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The Parks Decision

'I Still Have a Lot to Offer'

April 10, 2002

Excerpts from LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks' press conference Tuesday:

Because of my commitment to this department and the communities of this city, I have decided not to abandon my request for reappointment.

I still have a lot to offer.

My record and my accomplishments offer a compelling support for my reappointment. There is still much to be done. We must improve the working relationship inside and outside the department to instill pride in that work while building the morale of this department. We must continue the critical job of reform and continue to increase the public confidence in the Los Angeles Police Department and we must strengthen all of our community and governmental partnerships.

I am disappointed the . . . Police Commission has decided not to support my application to continue to serve. I did not have the opportunity to put forward my plan for the future of this department in a public forum. While I understand confidential personnel matters cannot be discussed in public I do believe most of my presentation could have easily been held in open session.

Commission members said to you earlier that they arrived at their decision by separating fact from fiction, by evaluating whether the department is healthy under my leadership. I believe the facts are crystal-clear. For the past five years I have worked tirelessly to fill the leadership voids and correct the failings of the previous years. While the commissioners claim they avoided political rhetoric, I disagree. This process has become much too politicized.

The police union clearly played a role in this process. Their campaign of misinformation, of million-dollar TV ads and their powerful political endorsements negatively influenced the process. And what most concerned me is that the interest of the city residents has not been considered.

I am also very disappointed that Mayor Jim Hahn decided to speak out concerning his lack of support for my reappointment well before the commission had an opportunity to adopt the criteria for which I was to be judged.

I am inflexible about corrupt officers, about officers who do not tell the truth, about officers who do not treat the public correctly. I am inflexible about that.

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