The City Council signed off this week on Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination of attorney Cynthia McClain-Hill to the Los Angeles Police Commission.
The former California Coastal Commission member will replace Robert Saltzman, who is termed out. Her term runs through June 30, 2021.
McClain-Hill comes aboard during a volatile time in the relationship between police and the Black and Latino communities. Police Commission and departmental decisions around police shootings have been met with vocal protests by Black Lives Matter members at the panel’s recent meetings.
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson (Eighth District) said when he went to McClain-Hill, who he considers a prominent Black businesswoman and community leader, to seek her support for his council run, “the first thing out of her mouth wasn’t ‘How are you going to win?’ or ‘Are you going to support my clients?’ It was ‘what are you going to do about police-community relations?”’
He said McClain-Hill told him, “Marqueece, I have a Black son, and that touched me a whole lot and makes me super excited that you’re there,” he said. “Because you’re going to remember … what every mom thinks about, what my mom to this day thinks about, every time one of her children leaves the house.”
Council President Herb Wesson said he has known McClain-Hill for “quite a while,” praising her as “a class act and unbelievably capable.”
McClain-Hill told the council that she has “tremendous faith in our ability to rise to the occasion, both as we face the tumult in certain communities over policing, and also as we continue to strengthen and improve the really fine department that we have the privilege of having in the city of Los Angeles.”
In nominating her earlier this year, Garcetti described the managing director of the Los Angeles law firm Strategic Counsel PLC as a “respected attorney whose impressive record of service— including at the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency, on the California Coastal Commission and as a leader in the National Association of Women Business Owners—will bring valuable experience to the Police Commission.”
“She is an independent thinker with a sharp and analytical mind, and shares my vision for an LAPD that fully embraces the demands of 21st century policing and gives officers the steady support they need to keep our streets safe,” he said.