The Los Angeles Police Protective League endorsed Councilman Nate Holden in the mayor’s race Wednesday and spurned Mayor Tom Bradley, as it has in every political race that Bradley, a former police lieutenant, has entered.
At a news conference outside the Parker Center police headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, Protective League President George Aliano said, “We need a person as mayor who can envision the future needs of the city without waiting for matters to become critical before taking action. . . . Nate Holden is that leader.”
The Protective League is a labor union representing about 7,500 police officers.
‘Problems ... Cannot Wait’
Aliano criticized Bradley for ignoring what he said were obvious problems facing the city. “The problems of crime, gangs, police protection and traffic congestion cannot wait until they are out of control before they are addressed,” Aliano said. “The resources must be there ahead of the problem, rather than following it.”
Holden, appearing with Aliano, said, “I agree that leadership is what is needed at this time. The current Administration has not been able to deal with crime. . . . Crime is out of control in Los Angeles.”
When asked what he would do differently, Holden said, “I can tell you that I will not be out ribbon-cutting. This (the office of mayor) is not a ribbon-cutting job any more.”
Holden added that if he is elected mayor, he will work with state and federal authorities to create an agency similar to the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps to hire and train gang members. He added that he would seek to form other organizations at the high school level to give city youth a constructive alternative to gang involvement.
Dee Dee Myers, spokeswoman for Bradley’s campaign, said she was not surprised at the endorsement. “The Police Protective League has never endorsed (Bradley) in any race. . . . We didn’t expect an endorsement this year.”
Myers said the league has been at odds with Bradley since the 1970s when Bradley, facing a fiscal crunch, sought to limit police pensions.
Myers said Bradley has been supportive of police positions and pointed out that the force is at a record staffing level. The city surpassed last year the 7,400-officer high it reached early in Bradley’s 16-year tenure as mayor. By mid-1989, the force will reach 7,900.
Aliano said, “Over the years, Mayor Bradley has done nothing for us, nor do we think he’s moved ahead of the times.”