The Function and Role of the Board of Police CommissionersLos Angeles Police Commission
100 West First Street, Room 134
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Under the City Charter, the Board of Police Commissioners is the head of the Police Department. The Board sets overall policy while the Chief of Police manages the daily operations of the Department and implements the Board’s policies or policy direction and goals.
- Who Are the Commissioners?
- Police Commission Meetings
- Police Permit Review Panel
- Pending Special Events Permits [PDF]
- Special Event Permit Applicant Instructions and Application [PDF]
- Tow Truck Complaint Hotline 323-680-4-TOW (4869)
The Board of Police Commissioners, originally created in the 1920’s, is comprised of five civilians who donate their time to the City while maintaining their professional careers. They are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The Commissioners serve a maximum of two five-year terms. The Commissioners routinely spend 25-50 hours per week on Commission business, and serve as the citizens’ voice in police affairs and as a means of ensuring more responsive and effective City government.
The Commissioners’ concerns are reflective of the community-at-large, and their priorities include implementing recommended reforms, improving service to the public by the Department, reducing crime and the fear of crime, and initiating, implementing and supporting community policing programs.
Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed the following Commissioners:
- President Steve Soboroff
- Vice President Paula Madison
- Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa
- Commissioner Kathleen Kim
- Commissioner Robert M. Saltzman
Watch Police Commission meetings every Tuesday at 2:00pm on Cityview, Channel 35, within the City of Los Angeles, or listen to the meetings live on Councilphone, 213-621-CITY, 310-471-CITY, 310-547-CITY, or 818-904-9450.
The Executive Director is the Commission’s chief administrative officer, and reports directly to the Board. The Executive Director is charged with the supervision, appointment, discharge, discipline and transfer of the Commission’s executive staff and Commission Investigation Division personnel. The Executive Director oversees budgetary appropriations for the Police Commission, including the recommendation of an annual Police Commission budget. The Executive Director is also the Board’s liaison to the Office of the Chief of Police and Police Department, and represents the Commission at various meetings and events.
Community Policing Coordinator
The Community Policing Coordinator is responsible for facilitating Commission oversight and coordination of all community policing related activities; and ensuring that the Board’s interests and goals concerning community policing are communicated regularly to Department staff, elected officials, community groups and outside entities. The Coordinator serves as liaison to community groups and Community-Police Advisory Boards throughout the City.
Commission Budget Analyst
The Budget Analyst prepares an analysis of all fiscal reports submitted by the Department including budget requests, grant agreements, contracts, and other items with fiscal impact, and makes recommendations for Board action. The Budget Analyst takes the lead in preparing the annual budget for the Police Commission and is responsible for synthesizing all requests submitted by the Executive Office, Inspector General and Commission Investigation Division into a consolidated budget. The Budget Analyst also acts as the Commission’s liaison to the Department on budgetary matters.
The Alarm Section is responsible for enforcing Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 103.206, Alarm Ordinance, including processing excessive alarm bills, investigating delinquent service fees for violators and service fee waiver requests, and initiating permit suspension and revocation proceedings by compiling and presenting oral and written evidence to a Hearing Examiner and to the Permit Review Panel.
By ordinance, the Police Commission is tasked with overseeing, investigating, and recommending discipline for holders of City permits, which have a public safety component. These include over fifty types of business permits, permits for home and business alarm systems, permits for charitable organizations to solicit funds, and designations of Official Police Garages.
The Enforcement Section investigates all complaints of misconduct by permittees and conducts regular inspections of permitted locations. This Section also regulates those garages designated as Official Police Garages for the purpose of handling City impounds within a given geographic police area, promulgates guidelines for the operation of such garages, and serves as contract administrator with respect to Official Police Garage operating contracts.
When a permitted business or individual is accused of violating Commission rules or statutes and the investigation supports the complaint, the Advocates Section prepares the case and holds an administrative hearing before an independent Hearing Examiner. Administrative hearings are also held when a new applicant appeals a recommended denial of the permit. The hearing is handled in a manner similar to a criminal proceeding, including testimony and cross examination of witnesses, with the staff of the Advocates Unit acting as prosecutors for the Board.
The Charitable Services Section is responsible for investigating charitable or philanthropic corporations or associations that depend upon public appeal or general solicitations for support. Investigations include misstatements, deceptions and frauds in connection with solicitation. Based upon investigations, the Charitable Services Section issues solicitation permits or “Information Cards,” to charitable organizations.
This Section investigates and processes new permit applications, and makes recommendations for the granting or denial of permits.
This Section maintains the records of current and past police permit holders.
The Personnel Group assists the Commission in its responsibilities concerning labor and employment law matters, including grievances, discrimination, and sexual harassment complaint investigations. These matters often present policy implications that may result in modifications to employment policies, procedures, or practices. The Board monitors the Department’s progress in achieving hiring and promotional goals in compliance with consent decrees, or voluntary employment goals.
The Grievance Unit is responsible for reviewing and investigating employee grievances that have been appealed to the Commission, and for making recommendations to the Commission concerning the resolution of these grievances. The Grievance Unit also provides subject matter expertise to the Commission in other labor relations matters.
Police Commission Discrimination Unit
This Unit is responsible for the investigation of all discrimination and harassment complaints in accordance with City and Department policies and the tenets of employment discrimination law. The Unit heightens awareness and reduces the incidence of harassment and discrimination in the Department; monitors the number, progress and resolution of complaints; and keeps the Board informed of situations and cases that may have policy implications. In all cases, complainants are entitled to responsive, supportive treatment, and to be informed of the status of their case to the extent allowed by due process considerations.
The Policy Unit assists the Board in developing and analyzing policy, monitoring the progress of policy implementation, and reviewing proposed Department actions. The Unit also provides overall research and analytical support to the Commission, and facilitates the transfer and coordination of information.
Public Information Director
The Public Information Director is responsible for disseminating information on Commission policy and initiatives to the public. This position also serves as the Commission’s liaison to the media.
The Office of the Inspector General is one of the major Christopher Commission reform recommendations. The position of Inspector General is exempt from civil service and reports directly to the Board. The Inspector General audits, investigates, and oversees the Police Department’s handling of complaints of misconduct by Department employees, and conducts other investigations as directed by the Board. The Use of Force Unit, which reviews all Officer Involved Shootings on behalf of the Commission, also reports to the Inspector General.
Office of the Secretary
The Office of the Board Secretary, who reports directly to the Board, is responsible for scheduling meetings and coordinating all agenda material for the Commission and its subsidiary boards and panels, and for maintaining records of the proceedings. The Secretary oversees and schedules civilian Hearing Examiners for permit hearings and Boards of Rights. The Secretary is also the Conflict of Interest coordinator and liaisons with the Ethics Commission, City Attorney’s Office and Office of the Chief of Police.
Police Permit Review Panel
The Police Permit Review Panel is responsible for the granting, denial, suspension, or revocation of police permits and alarm permits. With respect to cases, which have been heard before an independent Hearing Examiner, no findings or recommendations are final unless the Review Panel approves them. The Panel is also responsible for granting permits for solicitation of money or property for charitable purposes, receiving gifts and bequests for charitable or philanthropic purposes, administering the dispersal of funds set aside by the City for charitable purposes, and promoting coordination among all charities in the City. The Police Permit Panel meets the first, third and fifth Wednesdays of the month at 2:30 p.m.