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Parks Calls for End to 3/12 Police Schedule

September 14, 2004|Jessica Garrison | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, the former police chief who is hoping to unseat Mayor James K. Hahn, continued his attack on Hahn's public safety record Monday, gathering outside City Hall with relatives of homicide victims to call for an end to the shortened work schedule for LAPD officers.

Flanked by half a dozen people holding photos of slain relatives, Parks said the so-called 3/12 schedule, in which some officers work 12 hours a day, three days a week, is leading to "people who are suffering needlessly."

Lennox Crawford said the February slaying of one of his relatives, Gregory John Gabriel, 12, was "a horrible loss." He called for a five-day schedule.

But three other people interviewed at the event by The Times had lost loved ones before the flexible work schedule went into effect.

Hahn, who pushed Parks out as head of the Los Angeles Police Department in 2002, implemented the flexible work schedule soon after his election the previous year. Police union officials, who supported Hahn in the race, had long lobbied for it.

Among the victims whose photos were on display was Parks' granddaughter, Lori Gonzalez, who was shot to death May 28, 2000, on a Los Angeles street corner. Parks was chief of police at the time and the flexible schedule was not in place.

Julie Wong, a Hahn spokeswoman, said that the 3/12 schedule is "key to giving the Police Department the flexibility it needs to put officers on the street when they are needed most."

Last week, Parks drew attention to the rising number of homicides in the city and called for Hahn to change the work schedule. In response, the mayor said Parks' "tenure as police chief was a failure."

Parks contends that crime may have risen in 2002 as a result of the flexible work schedule.

During the news conference, Parks defended his decision a year ago to vote against hiring 300 police officers. "I'm not opposed to expanding the department," he said. "I'm opposed to bankrupting the city."

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