Police Commission Letter to Mayor Hahn
Recommending Three
William Bratton, Art Lopez, John Timoney


Text of the Police Commission's Parker Center Address on 9/19/02


..... Rick J. Caruso - President
..... David Cunningham, III - Vice President
..... Herbert F. Boeckmann, II
..... Rose Ochi
..... Silvia Saucedo

September 19, 2002

The Honorable James K. Hahn
Mayor of the City of Los Angeles
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Mr. Mayor:

After turning over the facts, and having met and carefully considered those highly qualified applicants who appeared before us, we the members of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners have selected three candidates to recommend to you. Our task has required our utmost attention and diligence the past several months, because we know the importance of our decision. Los Angeles is a City at the crossroads, at a historic turning point. A healthy Los Angeles Police Department is critical to a healthy Los Angeles. Guided by enlightened, informed leadership, we can move forward to fulfill the promise we made to this City. The Commission is fully committed to support our new Chief's efforts to fully transform our Department. We, all of us, are deeply aware of this great responsibility. The people of Los Angeles are relying on our best judgment and we firmly believe we have accomplished that task with their interest as our guide. This Commission is united in its resolve to make our City the safest large city in the United States. The people of Los Angeles deserve no less - together we will succeed.

Of the thirteen candidates we interviewed, all are highly qualified, first rate officers and leaders. Consequently, narrowing the field was difficult, to say the least. To all those fine officers who we were privileged to meet, we express our gratitude. In the end we were given the opportunity of choosing the best of the best. Many of these candidates have dedicated their careers to the Los Angeles Police Department. That dedication cannot be praised enough. To these men and women, we encourage them to continue their fine work at the Los Angeles Police Department so that the City can continue to benefit from their years of experience and knowledge.

At this historic moment, Los Angeles needs a Chief who is, more than anything, devoted to making this City safe from crime and the fear of crime. The Chief must improve morale and increase retention and recruitment and in our great City, enriched by so many diverse cultures and voices. The new Chief must be sensitive to the needs of all Angelenos, and must embrace community policing not as a "buzz word", but as a way of conducting police business every day. Also, the Chief must embrace the fact that this police department is lead by the Police Commission.

Significantly contributing to our efforts was the outstanding contribution provided by the Personnel Department, members of the community and the Blue Ribbon Committee. The Commission gauged the candidates using criteria developed by the public and the Blue Ribbon Committee.

We have heard the residents of Los Angeles and the Blue Ribbon Committee. Our Chief must be a strong leader; someone who inspires troops as well as earns the respect and trust of our community. Our Chief must have a strategic plan, the ability to implement that plan and be dedicated to the improvement of the Department. Our Chief must be devoted to this Department, to its men and women. Our Chief must, of course, be an astute manager. This Department is large and very complex and our Chief needs to understand the details, while always keeping the ultimate goal in mind. The City simply demands these requirements.

Moreover, we must have a Chief who is committed to reform. The Department has recently made significant advancements and improvements and we will not lose our momentum now. Our historic juncture rests in our Chief's ability to lead the Department out of its past, into a future marked by bold and new thinking, while maintaining the proud tradition that has always been the Los Angeles Police Department.

Great cities will always face challenges. However, the way we meet those challenges is what counts, what matters. In the past few months, we've felt a sense of renewed purpose, of challenges met, of promises kept, of engagement with the future, a commitment to change and transform as well as connecting with the community we serve.

These three finalists we are asking you to consider are tried and true veterans - each is unique, all are proven leaders, each willing to listen and to lead. They understand the challenges ahead of us and have been tested and recognized for their distinguished record in police work. Each has shown an ability to question rather than accept, to hope rather than despair, and to venture rather than fear.

Great challenges await us. With optimism, faith, and confidence, we expect nothing less than success. Our message is clear; this Department is stronger today, and on its way back. The men and women of this Department are eager to serve the public and be lead by a proven Chief.

Because of the high quality of all the applicants, we are not listing the top candidates in order of preference because all three finalists have unique strengths which deserve the top rating. On behalf of the people of Los Angeles and the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department, we respectfully submit the following candidates, in alphabetical order, for your consideration as the next Chief of Police. All of us look forward to a new beginning in Los Angeles.

William Bratton Art Lopez John Timoney

Very truly yours,


Rick J. Caruso, President

David S. Cunningham, III, Vice President

Bert Boeckmann, II

Rose Ochi

Silvia Saucedo