LAPD’s Wilshire: Under New Command
MID-WILSHIRE—As part of a re-organization of the Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD) Cpt. Howard Leslie of the Wilshire Division was transferred to the Central Division. Replacing him will be Cpt. Rolando Solano.
The boundaries of the Wilshire Division run roughly from La Cienega Boulevard to the west, Willoughby Avenue to the north, Gower Street/Crenshaw Boulevard/Arlington Boulevard to the east and the 10 Freeway to the south for a total area that is almost 14 square miles serving over 250,000 residents.
Leslie first joined the LAPD in 1987. After occupying posts at several different divisions including the Narcotics Division, Hollywood Vice and the Metropolitan Division Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), he was promoted to patrol captain in 2013 and assigned to the Wilshire Division.
“I was a young police officer in the late 80s, early 90s in Wilshire, so to come back to Wilshire as a captain was really a dream come true,” said Leslie.
In an effort to improve community outreach, Leslie recently re-organized the Community-Police Advisory Board (C-PAB), an organization that includes representatives from six of the neighborhood councils and three of the business associations in the Wilshire Division.
Julie Stromberg, one of the representatives on the C-PAB, said Leslie made a meaningful contribution to the area.
“Captain Leslie will be missed in our community,” said Stromberg, ”because he was not only a true leader, but genuinely cared for the quality of life issues in our community.”
Leslie’s move to the Central Division is part of a re-shuffling of LAPD captains to different divisions.
Leslie was reflective about his move.
“It’s very bittersweet for me, because I really enjoyed working Wilshire,” he said. “[But] in the LAPD world, being moved to Central is actually an honor. It’s the largest command in the city [in terms] of numbers of officers.”
Leslie’s replacement, Solano joined the LAPD in 1990. One year later, he was a member of the force involved in the arrest and beating of Rodney King. As a witness, but not a participant to those events, Solano later testified in the subsequent trial whose verdict led to the 1992 LA riots.
Over the years, he has held several posts including a deployment as Detective in the Wilshire Division in 1999. More recently, in 2012, he was promoted to the rank of captain and was assigned as the Commanding Officer, West Los Angeles Patrol Division. In 2013, he took command of West Traffic Division. He comes to Wilshire from the LAPD’s Emergency Services Division where he has been posted since early 2015.
Solano said he’s pleased to return to the Wilshire Division.
“It’s like coming back home,” Solano said. “There are so many different divisions thorough out the city….It’s nice to go back to a place that you’re familiar with.”
He also said he feels he’s coming to an area that has been in good hands.
“I’d like to give a tip of the hat to Captain Leslie who has done some outstanding work in conjunction with everybody in Wilshire and crime reduction,” said Solano.
According to Solano, he is eager to work with the area’s newly reorganized Community-Police Advisory Board to address issues important to residents and business owners in the Wilshire Division.
In response to a recent LAPD report stating a 12.7% rise in violent crime in Los Angeles so far this year, Solano said that the LAPD is constantly analyzing data and determining how and where their personnel can be most effective.
“[The LAPD] are always in a full-court press…[trying] to suppress that crime.”
Read more about the Community-Police Advisory Board here.
Published March 30, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.