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Community Policing

November 08, 1994

I was delighted to read the article by Chief Jerry Oliver of Pasadena (Oct. 17). Oliver has certainly got it right. Community policing is a philosophy of doing business, it is not a program and it's not a quick fix. It's the right way to go, but it will take time to make the change in our systems. Community policing does not require just a change in the police department, either. It requires a change all through our systems. In fact, you can successfully make the argument that community policing is only one part of what must be viewed as community-based government.

It is going to take a long time to make the changes Oliver and Patrick Murphy (Commentary, Oct. 17) so eloquently describe. What works well in Pasadena may not work well in Glendale or La Habra. Community policing is very much a philosophy that must be created for an individual community.

I hope and I believe that we are entering a period of time in our community when we will reverse the decades-old trend of "letting George do it," and move into a period of time when we all will hold ourselves responsible for the conduct of our communities. It's our community and we are responsible. Community policing is but one element, maybe the leading element, to foster this change.

Thank you for presenting this issue in such a realistic and positive way.

STEVE STAVELEY

Chief of Police

La Habra

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