Tuesday, April 9, 2002
Chief's Response to Police Commission's Decision"Chief's Response to Police Commission's Decision"
Los Angeles: I took an oath 38-years ago to keep the residents of Los Angeles safe, to reduce crime and improve the quality of life in our diverse communities. I am proud of my record of service. I am disappointed the Board of Police Commissioners has decided not to support my application to continue to serve.
I did not have the opportunity to put forward my plans for the future of this Department in a public forum. While I understand confidential personnel matters cannot be discussed in public, I do believe most of my presentation could have easily been held in an open session.
During my 9-hours of discussions with the board, I was encouraged by their attentiveness and genuine interest in the issues that face this Department. I had asked that the Board’s decision be based on facts and merit.
I am disappointed that Mayor Jim Hahn decided to speak out concerning his lack of support for my reappointment before the Commission had the opportunity to adopt criteria by which I would be judged. The City Charter clearly states that the Mayor has no formal role except and only when the Police Commission cannot make up its mind.
Commission members say that they arrived at this decision by separating fact from fiction…by evaluating whether the Department is healthy under my leadership. I believe the facts are crystal clear…for the past 5-years I have worked tirelessly to fill the leadership void and correct the failings of previous years.
While the Commissioners claim they avoided political rhetoric…I disagree…this process has become much too politicized. The Police Union clearly played a role in this process. Their campaign of misinformation, of million dollar TV ads and their powerful political endorsements, negatively influenced this process. The interests of the City’s residents have not been considered. Over the past ten years they voted twice for an independent Police chief and an independent Police Commission.
My record and accomplishments offer compelling support for my reappointment. There is still much work to be done:
Improve the working relationships inside and outside the Department to instill pride and build morale;
Continue the critical job of reform;
Increase public confidence in the LAPD; and
Strengthen community and government partnerships
Because of my commitment to this Department and the communities of this City, I have decided not to abandon my request for reappointment. The City Charter provides the next step in this process. The City Council has 10-working days to decide whether or not to take jurisdiction of my reappointment. Many of the City’s residents prefer that the Council take jurisdiction, so that public hearings can be held. We can’t let special interests and politics drive the selection process for Chief.
I am proud of the work done each and every day by the dedicated men and women of this Department. I am proud of my accomplishments. I want to reassure you, the residents of Los Angeles…your police Department is not in crisis.
I will stay the course and allow the reappointment process to continue.
I know that by my more than 37-years of service to this City…I have a lot to offer.