Community-based policing, an approach to law enforcement that the Christopher Commission encouraged the Los Angeles Police Department to adopt two years ago, remains largely unrealized despite some steps toward implementing it, LAPD leaders said Wednesday.
"We have been here since August, and I'm asked about community-based policing almost weekly," said Gary Greenebaum, president of the civilian Police Commission, whose members were appointed in August. "I think there's a lot of confusion, and I think it leads to the sense that the department is not entirely serious."
Greenebaum said he was convinced that the LAPD was serious about implementing the reforms, but that they will take considerable time to complete. Police Chief Willie L. Williams agreed, adding that the department has recently laid plans to hold focus groups to assess community service needs and has already begun forming police advisory boards in the LAPD's far-flung areas.
Wednesday's meeting of the Police Commission was repeatedly interrupted by a citizen who called the commissioners "thugs" and demanded that they adopt new rules for members of the public to address the board. Commissioners asked the man to leave, saying he was interrupting the meeting. "I'm not leaving, you have to arrest me," the man responded. He was arrested and taken from the room.