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LAPD: 'Wake Up and Smell the Doughnuts'

September 17, 2000

I don't know why Mayor Richard Riordan and Police Chief Bernard Parks are puzzling over the 116% jump in gang-related homicides in L.A. County--this sudden rise in crime--or why Riordan would say this rise in crime "could be a blip" (Sept. 12). The answer is obvious: The gangs have taken their streets back after the corruption in the Rampart Division and the disbanding of the CRASH unit. Without good cops out there to protect us, evil can flourish, and it is. It is also obvious that "three strikes" is not working as a crime deterrent.

While the mayor's plan to open up parks to families in high-crime areas is nice, the roots of crime in those communities are poverty, drugs and an entrenched gang culture. Give those gangsters something to respect. Resurrect a cleaned-up version of the CRASH unit and build more drug rehabs and fewer prisons. Then crime might drop.

CHRISTINE L'HOTSKY

Pasadena

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The riots didn't do it. Neither did the Christopher Commission. Even the specter of a "pattern and practices" suit by the Justice Department has simply produced more talk with no results, as evidenced by the city representatives' tender of their inefficiencies to the City Council. The man who headed internal affairs while Rampart ran rampant insists that his program of discipline will produce reform now that he runs the whole LAPD instead of just the unit that was charged with seeing that Rampart situations did not occur.

What will it take to make the bosses wake up and smell the doughnuts? Maybe the sky falling, in the form of a declaration that the LAPD is a corrupt organization, will get these tinpots to stop whining about how this is not their fault. When branded as racketeers, maybe then these self-perpetuating bureaucrats might actually try to lead the LAPD into the realm of effective professionalism. Productivity figures prove that the rank and file are doing their jobs. Their morale problems stem from management abrogation of its own duties. The bosses must become true leaders, rather than cogs in a spin mill.

ROBERT J. ABERNETHY JR.

Santa Monica

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