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Cops count. Character counts. Do the right thing and you can be the difference.
-Deputy Chief Charlie Beck
Today, Mayor Villaraigosa selected Deputy Chief Charlie Beck to serve as the next Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. Read the Chief's bio HERE.
Both the Mayor and the Chief spoke of the great strides the LAPD has made, using progressive policing tactics to reduce gang violence and keep crime at historic lows. And both looked to the future of the police department, pledging to solidify the recent progress so that reform never again depends on one leader, but instead becomes part of the department's DNA.
What do you think the future of the department should be? Have questions about the direction of the LAPD? Ask the Chief!
Use the form below to ask Charlie Beck, the new Chief of Police, a question and he'll be answering as many as he can here on this page.
Question from Oscar Ixco of South LA:
My question pertains to your views on security surveillance systems. I am working on a project that involves deploying a 62 wireles camera system to monitor a 200+ acre industrial site of South Los Angeles. The objective is to provide 24-hour surveillance capabilities to private security team supported by a Business Improvement District and the local LAPD division. Are you in support of these types of efforts?
I have long believed that technology can be a force multiplier in areas of the city where we just don’t have the necessary police resources. I supported cameras in Rampart Area and in the Jordan Downs Housing Project. Crime in those areas has dropped substantially and cameras have played a big part in reducing both violent and property crime. But technology will never replace the need for police officers and the community to partner together to make our communities safer.
Question from Hope Wenk of USC area:
I was wondering if you would be working with groups such as Fr. Greg Boyle and his Homeboy Industries, Inc. as a way to help educate and wean LA's gang members away from the gang life and into contributing and productive lives that will not only serve themselves but also their families and their communities.
Father Greg Boyle and organizations like Homeboy Industries are playing a critical role in our efforts to secure safe neighborhoods in Los Angeles.
As one of the organizations working with the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development, the LAPD will support these efforts that provide our city’s youth with alternatives to gangs and criminal activity.
Question from Ed Crowe of West Valley:
Is "transition" a component of your strategy to reduce gang activity? Statistics show that 60% of parolees returned to prison within first year of release.
Transition is an important component of addressing the root causes of crime, and it is indeed a part of our overall strategy to addressing gang violence. As a department, we will work with other city agencies that provide the support parolees need to end the cycles of violence and incarceration. I believe a strong re-entry program for those coming out of prison will be a critical part of that strategy.
Question from Dr. Jerome Griffin of West LA:
What will you do to facilitate police community relations in South Los Angeles?
The partnership the LAPD enjoys today with our communities has been critical in the crime reductions we have been able to achieve. An important component of fostering that relationship has been the Senior Lead Officers that have been successful in working with communities, and developing a mutual respect relationship of cooperation.
Those will need to be important components as we continue to foster the relationship between our officers and the communities they serve.
Question from Anne Sherman of West Valley:
Whom can I contact about inefficient policing in my area?
A city the size of Los Angeles relies on competent, creative people to make it a safe place to in which to live, visit and do business. The city has 21 Area Captains whose responsibility is to make their part of the city as safe as possible. I intend to give them the resources to do that job. But they also need to talk to and listen to the people in their communities that they serve. I would suggest that you go to www.lapdonline.org and click on the “Communities” page. There you will find the area where you live. Click on it and it will take you to your area police station page. There you will find the name of your Area Captain. I encourage you to contact your Captain.
Question from Harvey Lewn of Central LA:
What are you going to do to encourage more people to ride bicycles? Will you protect bicycle riders?
Traffic congestion in the City of Los Angeles is an issue that affects the quality of life for everyone that travels throughout the city. People will choose to ride bicycles if they feel the roads are safe. That is the job of the men and women who work in the four Traffic Divisions of the LAPD; Central, South, West and Valley Traffic Division. Their job is to enforce traffic laws and work to keep the streets safe for everyone, including bicyclists and pedestrians. As we have seen more people use bicycles as their main form of transportation, we realize we need to better partner with that community and liaison more effectively.
Question from Chris Alvarado of the East Valley:
What is the status of hiring new officers for the department? Is recruitment still really active or has it slowed down and are the new hires being cut?
As you may know, Mayor Villaraigosa has made public safety a central focus of his administration, and thus police hiring has been one of his top priorities. Currently, the department has been allocated a budget to continue hiring that maintains our current officer deployment level.
That also means no new hires are being cut from the department, as our efforts are to maintain the department’s current officer deployment.
Question from Lisa Lopez of West LA:
What is the Chief's community policing strategy for the city?
The LAPD has come a long way in bettering the relationship with the communities we serve. Today, our police officers are working as partners with our communities thru engagement and cooperation. A key component of that success has been the department’s Senior Lead Officers who can gather first hand knowledge about the issues affecting each distinct community.
In addition, the department is working with the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development office to address the root causes of gang violence.
Question from G Tovar of South LA:
How will this new chief work with the other two candidates that were not selected?
Chief Jim McDonnell and Chief Michel Moore are two highly qualified public servants, and I have the outmost respect for both of them. They both will continue to be very important part of the LAPD.
Question from Luis Deleon of the West Valley:
Mr: Deputy Chief Charlie Beck: I just want to ask you, what the police department under your command will do to eradicate gangs criminal activities in the San Fernando Valley as well as graffiti vandalism.
The LAPD will continue to target the City’s most violent offenders with tough suppression strategies, as well as with working with federal, state and local law enforcement law enforcement agencies. But we all know we can not arrest ourselves out of this problem. So we will also continue to work with our communities, as well as with gang prevention and intervention efforts that target the root cause of gang violence.
More answers to your questions coming soon...