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The Los Angeles Police Department was once again in the spotlight last week as new brutality allegations surfaced against Rampart division officers. So the Los Angeles Business Journal asks:

What kind of interactions have you had with the LAPD?

Tomas Benitez

Director

Self-Help Graphics

The majority of police are good guys, and I teach my son that. But after 30 years we’re still dealing with ethnic profiling, bad cops and police brutality. I’m sympathetic to LAPD officers they’re under stress and outgunned. But to not be vigilant about police abuse just creates a lax environment where abuses continue. We’ve had cooperation from the local authorities, but it wasn’t always that way. In the early ’70s it was a different time and place. The ongoing adversarial relationship between the LAPD and the Latino community culminated in riots. We need to find a model for a police and civilian dialogue. There’s got to be a better way.

Stephen Vale

Principal, Western region

PricewaterhouseCoopers Investigations

This is a challenging time for the LAPD. Personally, I’ve always had an excellent response from them. The saddest thing is that this situation colors all with the same brush. We judge an institution as important as the LAPD at a very high standard. A couple of bad apples don’t spoil the whole bunch.

Erin Shachory

P.R./Marketing/Advertising Coordinator

Algabar Home & Life Boutique

I felt very badly for the LAPD after hearing about the scandal. About four years ago I was looking for a loft downtown and, coincidentally, (officers with) the Rampart division in particular were extremely helpful. I called them looking for crime rates in the area, and they pointed me toward an artist’s colony out there. One officer in particular took 10 to 15 minutes to talk with me, and he sounded like he really had in-depth knowledge of the community. On the other hand, more recently when my house in the Valley was egged, the police were hard to reach directly on the phone. Once they finally arrived, they were very thorough, but I did have to wait for some time.

Mary Rainwater

Executive Director

Los Angeles Free Clinic

We’ve been working with the Hollywood division on a social worker ride-along program targeting homeless and victimized youths. They’ve definitely been receptive to our input. Everyone wants to get rid of corruption, but it’s important to look at the whole picture. The (Rampart) investigation seems warranted, but it doesn’t negate the positive things that we’re experiencing with the LAPD.

Michael Collins

Executive Vice President

Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau

Conventional wisdom internally here is that police have been splendid. We have a very close working relationship with the LAPD. To say the line of communication between us is well-developed is something of an understatement. This is an organization that we go to with complete confidence that we’ll get an intelligent, energetic response on an institutional as well as individual level. While the current investigation is of course dealing with appalling issues, it hurts to see LAPD’s reputation, which is deservedly good, getting besmirched.

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