Department Responds to Consent Decree Signing

November 2, 2000

Los Angeles – On Thursday, November 2, 2000, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Department of Justice (DOJ) Federal Consent Decree, negotiated between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is pleased that the negotiation efforts have concluded and look forward to aggressively implementing and addressing all issues mandated by the consent decree.

Los Angeles Chief of Police Bernard Parks re-emphasized his previous comments, stating, "We [the Department] believe that our concerns were listened to and now it is time for us to move forward with our primary duty to provide effective and timely emergency services to the community. To this end, we are committed to the diligent implementation of the consent decree as agreed to by the Los Angeles City Council and the Mayor."

The Department is aware of the daunting nature of the task that lies before us. It should, however, be noted that the negotiated consent decree is a mixture of new requirements and existing practices and procedures of the Los Angeles Police Department. The Department is pleased to announce that it is well ahead of this challenge, in that we already have policies and procedures in place, addressing several of the mandates articulated in the signed consent decree. This is evidenced by the nearly 50 of the approximately 160 mandates [noted in the decree] where it is stated that the Department "shall continue to" [comply with a particular requirement] or are issues that are already being addressed by the LAPD. Some of these include, but are not limited to, issues related to discipline, booking approval and inspection of arrestees, community policing and the mission and enforcement efforts as they relate to the Department’s Special Enforcement/Gang Units.

This reform effort, like so many, will require a significant expenditure of public funds. The Department is hopeful that it will receive the necessary monetary support from the Los Angeles City Council. Additionally, it will be necessary for the Department to evaluate and re-distribute its resources in order to contribute to the success of the reform efforts. To this end, the Department has already assembled a Consent Decree Implementation Task Force. The task force is in operation, under the direction of Captain Scott Kroeber.

Recognizing that our patrol operations are the most critical component in satisfying the consent decree mandates, the Department has already published, and distributed to all Department personnel, a "ten point plan" aimed at meeting this objective. Some of the directives included in this "ten point plan" are as follows:

The evaluating of specialized and support divisions to determine the appropriate number of personnel available for reassignment to Area commands;
The freezing of vacancies in specialized divisions and transferring of authorities from specialized divisions to field operations; and
The reevaluation of Department priorities and basic services to determine whether reprioritization may save resources that can be directed to field duties.

In issuing this "ten point plan", Chief Parks stated, "I am certain that everyone recognizes the importance of providing an adequate patrol force for the people of Los Angeles. While change is difficult, I am confidant that the commitment of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department will ensure a successful effort on our part to implement the consent decree and a continued level of professional service to our community." A complete listing of the directives is incorporated in the Notice from the Office of the Chief of Police.

For further information regarding this press release, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace E. Frank, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations Section.

For Release 4:45 pm PST
November 2, 2000