LOS ANGELES : LAPD Lags in Minority Promotions, Panel Told

The Los Angeles Police Department has made significant strides in hiring women and minorities, but it has had a more difficult time seeing that they are well-represented in its upper ranks, city officials and others told members of the Police Commission Tuesday.

"We're losing too much skill," said Detective Ray Berrera, an LAPD veteran and president of the Latin American Law Enforcement Assn. "We're losing extremely capable people because of the mind-set of this organization."

Officials from the department's personnel unit said they are continuing to press for increased percentages of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, women and others throughout the department ranks. The LAPD is now about 57% Anglo, far more than its affirmative action goals but much less than it was 10 to 15 years ago.

"It definitely suggests that the LAPD is improving," Police Commission President Gary Greenebaum said. "It is improving and has a long way to go."

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