Chief’s Monthly Media Availability for November 18, 2003

November 18, 2003

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton

Chief’s Monthly Media Availability

November 18, 2003
1:00 p.m.

Metropolitan Dispatch Center
100 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton today announced key organizational changes within the Department. Calling it a functional re-alignment, Bratton says “the movement will allow the Department’s top brass more time to focus on our number one priority and Mayor Jim Hahn’s number one priority, reducing crime in the City of Los Angeles.” Through November 15th, the city’s homicide rate is down 24%. Overall violent crime is down 5.4%. Wanting to expand on the current crime reduction momentum, Bratton has re-assigned some of his top managers to new positions and given them added responsibilities.

Moving from his current position of Chief of Support Services, Assistant Chief George Gascon will now head up the Office of Operations. “The reality is while I’d like more cops, with the current budget situation, it’s just not possible,” says Bratton. “Chief Gascon’s new responsibility will be to re-organize and re-focus the resources we do have so that we continue to make the streets even safer and respond more quickly to 911 calls.”

Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell, has been appointed First Assistant Chief, and as the Department second in command will now oversee Department personnel and risk management as Chief of the Office of Personnel Services. “It’s my desire to broaden my Chief Officers comprehensive experiences in the Department,” says Bratton. “In this position, Chief McDonnell will utilize his exceptional personnel skills while facing new challenges as he implements the critical new training curriculum mandated by the Consent Decree and assist me in seeking additional public and political support of more personnel and resources.”

As Assistant Chief of Office of Administrative Services, Assistant Chief Sharon Papa will continue to manage the Department’s budget and all of its facilities, including overseeing design and construction of the new downtown police headquarters. In addition, Papa will now be tasked with the important responsibility of improving the Department’s technology and communications. “I see Chief Papa’ s role as critical to the success of the Department,” says Bratton. “As we do more with less, Papa will be responsible for the technological advances that will help us get out from under mountains of paperwork so our officers and supervisors can be more efficient and spend more time in the field on expanding on crime prevention efforts.”

The changes will become effective as of November 23rd.

Under the functional re-alignment, Professional Standards Bureau Chief Mike Berkow will take on added responsibilities as Chief Bratton’s Chief of Staff. Also added to his command is the Critical Incident Investigation Division. CIID investigate’s Use of Force and shootings by LAPD Officers. The Department’s Counter Terrorism Bureau, headed up by Chief John Miller will undergo a name change to Critical Incident Management Bureau, reflective of it’s responsibilities that include surveillance functions, as well as bomb and hazmat threats. The Special Investigation Section, “S.I.S” will be transferred to the Critical Management Bureau from the Detective Bureau. Says Bratton; “this department is all about change. We will continue to improvise and challenge ourselves as we embrace the best practices that will continue the LAPD as a worldwide leader in policing. While we are pleased with the continuance in crime reduction, doing better is not good enough. Where we are is not where we want to be.”

This news advisory was prepared by Ms. Mary Grady, Los Angeles Police Department Public Information Director, 213-485-3205.