Letter to the community from the Mayor, James K.
Re: Selecting a Chief of Police
The following letter from Mayor Hahn to the community also appeared
in the LA Times:
September 17, 2002
The Los Angeles Police Department is at a crossroads as we prepare
to select a new chief of police. Our proud department has faced
many challenges, but we are beginning to see positive changes at
Parker Center. Officers are not leaving the department as they once
did, morale continues to rise, new recruits and officers who left
the LAPD for other law enforcement agencies are seeking to rejoin
the LAPD's ranks, and a renewed confidence in the department is
again visible in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
The next police chief must continue this progress. My expectations
for the new chief are very clear: reduce crime, improve morale and
recruitment, implement the reforms mandated by the consent decree,
expand community policing and embrace the role of civilian oversight.
The LAPD must get back to the business of policing. Fighting crime
must be "job one."
Among the new chief's top priorities must be to return the LAPD
to its fully authorized level of 10,000 officers. Additionally,
he or she must commit to getting the LAPD's highly trained officers,
many of whom are sitting behind desks at headquarters, back out
on neighborhood streets. The new chief must change the LAPD from
a top-heavy command-and-control department into a proactive, community-based
We must create a Police Department that does not give lip service
to reform. The new chief must lead the effort to build a Police
Department that not only protects but also respects every community.
It must be a department led by a Police Commission that understands
its role as an overseer and works in partnership with a chief who
respects civilian oversight.
The police union must also join with the new chief to shatter the
police culture that has blocked reform. The chief must convince
every officer to join in the task of reform. I will make it clear
to each candidate that there can be no more Ramparts, no more code
of silence and no more scandals.
The LAPD must also more closely reflect the city's diversity. Our
residents deserve a police force that identifies with different
cultures and is trained through life experiences to understand the
needs of a diverse population. The new chief must rise to the challenge
by recruiting and promoting more women and minorities.
The chief must be able to inspire the LAPD's rank and file and rebuild
the morale that has been so damaged, advancing the changes we have
made to boost morale. Shortly, the Police Commission will submit
the three best candidates for my consideration. My commitment to
the residents of Los Angeles is that I will select the candidate
who best embodies the qualities and qualifications needed to make
Los Angeles the safest big city in the nation.
James K. Hahn
Mayor of Los Angeles