Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Wednesday, 02.21.2018
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2  3  4
 5  6  7  8  9  10  11
 12  13  14  15  16  17  18
 19  20  21  22  23  24  25
 26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local

Members Of

Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Apr 03,2009
Police work
by Susan Estrich

Why is crime down in Los Angeles?

Violent crime is down by about 5 percent from last year at this time, which was down from the year before.

Unemployment is at 12 percent.

If you follow the theories of most fancy criminologists, larger social forces, like the economy and demographics, determine crime rates. According to all of those theories, a city like Los Angeles, which has been hit especially hard economically and has a growing population of what we call at-risk youth, should be seeing significant increases in crime. But it isn't. Both violent and property crime rates are down.

A lot of people are doing their best to fight crime in this city: parents, teachers, clergy, community leaders and even a few politicians. But the people whose job puts them on the line against crime every day are almost certainly deserving of a major share of the credit, and so is their leader, Police Chief Bill Bratton.

Back in the 1980s, colleagues from the Kennedy School at Harvard and I got funding from the Justice Department to convene a series of executive sessions on policing. We had everyone from then-Attorney General Ed Meese, who loved policing issues, to the police chiefs of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, to the young hotshot who was running the Transit Police in Boston.

One of the things we talked most about was community policing. George Kelling, one of the conveners, had just written his now-famous article with James Q. Wilson about "broken windows." An abandoned car can sit on the street for weeks untouched. But once the first window is broken, it will be demolished in hours. Disorder breeds more disorder. The police have to get out of their cars, literally, stop worrying about how quickly they respond to calls about crimes long over when the report comes in, and get into the communities they are supposed to be protecting.

Think the Petraeus strategy in Iraq. You don't get security by sitting on the outside watching people trying to survive in a jungle, and waiting to see who shoots at you. In those circumstances, almost anyone will. You get out of the bunker, go protect the vast majority of people who want to live without fear, co-opt whoever you can to help you, and come down hard on the dwindling minority who are trying to undermine the peace. You go from being villains to heroes, or at least from being "bad guys" to being on the same team.

It wasn't an easy journey in Los Angeles. This is the city that went up in flames in 1992 because of the acquittal of the white police officers who were videotaped beating Rodney King, a time when the city's mayor and police chief were not on speaking terms. Send them a message, the late Johnny Cochran told a Los Angeles jury in the trial of O.J. Simpson, and they did. "Them" was the Los Angeles Police Department.

The hotshot head of the Transit Police in Boston went on to become chief in New York before arriving in Los Angeles. He is now in his second term. Problems have hardly disappeared: Today's paper carries a motley set of LAPD headlines, including a woman cop who got millions for a harassment claim and a former cop who torched his own car, faked an attack on himself and has, of course, been fired.

But the police now go where the crimes are, using the most sophisticated technology. If that means it takes longer for someone to respond to a burglary report in a wealthier neighborhood, so be it. They have forged strong relationships with the communities they are protecting. More and more police officers come from those communities. LAPD is no longer perceived as a white invading army. "Cops matter. Police count," Bratton said, explaining the numbers. That's what he always says.

Bratton's two predecessors were black. It was felt by many in this town, at that time, that given its history and reputation, LAPD had to be led by a black chief to achieve acceptance. Not so, as it turned out. It just had to be headed by someone really, really good.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

1166 times read

Related news
Funding slows down DNA testing by LAPD by UPI posted on Nov 30,2007

LAPD revamps a controversial piece of police gear by Dan Laidman posted on Mar 31,2007

Bill would restore neighborhood police by UPI posted on Nov 05,2007

ATF executes search warrants on Rollin' '30s street gang by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on Mar 09,2007

6-year-old shot in LA by UPI posted on Mar 05,2008

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 13 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum


Deschutes County

  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?