Los Angeles: This morning at 11:00 A.M., Los Angeles Chief of Police William Bratton addressed the local media during his Monthly Media Availability Meeting. During this meeting, Chief Bratton provided an update on the City’s current crime picture and the Department’s continuing efforts toward reducing crime in the City of Los Angeles. Chief Bratton stated that as of the period ending April 19, 2003, there were 148 homicides in the City of Los Angeles. Compared to the same period last year, homicides year-to-date have dropped by 50 (25.3% fewer homicides this year than last). Forty-two percent of the homicides, so far this year, were gang-related; compared to the same period last year when 69% of the homicides were gang-related. Addressing the media, Chief Bratton noted that robberies were down 5.0%, aggravated assaults down 4.4%, rapes down 0.3%, violent crimes down 4.9% and total Part 1 crimes down 2.4%. Noting that we are only four months into the year, Chief Bratton stated, "We are currently working against huge numbers from the early part of last year. The key will be how well we perform over the first six-month period and toward the latter part of the year."
Chief Bratton went on to provide the media with a status report on Officers Christopher Chavez and Leon Maya, who on April 12, 2003, were both struck and seriously injured by a hit and run driver. The officers were on duty at the scene of a police perimeter. Officer Chavez’ recovery continues. He is still listed as critical but stable. He remains in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was scheduled to be moved out of ICU, however, that movement was delayed after surgery last Saturday evening to remove a blood clot. Officer Maya, on the other hand, is at home recovering. He did return briefly to the emergency room last week because of internal bleeding. He was not admitted.
Chief Bratton announced that beginning next week, 37 members in the Department’s staff and command ranks will be reassigned to different commands. Chief Bratton repeatedly stressed that the Department was seeking mayoral and council approval for those reassignments that would result in promotions and upgrades and that until the requisite approvals were granted, there would be no promotions and upgrades. These movements are all a part of the Chief’s desire to have his new leadership team in place by May 2003, to address the peak crime period [summer months]. In response to several questions, Chief Bratton noted that it was his intention to "Put people in positions where they can be better utilized. With the assistance of the three assistant chiefs, I am seeking people with new energy and I want to put the best people in the most critical locations." When asked if there would be any demotions as a result of the movements, Chief Bratton responded, "There are no demotions." While discussing the issue of placing persons in positions where they could be best utilized, Chief Bratton emphasized he will continue to make changes as necessary.
This advisory was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer-in-Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.