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Los Angeles Police Chief Willie L. Williams is seeking a second five-year term amid continued controversy over his performance. Mayor Richard Riordan has openly criticized Williams for not putting more officers on the street and not giving more authority to station commanders. Williams, in turn, says he has restored the LAPD’s credibility following the 1991 police beating of Rodney King and the 1992 riots.

With the issue expected to dominate City Hall in the days ahead, the Business Journal Forum asks:

Does L.A. need a new police chief?

Dwayne Gilliam

Regional Sales Director

Oc & #233;-Office Systems

It depends. Since I do business with the department, I will give you my overall philosophy on leadership. It is imperative that police officers believe in their leadership and need a leader that holds up as a model of integrity. So goes the leader, so goes the team. The leader must walk their talk, both personally and professionally. If they do, then they have an excellent leader. If not, they need a new one.

Lal Akatrai

Vice President

Capital Commercial Real Estate

No. I think Mr. Williams has done a very good job. He has brought stability to the police department as well as L.A. I think the on-going controversy is just politics by the mayor and some people who don’t like him.

Jim Lott

Senior Vice President, Policy Development & Advocacy,

Healthcare Association of Southern California

I think that the situation between the chief and the governing board of the City of Los Angeles is so acrimonious that they cannot work together in the future. It would be in the best interest of everybody if they could negotiate a solution and get on with life. The situation has gone beyond repair.

Gary York

Real Estate Practice Group

Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger

He has done many good things. Unfortunately, his relationship with the mayor and the Police Commission and his department is so troublesome it seems like it is time for him to move on. Whenever there is so much controversy surrounding somebody, it’s probably best for the relationship to end. The dysfunction of the department would continue to hamper him from accomplishing what needs to be done.

Larry Cannizzaro

Beitler Commercial Realty Services

Yes. I just do not think that he has communicated really well with the City Council and the Mayor. He has made too many enemies.

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