The Los Angeles Police Department Command Officers Association emphatically condemns actions taken by members of the Minneapolis Police Department that tragically took the life of George Floyd. We stand with the thousands of police officers across this great country who have voiced their disgust with the conduct of those individuals.
Days after that horrific incident, Los Angeles City Council members Martinez, Wesson, Krekorian, Rodriguez and Price, with the support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, introduced a motion to drastically reduce funding for the Los Angeles Police Department; indirectly accusing the police department of systemic racism.
Instead of reaching out to the Command Officers Association as many council members have done in the past to address concerns or advise of their pending actions and allow for the opportunity to come together as professionals to discuss issues, Council Member Martinez simply tweeted their intentions.
What these council members, along with Mayor Garcetti, have quickly forgotten is that the Los Angeles Police Department is leading the nation in police reform and has been for many years. Under the prior leadership of Chiefs Bratton and Beck, and now under Chief Moore, this department has made tremendous strides in areas such as community engagement, de-escalation, mental health intervention and implicit bias training, internal accountability and transparency to name a few. Due to the hard work of the men and women of this department, we have seen yearly reductions in violent and gang-related crime. So much so, that the Mayor has traveled around the country for the past 6 years touting these tremendous reforms that have been implemented and all the progress that has been made. For that we say don’t take credit for the accomplishments of this department only to condemn and sanction us when it suits your political agenda.
What they have also forgotten is how a department of only 10,000 sworn officers, day in and day out, guided by our Core Value of Service to Our Communities, managed to handle over 973,000 calls for help from our fellow Angelenos last year, including Officer Juan Diaz, who while off-duty, was gunned down by a gang member in the neighborhood he grew up in after trying to stop them from committing yet another crime.
This motion introduced by these councilmembers is extremely irresponsible and risks the safety of all Angelenos. What will we say to that victim of domestic violence who waits even longer for a police response due to shortages of personnel in the field? What do we say to the woman who was sexually assaulted, yet her assailant is still on the loose because resources are not available to locate him? We currently average a response time to high priority calls of less than six minutes. Cutting funding to meet the new financial ceiling will undoubtedly affect not only police operations, but more importantly the community members we serve each day.
We don’t believe the councilmembers’ assertion that all Angelenos have demanded change within our department, and we thank the thousands of community members who have personally reached out in show of support. We also don’t believe that our department should be placed on a platform of public scrutiny for personal and political gain by a handful of individuals who believe they speak for all. Therefore, we stand with our rank and file and with the Los Angeles Police Protective League in voicing our disappointment in City leadership and remind them that we are a membership of professional law enforcement executives and are always willing to meet to address issues and concerns.