LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has released his February “Chief’s Message”. In the letter, Beck stresses the importance of community relations to his officers.
From LAPD Chief Charlie Beck:
With every radio call you handle and every interaction you have, you have an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on the community we serve. I truly believe in treating people as you would like to be treated or as you would expect the police to treat one of your family members. The value of unsolicited explanations or chats with those who live and work in our City, as you drive from radio call to radio call, is priceless.
I challenge each of you to stop and take a moment to engage your community. I’m not saying that every contact will be positive but for the most part the public appreciates our service and is happy to see us in and around their neighborhoods and businesses. You never know when you are going to need the community’s good faith to work to your advantage. Whether it’s to generate votes for positive budgets for the Department, or to get a community member to call in a tip on a crime that has occurred, it is the positive impressions of our Department that can go a long way. It’s a two way street, and when we continue to extend ourselves the others will follow.
Crime reduction and community engagement assists us in building and maintaining our partnerships with the community, schools, and clergy as we all can help one another when an incident occurs in our City. When community members receive a friendly smile and a wave from a street cop, you have instantly calmed their fears and eased their sense of anxiety. For many of you now tasked with visiting our schools, in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, please recognize that you are making a difference each day you put on your LAPD uniform and badge.