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Rose Matsui Ochi
Commissioner, Los Angeles Police Commission
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Rose Matsui Ochi

Commissioner, Los Angeles Police Commission


Rose Matsui Ochi was appointed to the Board of Los Angeles Police Commissioners by Mayor James Hahn in August of 2001. At that time, she was elected Vice President of the Commission. Commissioner Ochi has extensive experience as a lawyer and criminal justice executive, both at the local and national level. She is nationally recognized as an expert speaker and instructor regarding justice system reform including law enforcement integrity and accountability, crime and drug policy, police-community relations, hate crimes, race relations, and civil rights. She has the distinction of being the first Asian American woman to serve at the Assistant Attorney General level.

Commissioner Ochi began her career as a Secondary Teacher for Los Angeles Unified Schools and the Montebello Unified School District. While completing her Juris Doctor at Loyola Law School, she served the United States Attorney, Central District of California in the capacity of Law Clerk through the Loyola Clinical Program. Commissioner Ochi then served as Staff Attorney at University of Southern California, Western Center on Law and Poverty along with being a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow. At the center, her particular expertise was in the area of education and criminal and juvenile justice. She conducted law reform litigation serving as co-counsel of record in a landmark education reform case, Serrano vs. Priest.

Commissioner Ochi then began a 20-year career with the City of Los Angeles, Office of the Mayor, Criminal Justice Planning Office. She served in the capacity of Program Coordinator, Legislative & Research Coordinator, Deputy Director, and Director, the latter for 19 years. In this position, she managed administration of justice related policy and program development. She designed numerous innovative programs and justice system improvements including community policing, domestic violence prosecution, drug enforcement, treatment and prevention, gang violence reduction, problem oriented policing and reviewed policy matters including juvenile justice reform, and crime control. She advised the Mayor, City Council and the Los Angeles Police Department regarding administration of justice policy and program matters.

In 1995, Commissioner Ochi became the Associate Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House. There, she managed the Bureau of State and Local Affairs (BSLA), handling intergovernmental relations with law enforcement and drug related agencies. She directed the BSLA in the formulation of policy, legislation, and regulations focusing primarily on domestic law enforcement issues. Commissioner Ochi oversaw the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program and designed the Break the Cycle Program. She also represented the President and the Drug Czar at conferences and hearings.

From 1997 to 2001, Commissioner Ochi was the Director of Community Relations Service (CRS) for the Department of Justice (DOJ). She was responsible for the overall management of CRS, which is a federal race conciliation agency (over 50% of the conflicts involve law enforcement practices). She set policy direction and conducted strategic planning and management reviews of ten regional offices. She also represented the President and the Attorney General before Congress, with state and local governments, and the general public regarding improving police community relations, police integrity and accountability, hate crimes, and race relations.

Commissioner Ochiís work has resulted in her being recognized through numerous awards including the US DOJ Attorney General Randolf Award for Distinguished Service, the FBI Directorís Award for Exceptional Service, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives for Outstanding Contributions, the Pat Brown Institute Outstanding Community Service Award, and the Hispanic American Command Officers Associationís Aguila Eagle Award, among many others.

An expert in the area of police and community relations, Commissioner Ochi has testified before Congressional hearings including Senate Judiciary, Select Narcotics, Crime, Government Efficiency, House Judiciary, Human Resources and Juvenile Justice. She has also spoken before the 2001 White House Conference on Human Relations and the 2000 White House Hate Crime Summit among other distinguished bodies.

Commissioner Ochi serves on several boards of community-based organizations. She is the Vice Chair At Large of the Corporate Board of the United Way along with serving as the Chair of the Community Issues Council and Global Cities Task Force. She also serves on the LA 2000 Partnership Ethnic Diversity Task Force, The Ethnic Coalition, California Leadership, Manzanar Committee, Manzanar Historic Site Advisory Commission, and the Japanese American Citizens League, of which she is the National Vice President. Commissioner Ochi is also active in several professional organizations including the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the State Bar of California and the Japanese American Bar Association.

Commissioner Ochi resides in the City of Los Angeles and is married to Thomas H. Ochi, architect.