Thursday, April 25, 2002
Hahn Touts Community-Based Programs in Monthly Radio Program
By NAZANIN AGANGE, Staff Writer
Mayor James Hahn in his monthly radio appearance yesterday expressed his support for community-based programs such as community policing and neighborhood councils.
On KFWB’s “Ask the Mayor,” Hahn emphasized the need for the new LAPD chief-whether from within the department or not—to be friendly to community policing programs and dedicated to police reform.
“What I’ve said is I want to have the next police chief be a fan of community policing,” Hahn said. “[Chief Bernard Parks] felt we needed to recall the senior lead officer program, he thought we should make that the job of every officer and we all know when you make something everybody’s job, no one does it.”
Senior lead officers were police officers who were assigned to sub-stations throughout the city instead of to patrol duty. As part of their job, they attended community meetings and were meant to provide a direct link between the people and law enforcement.
Under Parks and former Mayor Richard Riordan the program transformed, assigning the officers to patrol duty and reducing time for participating in community activities.
Hahn said the shift resulted in a “gap of trust” between the community and the LAPD.
The mayor also disputed secession arguments that smaller cities would earn higher revenues or get better service, saying there was no guarantee. Hahn said the best way to solve the problems is to “work on challenges together.”
He stressed neighborhood councils and community government as “key” in “creating a structure of accountability” in city government.
“Los Angeles is a collection of great neighborhoods,” Hahn said. “Neighborhood governments are the key to making sure the promises being made are actually followed through.”
He maintained that plans for secession would end the idea of such programs.
According to Hahn, there are currently 24 neighborhood councils, which he said he hopes to expand to 70.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company