Columnists Mayor Eric Garcetti Opinion

COMMUNITY REPORT: A new era for the Los Angeles Police Department

By Mayor Eric Garcetti

Contributing Columnist

Last month, I made the most important personnel decision I will make as mayor.

For the 57th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, I was looking for a leader with courage and compassion — someone who leads with love. And I found that leader in Michel Moore.

Since his appointment, we have been visiting the communities we serve so that more Angelenos can get to know the man I have worked with since he was a captain at Rampart, helping the department climb out of one of the darkest periods in LAPD history.

Over a Sunday meal at Dulan’s on Crenshaw, we sat down with faith community leaders to hear about their vision for change, and to make a commitment that we will always listen and act. We spent an afternoon at the Home at Last Transition-Age Youth Shelter in South L.A. to hear from — and give support to — young Angelenos and the selfless advocates who work tirelessly to make sure everybody in this city has a roof over their head and a pillow under it. And we joined services at Holman United Methodist to celebrate a lifetime of spiritual leadership from Pastor Kelvin Sauls, and pay tribute to the late John Mack — a man who helped our city grow, and at other times helped us heal.

This city will speak to you. All you have to do is listen. And Michel Moore knows how to listen. In the short time since I named him chief, he has participated in 110 listening tour events — from community gatherings like the Pride Parade to press events such as one earlier this week warning of the dangers of illegal fireworks.

The Police Department is ready for the change Chief Moore will set in motion. Under Charlie Beck’s leadership, the LAPD set a new standard in forging community partnerships and building deeper trust between officers and neighborhoods, reinforcing our commitment to de-escalation and identifying implicit bias — all while turning the tide on rising crime. I selected Mike Moore as his successor because he is best qualified to carry that work forward.

Chief Moore has served at every level of the LAPD, from patrolling the streets as a new officer, to heading up our teams in Rampart, the San Fernando Valley, and West L.A., to running operations at headquarters downtown. He has seen the department rededicate itself to listening to residents, showing compassion in each aspect of its work, utilizing data to inform its decision-making, and strengthening its bonds with all communities — no matter who they are or what they look like. What’s more, he has helped lead those efforts from start to finish.

Together with Chief Moore, we will remain ahead of the curve in smart, effective crime reduction. We will keep making targeted investments in prevention and intervention, in getting guns off our streets and keeping young people out of gangs, in disrupting the cycle of violence before it starts to spin. We will use new technology to cut down on time wasted on paperwork and focus our energy where it matters most: on our streets, ensuring the safety of our fellow Angelenos.

We will build an LAPD that reflects the diversity of our city, specifically recruiting more African-Americans, so that officers represent the communities they serve. And we will be unafraid to rebuild relationships — to extend our hands outward to those who feel ignored and left behind. We are going to make trust and respect the hallmarks of this department.

Chief Moore will help write this new chapter for the LAPD. But he won’t do it alone. He’ll have the support of an exceptional command staff, dedicated rank-and-file officers and talented civilian employees. But most of all, every Angeleno — from civil rights leaders to City Hall — should stand with him as we mark the start of a new era for his department, and our city.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Community Report” column runs the first Thursday of every month in The Wave.