Friday, July 17, 2009

The End of an Era--LAPD's Federal Consent Decree is Over

We learned tonight that the Los Angeles Police Department's federal consent decree has been ended by U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess. I applaud the judge for his wise decision and congratulate the department on its work to open a new chapter in its history.

This news is the result of extremely hard work by city leaders and the department, aided by a reform-minded Police Commission, Inspector-General, and community groups that have helped implement new systems, policies, and technology to right the mistakes of the past that led the federal government to take over supervision of our department. Years of work ensuring measurable goals and programs, from cameras in our police cars to tracking systems of problem officers, from expanding community-based policing programs to diversifying our police force, have resulted in this positive outcome.

The end of the consent decree does not mean our work in ensuring accountable, accessible, and effective community-based policing in Los Angeles is over. We have seen that incidents will happen that remind us that we must always carefully protect the rights of all Angelenos to both their civil rights and to safe neighborhoods. But tonight I am immensely proud of the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department who have worked so hard with City Hall to achieve this milestone. Tonight, we turn a new page in our department and our city's history. Last year, our crime rate was lower than any year in my life here in Los Angeles. This has helped communities come back, economic development occur, and has resulted in strong and substantive partnerships between police officers and everyday Angelenos. That, together with tonight's good news, is something we can all celebrate.