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LAPD deserves better than recent tirade

Article Last Updated: 10/08/2007 04:19:45 PM PDT

With its editorial titled "LAPD's numbers game" (Oct. 4) we have yet another example of the willingness of the Daily News editorial page to callously throw out insulting allegations of fraud and misrepresentation against public servants.

In this most recent incident, the editorial board asserted the Los Angeles Police Department is "cooking the books" in its report on deployment in the San Fernando Valley.

The underlying purpose of their destructive and mean-spirited rant? Apparently to reassert the never-ending mantra that more officers are needed in the San Fernando Valley.

As a point of information, the department's report on the efforts to add additional patrols in the Valley was 15 pages of information, plus attachments detailing citywide deployment numbers, response times, citation productivity and revenues generated, and efforts to reduce gang violence.

Historical data stretching back five years were provided to more accurately depict performance measures over the course of several years, especially in comparison to other parts of the city.

Recognizing that the Daily News has a pretty dim view of just about everything public servants do in regards to providing services to the Valley, the editorial board chose to single out one calculation.

Particularly disingenuous was their decision to reference in the editorial a specific LAPD claim of a 30 percent reduction in response time to emergency calls for service.

Let me be clear: The report detailed response times for emergency, urgent and routine calls for service depicted in chart and graph form for each year from 2003-2007.

The only summary our report made on the subject was that overall citywide response times have improved since 2003.

Our report also stated that the department seeks to balance the attainment of specific service goals (response times) with specific deployment strategies that result in the reduction of serious violent and property crime. Our performance measures are what they are. We were factual and accurate in their depiction.

Additionally, I defend the outstanding job the men and women of the LAPD are doing on a variety of fronts in service to the people of the Valley, as well as the city as a whole.

Simply stated, our numbers are too few in every neighborhood and community of this city.

However, these same communities are made safer today by the dedication of our men and women who work in partnership with those they are sworn to protect.

And while we are continually striving to improve our performance, we will not purposely mislead or violate the public's trust for a speaking point or statistical quote.

As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. We have presented the facts and merely ask for fairness in the evaluation and conclusions reached.

In closing, a well-informed public is essential to the existence of a democratic nation.

As a department, we seek to foster a cooperative climate with the media built on mutual respect. The LAPD deserves better than this most recent tirade.

Michel R. Moore is deputy chief, Operations-Valley Bureau of the Los Angeles Police Department