Los Angeles: The Community Safety Partnership program (CSP) began in the Fall of 2011, and is a collaboration between the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).
The mission of the program is to foster relationships with the residents in the Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts and Ramona Gardens housing communities. The ongoing focus is to start and support community and youth programs, address quality of life issues and develop programs to address and reduce violent crimes.
Chief Charlie Beck says “The idea started in 2010 when HACLA came to me and wanted to give the Department money for overtime to police the housing developments. Rather than overtime funding, I decided to use the money for personnel upgrades and we developed the Community Safety Partnership program. If I remember correctly, we had hundreds of applications for the 40 original spots to work on the CSP detail. The officers had to go to an orientation class before they could even apply so they understood what they were getting into. The applying CSP officers also had to commit to work the program for 5 years. In addition, we asked civil rights activist and lawyer Connie Rice and The Advancement Project to help with the program’s development and to provide an overall evaluation.”
All CSP personnel have been specifically trained and are required to: • Communicate with HACLA managers to address current or potential issues. • Attend community meetings • Identify quality of life issues • Participate in the Safe Passage program
Some of the programs that have been implemented as a result of CSP are: • The Watts Bears Football Team (football teams comprised of kids ages 9-11 from all four housing developments) • First Girl Scout Troop (Ramona Gardens) • Camping trips coordinated through the Harold Robinson Foundation • Educational programs and scholarships to private schools • Sunburst Youth Academy, an alternative youth program rather than being arrested • CSP also provides referrals for recovery, social and mental health related programs
Currently, there are ten officers and a supervisor assigned full time to CSP in the four housing communities. According to CSP Officers, “CSP policing is different than traditional policing because we focus on relationship-based policing.” We consider the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. We also focus on educating the public, empowering the youth and problem solving.”
According to CSP Coordinator Sergeant Emada Tingirides, “LAPD has evolved into the premiere agency in building relationships with communities like these. Helping to dispel past distrust and strained relationships with law enforcement is a major factor of the CSP program’s success.”
For more information on the Community Safety Partnership, please call Sergeant Emada Tingirides at 213-842-3488.