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Parks Won't Serve a Second Term

April 19, 2002

Re "City Council Denies Parks' Final Appeal," April 18: After begging for his job in front of the L.A. City Council, Bernard Parks has been terminated as the chief of police. Maybe now he knows how the hundreds of officers felt when they were terminated or disciplined. "Live by the sword. . . . "

Roy Ballesteros

San Gabriel

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Your April 18 editorial listed a series of questions to be asked of all potential candidates for police chief and were of the usual politically correct variety. Perhaps the most important question, which you failed to include, should be, "Will your first priority be to make the streets of the city safer for law-abiding citizens?"

Stan Barry

North Hollywood

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When will Los Angeles get a chief of police who doesn't think he owns the job?

Jules Brenner

Hollywood

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Mayor James Hahn has proven himself to be a perfect tool of the police union. He first went to bat for Mitzi Grasso and her whining, manipulative herd with regard to their prima donna work schedules and has now capped off his obligations to the union by undermining Chief Parks' bid for reappointment.

Parks is a reform chief who inherited a moribund department. Change is always going to ruffle the feathers of union brass who strive for mediocrity, believing that seniority is the crown jewel of human achievement, and who mislabel honest efforts to enforce minimum standards with appropriate disciplinary procedures as a "morale problem." During Parks' term the department began to become disciplined again and to experience real leadership. However, Grasso and her pawn Hahn have utilized petty politics to snuff out any real hope of continued improvement.

Jim Murphy

San Dimas

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There is no doubt in my mind that Hahn was less than honest to the African American community, which helped elect him to office. There are four registered voters in my home. We will not be reelecting Hahn for that very reason.

In spite of the fact that Hahn's behavior toward Parks has been less than friendly, Parks needs to stop whining. Parks is the reason for Chief Willie Williams' early "retirement." Parks got the job of chief because former Mayor Richard Riordan preferred him to Mark Kroeker. It's obvious Hahn prefers someone else for the job. Parks needs to get over it. Williams did.

Rosemary C. Watson

Los Angeles

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Re "It Takes a Chief," Opinion, April 14: At last, Joe Domanick said what really needed to be said, far more than essays on the short-term significance of Parks' abilities, accomplishments or race: "A chief needs to be selected directly by the mayor and serve at the mayor's pleasure." The time is long past when L.A.'s chief of police had to be insulated from politics and corruption, as in the earlier part of the previous century.

Rather than this needless, divisive, once-every-five-years struggle to keep L.A. from sliding backward, amending the City Charter will guarantee that we can expend our emotional capital on things that may move us forward--such as synchronizing the bloody traffic signals.

Avie Hern

Los Angeles

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