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Police: Reports of Harbor Division Changes

October 27, 1994

On behalf of the San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce Executive Council, I wish to express our concern over reported personnel changes being contemplated by the Los Angeles Police Department in the harbor area. We understand that between now and the end of the year, upward of 27 officers presently assigned to the Harbor Division, with an average tenure of 16 years, would be transferred to other locations and replaced by rookie officers.

Our area is in the fledgling stages of community-based policing, a concept which has been widely hailed and accepted as a viable answer to meeting many of the ills facing cities and law enforcement agencies faced with budgetary constraints.

We have been putting our team together. Many in the community and many of the officers of the Harbor Division now know each other on a first-name basis. We know our common problems and are jointly working on solutions.

While a loss of team members through natural attrition is unavoidable, it is manageable. We feel a mass exodus and replacement of members of the team would be counterproductive, would adversely affect our community-based policing efforts, and would weaken the current partnership.

Additionally, we believe that many positives are associated with officers who live in or near their beat. Their natural vested interest, even when off duty, fosters more responsiveness to that community.

In this regard we ask the Police Department to reconsider implementing such moves and to seek opinions of the people from which you wish a partnership. Community-based policing will have a difficult existence without community-based conversation.

PATRICK E. CARROLL

San Pedro

Carroll is president of the San Pedro Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

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