By Mayor Eric Garcetti
It’s been a long and painful year and a half. Now, as we face another wave of the virus — and encourage everyone we know to get the life-saving vaccine — we are all looking for hope, healing, the sense that tomorrow will be better than today.
We can find that hope in the safer Los Angeles we are building together. It lives in our Community Safety Partnership and in the experience of Angelenos in our neighborhoods and public housing developments who feel more secure in their parks, on their streets and in the presence of men and women in uniform.
That’s because Community Safety Partnership police officers aren’t strangers with badges, but people who residents see every day and know are there to help. Community Safety Partnership officers spend at least five years getting to know their neighborhoods and the people they serve. Over time, trust and the partnership at the heart of our Community Safety Partnership model develops.
That partnership is based on shared goals: less crime on the one hand, and a sense of being seen and understood on the other. Like every Angeleno, police officers want safer neighborhoods — and every one of us wants to be treated with respect. The Community Safety Partnership model makes both of these things possible.
And while we’re seeing a rise in violent crime in Los Angeles and cities across the U.S., violent crime in our South Park Community Safety Partnership decreased by one-third since last year. In our Ramona Gardens site, there has not been a single homicide in three years.
It’s simple: the Community Safety Partnership model works. That’s why we expanded it to six new sites during my time in office and established a new Community Safety Partnership Bureau within LAPD last year — to weave this nationally recognized model for community policing into the fabric of the entire department.
We’ve brought all 10 of our Community Safety Partnership sites under the command of Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, who played a key role in creating this initiative back in 2011, and we are integrating the Community Safety Partnership training and curriculum across the police department.
Now more than ever, we need to build relationships of trust in our communities. That’s the foundation of public safety, and what’s necessary to reverse the national crime trend.
Because when officers understand the experiences of the people they serve, they are more effective. And when Angelenos, especially in Black and Latino neighborhoods, trust the police officers assigned to serve them, they not only feel safer — they are safer.
I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together through Community Safety Partnership and our other programs to reimagine public safety:
Whether that’s being the first big city to put body cameras on every officer and release critical incident videos to the public … or banning all chokeholds in training and practice, and permanently discontinuing the use of the CalGangs Database to prevent abuses that disproportionately affect Black and Brown men.
We’ve expanded the area covered by our Gang Reduction Youth Development programs by 50% — a step that has reduced juvenile arrests and brought down gang-related violent crime.
And we recently launched a program to send mental health workers to some 911 calls to assist in nonviolent situations and make sure folks get the help they need.
These are all steps that we’re taking together in the right direction. And together, we will continue moving toward a safer and stronger future and the hope and healing that every Angeleno wants and deserves.
Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Community Report” column runs monthly in The Wave.