Public safety is certainly a concern for business, particularly now with the state’s prison problem, the education issues facing the Los Angeles Unified School District, the budget constraints on our park system and a recovering economy that has been beneficial to the classes but not the masses.
Men, women and children from every neighborhood need to be surrounded by jobs, programs in our parks/libraries/schools, improved public education opportunities and healthy choices. Experience certainly has shown that being surrounded by those is far better than the alternative of being surrounded by the four walls of a prison cell.
I have a poster from the Smithsonian Institution hanging on the wall of my Los Angeles Police Department Commission office that says: “Are YOU Doing All YOU Can?”
I ask that question of myself, of each of the 13,000 uniformed and civilian employees of the LAPD, every corporation, every business, every foundation, every house of prayer and every resident of Los Angeles: Are YOU Doing All YOU Can?
Because if you do, those heading to gangs will find better paths to follow.
If you do, those businesses contemplating locating in Los Angeles will make the move, creating jobs by the thousands.
If you do, our parks, libraries and schools will thrive.
If you do, those who need help will get it.
And, if you do, your LAPD will be, for generations to come, well run from top to bottom, be as diverse as the community that it serves as well as be a source of great pride for us all and have a positive impact on small and large business alike.
During the last decade, as a result of the dedication and hard work of a number of people from Washington to Los Angeles, the badge of the LAPD has been polished to be the finest in the nation. Large and small police departments from all over the world, looking at best practices to improve their own departments, call and visit the LAPD every week.
From K-9 to SWAT, from the Equestrian Mounted Patrol to the Cadets program, we are admired. Our Police Academy goes “above and beyond” in so many ways, it is acclaimed worldwide. Your LAPD has been released from the federal consent decree that was imposed in 2000 in the wake of a corruption scandal and now is a reformed group that has brought its motto, “To protect and to serve,” to a new level.