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Chief Williams' Performance

June 16, 1996

* It's unfortunate that your poll on the performance of Chief Willie Williams (June 8) revealed a drop to 56% approval. Although more than half are favorable concerning the chief, the perception is that Angelenos are divided in their opinion of his capabilities and accomplishments. In my opinion, Williams is the victim of negative press coverage of relatively petty matters that took center stage over his successes in community policing and fighting crime.

Since Williams became our chief, crime has gone down significantly. Homicides totaled 70 in June '92 and there were 54 in April '96, a drop of nearly 23%. Robberies dropped 37%, burglaries decreased 40% and auto thefts dropped 41%. The chief has the majority support in neighborhoods as the community policing programs make strong dents in crime and improve safety throughout our city.

The job of police chief of Los Angeles is a difficult one and I know for a fact that the chief spends 14- to 16-hour days on the job. He believes in what he's doing and he fights the odds each day to overcome the bureaucracy, critics and naysayers who simply don't want him to succeed, period. He needs our support and understanding in carrying out his mandate for reform.

NATE HOLDEN

Councilman, Los Angeles

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