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Look Beyond Politics for New LAPD Chief

July 13, 2002

Re "Crowded Field Runs for Top Job at LAPD," July 7: The initial stages of the race to become the new chief of the LAPD have already distinguished the professional politicians from the real leaders among the candidates. For the last five years, Angelenos lived under the ever-arrogant Chief Bernard Parks, who was the consummate politician but short on leadership skills. Thus the mess that we are currently in, with rising crime and a demoralized, low number of officers.

Candidates Mark Kroeker (Portland, Ore., police chief), Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez and LAPD Cmdr. George Gascon have already shown themselves to be astute politicians, but Mayor James Hahn would do all of us well to give the ultimate prize to a real leader and not a self-promoting politician who is only adept at running a slick campaign and glad-handing and schmoozing other politicians. Can Angelenos afford to make the same mistake twice for the next five years?

All of our lives may depend on it. Let's make the right choice this time.

Antonio Duran Ramos

Los Angeles

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