Chief’s Message - September 2012The month of September marks the beginning of fall and the exciting start of the new school season for many young children, but it is bittersweet because we will always remember the innocent civilians and our first responder brothers and sisters who lost their lives during the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks. Despite the passage of 11 years, this loss still resonates with us today. Although, it motivates us to continue our fight to prevent current acts of terrorism both domestically and abroad.
In the years since the attacks, the LAPD has developed some of the leading counter-terrorism strategies and tactics in the nation. Programs such as iWatch have been nationally recognized and implemented in other cities throughout the country.
Recently, we also hosted the Joint Counter-Terrorism Awareness Workshop in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, the National Counter-Terrorism Center and the FBI. The two day seminar brought together 350 regional first responders and private sector representatives from the Los Angeles area to share information and discuss some of the latest strategies and tactics to identify and combat terrorist activity. This collaboration between local, state, federal and the private sector partners will ultimately help safeguard our region.
The war on terror is one that will continue indefinitely, as we are always targets to those who view us as the enemy. We must continue to be vigilant and unwavering in our commitment to keep the people in the City of Los Angeles safe and we must take proactive measures in order to prevent attacks before they occur.
Your safety is my number one priority and I want to stress the importance of not over-driving when working in the field. Traffic related collisions are one of the leading causes of injuries to officers. While I understand you want to get to the scene of a radio call or incident as quickly as possible, it should never be at the expense of arriving safely. Over-driving can put you, your partner, and the public in dangerous predicaments where injuries or even fatalities can occur. Please drive safely and always wear your seatbelt because I want nothing more than for all of you to make it home unharmed to your family at the end of your shift.
In addition, I want to remind you we are quickly approaching the end of the year. As a result, officers tend to accrue more expenses and have many more responsibilities occurring in their personal lives. The combination of these things can cause increased stress levels that can potentially have a negative effect on your personal and professional life. Fortunately there are a number of resources available to you including the Los Angeles Police Relief Association, Los Angeles Police Protective League and Behavioral Science Services. Take advantage of these resources if you find yourself in a difficult situation because help is always readily available.
At the end of this month the second phase of the 405 expansion will occur and a portion of the freeway that connects the Valley to the West side will be shut down for an entire weekend. When the first phase was completed last year, we were able to avoid traffic gridlock and public hysteria by successfully working with our state and local partners to make the community aware of the pending closure. For this expansion phase, we also have been working with our state and local partners for months in order to coordinate our efforts to avoid “Carmageddon.” Many individuals have been working diligently on the planning and strategic phases and I want to thank those of you involved in this cumbersome process.
Weight Loss Challenge
For the past couple of months many of you have been exercising diligently and watching your diet all in the name of competition and good health. Likewise, many divisions and sections have organized group exercise sessions, dietary instruction, and offered motivational messages with the hopes of taking home the title of weight loss champions. With the challenge now in its final stages, I urge you to continue with your beneficial changes and good habits you developed in order to apply them to a permanent lifestyle of wellness. The benefits of your hard work are noticeable and I sincerely appreciate your hard work and inspiring spirit.
For those of you who might have missed out on this year’s challenge, it’s not too late to begin a workout regimen and develop healthy habits of your own. Personal wellness should be a lifelong undertaking as the benefits are countless. Congratulations to all of this year’s participants on your accomplishment and I wish you continued success as we move forward.
History of West Los Angeles Area
West Los Angeles Station provides service and protection to over a quarter of a million people, stretching over sixty-five square miles. West Los Angeles Division began its life in 1922 when it was known as “Sawtelle Division” due to its location on Sawtelle Boulevard. The current West Los Angeles Division, located on Butler Avenue, is in the heart of West LA and was constructed and dedicated in 1974.
West LA is home to some of the most valuable real estate in the United States. It also the home of many internationally recognized individuals in the entertainment and business community.
Fallen Heroes of West Los Angeles Area
Two West Los Angeles Police Officers made the ultimate sacrifice.
- Police Officer Fred Early, EOW March 23, 1973 - succumbed to a gunshot wound from a confrontation with a burglary suspect.
- Police Officer Michael McDougal, EOW January 19, 1975 - was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Significant Events in West Los Angeles Area
West Los Angeles has been the scene of some of the City’s most famous and infamous crimes:
- The death of Marilyn Monroe in Brentwood
- The Manson murders in Benedict Canyon
- The murders of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman in Brentwood
- The rape arrest of Roman Polanski in Bel Air
- The murder of Ennis Cosby on the 405 Freeway at Skirball Center Drive
- The murder of Playmate of the Year 1979 Dorothy Stratton
- The murder of Dag Drollet in Bel Air with the arrest of Christian Brando
- The Manslaughter of Michael Jackson in Holmby Hills
Stay safe out there and always look out for each other.