Los Angeles has created a new government bureau within its police department to help officers develop better relationships with the residents of the neighborhoods they serve, Mayor Eric Garcetti said this week.
“We have a lot more to do, but tonight is about taking those accelerated steps forward that can continue to not only save lives but make sure that we have co-ownership of public safety, community members to police officers and everyone in between,” Garcetti said. “We have in Los Angeles a public safety model that makes people safe wherever they are.”
The Community Safety Partnership Bureau (CSP) will expand a 2011 program that was established by Los Angeles Police Department and participants at public housing areas where crime was high.
According to the LAPD’s website, the Community Safety Partnership program is a collaboration between it and the Housing Authority of the city of Los Angeles. The ongoing focus is to start and support community and youth programs, address quality-of-life issues and develop programs to address and reduce violent crimes.
LAPD Capt. Emada Tingirides will lead the CSP Bureau and will be promoted to deputy chief.
Tingirides said she’s heard many stories of success regarding the CSP at public housing facilities and that it takes a certain level of trust between officers and residents for the program to flourish.
“The Community Safety Partnership program is also very fragile, as we can see across the country or nation right now, people are hurting,” Tingirides said. “One of the important components of this program is the forgiveness, understanding our history and what has occurred in the past and not being afraid to say `I’m sorry’ and we recognize it, but to work together to change it, and that’s what this program is about.”
Civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who was part of the founding of the CSP program, said the bureau will help more people feel safe around law enforcement and in their neighborhoods.
“This is big, and in the police world, this takes courage,” Rice said. “The vision of CSP is that you … get everybody on the boat together and you row towards safety, you row towards empowerment and you create the conditions … for safety and trust.”