Re "Shaking the 'Warrior Cop' Mentality a Test of City's Will," essay, July 16
My 37 years as a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department give me a special perspective not available to most citizens, let alone alleged authorities.
I disagree with just about everything that civil rights attorney Connie Rice [who chaired the Rampart Review Panel], Times staff writer Jim Newton and former Secretary of State Warren Christopher [who chaired the Christopher Commission in 1991] say about the LAPD.
The Rampart blue-ribbon report is a joke on the people of Los Angeles. The end result of the report was a foregone conclusion. Having a report completed by people who despise the LAPD seems insane.
The LAPD did not start either riot. The riots were started by marauding thugs bent on destruction and looting. Thank God for the "warrior cops" out there to police the thin blue line.
The consent decrees and reforms from the Rice and Christopher panels won't solve the city's problems. Why are we punishing 9,200 officers for what just a few officers in Rampart did?
This article is amazing not for what it says but that it said it at all. The writer traces this mentality back to Police Chief William Parker, but it clearly goes back at least to the formation of law enforcement in the "Wild West."
Anyone who has lived in this -- and probably every other city -- knows that rogue cops are not an aberration. We, the establishment, have to this day overlooked the millions of dollars paid in lawsuits against police actions. And those are just the actions in which the victims survived to fight back.
It is going to be a long time before police agencies become respected and trusted by the communities they serve, this acceptance being crucial to effective policing. But this article is a good start. Once we accept that the problem exists we can, given the will, effect change.
The segment of the L.A. population wishing to rid the police department of "proactive" officers needs to understand that it can't have it both ways.
Although such a method of operating is not warranted in areas of the city where violent crime is not an issue, other parts of the city (Rampart, Newton, Southeast divisions) require it to maintain some semblance of order.
When officers stop being proactive, the result will be violent crime spiraling out of control (again).
Re "This is not your grandpa's LAPD," Current, July 16
It was amusing to read Rice's Op-Ed article about how the LAPD can and should be changed. The problem with this whole fix-the-LAPD goal is that people like Rice are being appointed, and paid, to oversee this.
What does Rice know about law enforcement except how to criticize it? How many times does the city of Los Angeles have to go through this merry-go-round of appointing people who have no law enforcement experience to fix the LAPD?
I know a little about football, but that doesn't mean I can coach the Raiders to a Super Bowl.
Rice knows how to file documents so that she can sue organizations, but does that qualify her to improve the LAPD?