Introduction: The Los Angeles Police Department and Public Relations
Productive cooperation and robust engagement with a community that can bear essential fruit are one of the most important goals of the police in the United States. Focusing on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), one can note that this department has long focused on building trust with residents and providing community security. In this regard, ambitious program initiatives, including the Los Angeles City/County Community Law Enforcement and Recovery (CLEAR) Program, have become part of a relationship with civilians since 1996 (Parks and Papke).
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Long-term work on program initiatives aimed at combating gangs and ensuring the safety of youth and the members of the community as a whole reflects the success of the department intentions. Therefore, the focus on the strategy of interaction with the city network and the successful implementation of initiatives, as well as the future strengthening of ties with residents, characterize the Los Angeles Police Department.
Community Law Enforcement and Recovery (CLEAR): Program Initiative Primary Objectives
Striving to establish trust with residents, as well as effectively improving community security, is a vital objective of the Los Angeles Police Department’s initiative programs. The result of this aspiration was the Community Law Enforcement And Recovery (CLEAR) program, as a response to the brutal murder of a three-year-old girl committed by a gang in 1995 (Parks and Papke). This event marked the beginning of the department’s policy aimed at strengthening ties with the community and protecting it from the activities of gangs in the city.
The department aggregated five different Los Angeles institutions for collaboration and also drew the city membership as part of the Community Impact Team (CIT) to enhance the program’s capabilities (Parks and Papke). Hence, close contact with Los Angeles residents and the desire to solve community problems is a priority for the department’s program.
Approaches to Successful Implementation of the LAPD Program and Community Engagement
It is necessary to note that the Los Angeles Police Management Strategy includes a variety of methods and directions to achieve useful results for the anti-gang program. For example, intelligence gathering, patrolling of six main target areas, investigations, and collaboration with various anti-gang organizations, a prosecutor, and engaging members of the probation service in joint activities reflect the Department’s comprehensive approach (Parks and Papke).
The CIT’s multipurpose actions are of particular importance to residents of the city. Its priorities are identifying and solving the city network problems, educating the community, and improving the quality of life of people living in Los Angeles (Parks and Papke). Thereupon, the all-around work of LAPD in the framework of the program under discussion underlines the extensive experience of the department’s staff acquired over the decades of work, as well as tangible support for the public.
Additional Public Relations Strengthening Programs in CLEAR
Considering the various management strategies of the Los Angeles Police Department, it becomes apparent that other measures involve the community and enhance the effectiveness of the discussed initiative. In this regard, plans for the prevention of gang activity and the involvement of children and young people in the program deserve particular interest. Gang Resistance Education And Training is a program that aims to train children of all ages, which police officers pursue to increase the awareness of the younger generation (The Los Angeles Police Department (a)).
This approach can help to understand the dangers of gang activity and to minimize and prevent the involvement of children in gangs, and also to reduce probable violence. Another important initiative is the LAPD Jeopardy Program, which seeks to assist adolescents at risk and includes schools, parents, and other external assistance since 1988 (The Los Angeles Police Department (a)). In general, it becomes clear that the police department strives to implement CLEAR at all levels, paying particular attention to the safety of children and young people and discourage possible criminal activity.
Historical Context, Achievements and Evaluation of the LAPD Initiative Program
The multi-year work of LAPD makes it possible to evaluate the results of the CLEAR initiative program and determine the impact of the department’s activities on the community. Thus, the first victory of the program, which emphasized the effectiveness of LAPD, was the successful arrest of gang members who killed a child in 1995 (Parks and Papke). It is possible to assume that such an outcome could inspire residents of the city and increase their confidence in the police. Moreover, as early as 1999, the program reduced gang crime by 40%, removed more than fifty weapons and condemned many (Parks and Papke).
The productiveness of the initiative program not only indicates the fruitful work of the Los Angeles Police Department but also emphasizes the importance of police collaboration with citizens. Therefore, the success of the initiative is difficult to overestimate.
There is no doubt that the achievements of the Los Angeles Police Department support the realization of the program today. However, the real success of LAPD must reflect the impact that the program has on the community (Bracy). Thus, the strategy described above indicates that the police are striving to involve the residents of the city as much as possible in the general struggle against gangs, which the community cannot approve. Using the power of activists, community organizations, and even teachers makes residents closer to LAPD activities. In turn, such close cooperation should increase the awareness of citizens and their trust in the department.
The fact that LAPD created The Community Relationship Division (CRD) in 2015 confirms its intention to increase interaction with the residents of Los Angeles (The Los Angeles Police Department (b)). Likewise, a significant bias in working with children and adolescents, support for young people who are inclined to engage in gangs, close cooperation with schools and a joint search for positive alternatives for children is impressive. Given that children are at risk, as well as the future of the nation, support for the initiative among the community is evident.
The department’s efforts are significant taking into account the scale of the initiative program, as well as additional programs designed to establish close contact with residents and ensure the safety of people. The involvement citizens by CRD, assistance and the adaptation of a variety of ways to communicate with the residents, including the approach of the use of media, indicate the primary need for trusting relationships. At the same time, an excerpt from Special Order 33 (LAPD) states that the department strives “to secure for this Department the confidence, respect, and approbation of the public” that confirms this intention (The Los Angeles Police Department (b)).
Given the long-term existence of the program of initiatives, as well as its continuous development and supplementing it with new programs and teams, the continued participation of civilians reflects its success. Thereunto, the active involvement of residents in the activities of the police, aimed at combating gangs and preserving children from crime, emphasizes the interest of people living in target areas.
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The high performance of LAPD and the efforts of city residents not only strengthen the department’s communication with the public but also open up new opportunities for achieving security and trust. Despite the results obtained and the proven suitability of the strategy that the police department has developed, it does not dwell on the actual outcomes. Thus, LAPD has created a future strategy for 2020, in which achieving high community confidence occupies a crucial place along with other security and community support plans (“LAPD in 2020: Community Focused. Data Driven” 1).
The plan to establish this task shows that the police department is aware of the importance of interaction with civilians and intends to strengthen the collaboration that has been formed. It is also important that LAPD focuses on developing new initiatives and reducing crime in Los Angeles as in one of the five safest cities in the United States (“LAPD in 2020: Community Focused. Data Driven” 13). Therefore, the development of new tasks necessary for successful future work of the police is designed to strengthen the existing relationship with people and achieve a new level of security.
Analyzing the strategy of the Los Angeles Police Department, it is possible to draw conclusions about its high efficiency and to assess its potential in the context of influence on the public. I believe that the initiative includes all the necessary options for cooperation and communication with citizens, as well as provides them with the opportunity to participate in the fight against gangs. Moreover, the program has a significant impact on children and young people, minimizing the risks associated with involvement in the crime.
Such an approach can significantly improve the quality of life of Los Angeles residents, reduce concerns about gang activity and eliminate people’s fear through police responsibility and credibility. Generally, the department has managed to achieve a mutually beneficial partnership with residents, which has formed a steady practice of fighting the crime of gangs.
“LAPD in 2020: Community Focused. Data Driven.” LAPD. Web.
Bracy, Nicole. “Evaluation as a Tool to Improve Police-Community Relationships.” Harder+Company Community Research. 2016. Web.
Parks, B.C. and Papke, R. Community Law Enforcement and Recovery (CLEAR). Web.
The Los Angeles Police Department (a). Keeping Kids out of Gangs. Web.
The Los Angeles Police Department (b). Community Relationship Division. Web.