Understanding Special Order #40 NR11039kr

January 27, 2011

Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), held a joint news conference Thursday afternoon with the Consulate General of Mexico, five additional CG’s from Central America, and Representatives of concerned Immigrant Organizations, in order to help clarify the purpose of Special Order #40, and to reaffirm the spirit of the language.

The United States Constitution guarantees equal protection for all persons within its jurisdiction. Special Order #40 further defines that for residents of Los Angeles.  In its simplest form, Special Order #40’s purpose is to assure immigrant communities within the City of Los Angeles that there is no need to fear contact with the LAPD when they have been the victim or a witness to a crime.  It ensures that LAPD officers do not initiate investigations solely to determine a person’s immigration status, and that LAPD officers will treat all people with respect and dignity.

The LAPD recognizes that criminals often prey on those who are most vulnerable, and those living in Los Angeles without legal sanction often are vulnerable to crime and criminals.  LAPD Chief Charlie Beck understands the fear that can grip an illegal immigrant, but stresses, “It is imperative that our immigrant communities, regardless of their country of origin, understand that they are not at risk of being deported or subject to any other penalty for reporting crimes that they have either been the victim of or a witness to.”  

By joining with the many Consul Generals and Immigrant Organizations, it is hoped that the myth about reporting crimes will be dispelled, and that community members will be better informed and less fearful. The LAPD knows that without the communities help, it is impossible to combat the fear and incidents of crime within Los Angeles. We ask that everyone do their part in making our neighborhoods safe, and we pledge to uphold our promise, “To Protect and To Serve.”

The Consul General’s have collaborated with Chief Beck and the LAPD to create 6 Public Service Announcements.  The PSA’s are tailored to specific communities with origins in Mexico and Central America.

A copy of Special Order #40 is attached. For further information please contact Media Relations Section at 213- 486-5910.