100 of our most experienced officers and detectives, three full-time assistant district attorneys and ten FBI agents.

Commander Pat Gannon has already been selected as the commanding officer and is currently developing this entity. This innovative organization will focus exclusively on gang-related murders and attempted murders and use both state and federal laws to prosecute, convict and incarcerate the gang members who commit them.

Next we have designated Deputy Chief Gary Brennan as the Department’s Gang Coordinator. In addition to his Chief of Detectives responsibilities, he will be the single point of contact for the Office of the Mayor, other partner agencies, and community groups. He will be responsible for bringing continuity, cohesion, and consistency to the Department’s overall gang-reduction strategy, tapping into the funding and other resources we need.

The third initiative is the placing of an L.A. gang member on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. The placement of criminal fugitives on the FBI’s list represents the Department’s intention to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate L.A.’s most notorious gang criminals. This is a big commitment from the FBI. The most wanted list is reserved for the worst criminals including the likes of Osama bin Laden. It demonstrates the FBI’s willingness to assist in dismantling these gangs.

We are also parting with our long held tradition of not naming gangs as part of our public planning and operations. In the past it was felt that naming them elevated their stature in the warped world in which they live and operate.

Our top ten list of the most active and violent gangs will change with some frequency as their activities diminish. Bureau Chiefs will keep the list updated to reflect changing priorities.

In addition, Operations Valley Bureau has already formed a special enforcement group of over 50 officers, motor personnel, and supervisors who will analyze real-time crime data and other information to rapidly and strategically deploy officers in crimeridden regions of the Valley. They will deploy in a variety of configurations including high-visibility patrols and other, less traditional, covert means of apprehending violent criminals.

Citywide we are encouraging a strategy that will allow all patrol officers—with appropriate training and oversight—to more routinely enforce gang injunctions and serve arrest warrants on named gang members. This initiative is designed to take full advantage of your skills and expertise and will increase the Department’s ability to protect law-abiding citizens. You will be the key to our success in this effort by helping to put a full court press on identified gang members.

While you are driving enforcement efforts on the street, we are going to drive legislative efforts by educating State legislators on the need for additional laws to back us up.

Based on our success in joint operations and task forces with other agencies in the Homeland Security arena, we are teaming up in unprecedented ways to share information, enhance relationships, and perform joint operations with our partners from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI, the ATF, the Drug Enforcement Agency, State Parole, County Probation, LA Unified School District Police, and other local municipal police departments.

Since so much of our community is gripped with fear when it comes to the gangs in their midst, we are going to work aggressively to get the word out through publications and seminars that this gang problem is not insurmountable. We can and will be able to work with the public to make their lives more livable by consistently reducing the threat posed by gang violence in their neighborhoods and by improving our efforts to get information from them to help us make arrests.

We are capable of making a difference in this long-standing community problem that has cost so many lives and caused so much misery and divisiveness over the past few decades. I am confident that you will rise to the occasion as you have in the past and deliver on the promise we are making to the hard working lawabiding residents of the City of Los Angeles to reduce the threat of gang violence that they live under each day. You have reduced overall Part One crime and homicides by over 30% during the past five years and I believe we can do the same with gang related crime. Thank you for all you do for the Department and the City.