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LAPD Asked to Develop Plan to Involve Residents

A City Council panel, concerned that community policing has faltered with the reassignment of 180 senior lead officers, on Monday asked the Los Angeles Police Department to develop a plan for improving the working relationship between officers and residents.

The vote followed the release Monday of a USC survey that found fewer than half of Los Angeles residents think the LAPD is doing a “good or very good” job.

The percentage increased dramatically when residents have more informal contacts with officers, including residents who see officers regularly patrolling their neighborhoods, researchers said.

While it stopped short of calling for lead officers to be returned to their community liaison jobs, the council’s Public Safety Committee directed Chief Bernard C. Parks to develop proposals to ensure that residents have input into LAPD operations.

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Council members hinted that they still may call for the senior lead officers to be restored after hearing nearly two hours of testimony from about 20 neighborhood activists who said the loss of such officers has cut their contacts with the LAPD.

“My concern is that unless there are some quantifiable results to which the department can point in the very near future--in the next couple of months--that show this change has been very effective, we ought to scrap it and do something else,” Councilman Mike Feuer told police officials.

LAPD Cmdr. Dan Koenig told the panel that Parks spread senior lead officer duties among all patrol officers--with closer supervision by sergeants--to improve the program.

“The problem is, if you have 180 guys doing community policing, 9,400 other guys are going to be saying that’s not my job,” Koenig said.


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