Earlier this week, we looked at the newly-announced expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Safety Partnership.
The unit, which was created in 2011 and operates in public housing developments across the city where crime rates are high or gang members control the streets, will now have its own bureau within LAPD that Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, a former captain in the Southeast Patrol Division, will head up. The program’s goal is to build relationships between police and these communities by setting up sports leagues, youth outreach programs and other services specific to the communities they serve. A recent survey done by UCLA found that crime was down and residents in the developments where CSP is active felt safer on average. Los Angeles City Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Joe Buscaino have introduced a motion to have LAPD savings redirected to the CSP program.
We talked with L.A. Community Action Network Founder and Executive Director Pete White, whose organization works in the same public housing developments like Jordan Downs and Nickerson Gardens. He said in his experience with CSP officers, they are still focused more on policing day-to-day crimes than they are on developing relationships with residents who don’t trust law enforcement. He argued the that despite the program’s stated focus on community-police relations, the officers who staff CSP are still armed responders who still serve as the eyes and ears of LAPD that the money would be better spent on unarmed response teams for non-violent crimes or by putting it directly back into programs and services for the communities that CSP would serve.
Today on AirTalk, L.A. City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Deputy Chief Tingirides with the LAPD, both of whom serve and have served communities in South Los Angeles, join us to talk about the expansion of the Community Safety Program, respond to some of the criticisms that activists have with it, and share how they see police reform and community policing being reimagined in the communities that the new bureau will serve.
Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 8th Council District, which encompasses parts of South Los Angeles and spans from Baldwin Hills to the border of Watts; he tweets @mhdcd8
Emada Tingirides, deputy chief of the newly-formed Los Angeles Police Department Community Policing Bureau; she is a 25-year LAPD veteran and a former captain in the Southeast Patrol Division; she tweets @LAPDETingirides