CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, August 12, 2011

"In Los Angeles, a Police Force Transformed"

From The New York Times:

LOS ANGELES — It had all the makings of another turbulent moment for the Los Angeles Police Department, an agency once notorious for an “L.A. Confidential” style of heavy-handed policing, hostile relations with minorities and corruption. Two months after triumphantly announcing the arrest of a suspect in a brutal beating at Dodger Stadium, the police admitted that they had arrested the wrong man, and charged two other people with the crime.

But unlike other potentially explosive episodes that have rocked this department over the decades, there were no indignant denials or attacks on critics. Instead, the police chief, Charlie Beck, wrote an op-ed article in The Los Angeles Times explaining what had gone wrong and expressing regret at some of his own public comments. “We can do much better,” Chief Beck wrote.

. . . .

The turnaround reflects initiatives that have changed the way the department looks, how it battles crime and how it relates to the community. It reflects the considerable success of the last police chief, William J. Bratton, who took over at a time of turmoil and imposed many of the reforms that he had brought as New York’s police commissioner, among them statistical models to track crime and establishing personal relationships between police officers and residents.

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