August 13, 2013 |
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Monday insisted that his city's "stop and frisk" police practices were constitutional, despite a federal judge's finding that they were racially discriminatory and violated the 4th and 14th Amendments. But it's almost beside the point whether Bloomberg is on solid legal ground and whether his appeal can succeed. New York's confrontational approach to law enforcement has bought short-term results at the cost of alienation and resentment, and its leaders would be wise to let the trial court's ruling stand - and to learn a lesson from Los Angeles.
June 14, 2012
Re "The wrong way on reentry," Editorial, June 3 I disagree with The Times' criticism of the Los Angeles Police Department's "compliance checks" of post-release supervised persons (PSPs). The L.A. County Probation Department has not been allocated sufficient resources to supervise the burgeoning PSP population and must work in partnership with local law enforcement in monitoring these individuals. Some 35% of these people released in the county claim an address in the city of Los Angeles.
November 18, 2009
Re "As the LAPD evolved, so did he," Nov. 15 Charlie Beck is an outstanding and honorable man who will make a fine chief of police. I wish him nothing but the best. However, I am sad he has fallen victim to a revisionist view of history, denigrating previous chiefs and policing policies. I policed South-Central Los Angeles, albeit in a different uniform, from the 1970s through 2009. I witnessed the perfect storm of social, economic, cultural and political circumstances that resulted in an unprecedented level of violence in the Los Angeles area.
January 19, 2013
Re "Numbers game," Opinion, Jan. 14 Jim Newton's column regarding the significance of the Los Angeles Police Department achieving 10,000 officers misses the mark. When the mayor started his first term in 2005, there were 9,284 officers. Today there are 10,023. Despite deep fiscal cuts to the LAPD, the mayor and the City Council have worked with the department in allowing it to find the least harmful ways to absorb these cuts. Instead of simply cutting the number of officers, the city's leaders held firm, and the result is the 10th straight year of crime reduction.
November 4, 2012
Re "LAPD hid key details in use of force," Nov. 1 I have written a number of letters to this paper, primarily to clarify what I think are important issues or to take The Times to task when I believe inaccuracies have been reported. This letter is different; it is an admission that The Times was right and the Los Angeles Police Department was wrong. The article on an officer-involved shooting in the Newton area questioned why key information that the individual we shot was handcuffed was omitted from our original news release.
January 14, 2013 |
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has every reason to be proud of his public safety record. He worked well with Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton, who had been hired by the mayor's predecessor, James Hahn. When Bratton left, Villaraigosa oversaw a thoughtful process to vet potential replacements and settled on the capable Charlie Beck. Over the course of Villaraigosa's nearly eight years as mayor, crime has significantly declined; in each of the last three years, there were fewer than 300 murders in the city, a sea change from a generation ago. Villaraigosa will leave Los Angeles far safer than he found it. But the mayor is rarely content to be credited only for what he deserves, and last week offered another reminder of that.