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Metro Digest / Local News in Brief

Former Chief Davis Urges Change in Police Attitude

September 27, 1991

Former Los Angeles Police Chief Ed Davis testified Thursday that police officers must be inculcated from the moment they enter the academy with a "belief system" that emphasizes positive community relations.

In addition, Dr. Martin Reiser, the Police Department's in-house psychologist, advocated a complete revamping of the police training program to eliminate the "Marine Corps-type of military training" that shapes negative attitudes among new officers.

Davis and Reiser were among several expert witness who testified at the latest public hearing by the City Council committee reviewing recommendations made by the Christopher Commission. Davis, who served as chief from 1969-78 and is now a state senator, said police officers "must get into their heads" the philosophy that they are public servants. "The policeman is nothing but a citizen in a blue suit with brass buttons," he said.

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