Local Police Advisory Board Reorganized To Better Hear Neighborhood’s Concerns
MID-WILSHIRE—Police often know the crime occurring in a community, based on statistics. But what they sometimes don’t know are quality of life issues, which can make a neighborhood less desirable and potentially lead to crimes down the road.
Created by the Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD) in 1993 as a result of the Christopher Commission recommendations following the 1992 riots, there are 21 Community Police Advisory Boards throughout Los Angeles. Locally, one such group for the LAPD’s Wilshire Division has recently been reorganized.
Before being transferred to another LAPD division last month, Wilshire’s Cpt. Howard Leslie recruited new personnel for the board, known as C-PAB, in an effort to create a group, he said, more representative of the Wilshire Division.
“The whole idea of a C-PAB is to reach out to the neighborhoods and find out what the issues are in those neighborhoods so [the police] can address them,” said Leslie.
Over the years, Leslie discovered that neighborhood councils were the best way to hear concerns representative of the entire division.
“The idea is not to get a group of people who are pro-LAPD,” said Leslie, “but really get people who are active and volunteer in their neighborhood.”
In reorganizing the board, Leslie contacted the six neighborhood councils in the Wilshire Division and three business associations, the Melrose Business Improvement District, the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce and the Larchmont Boulevard Association.
Leslie explained how the C-PAB can be a vital source of information for the LAPD.
“As a police department, we’re very, very, good at statistically analyzing crime…. However, [crime] may not be what people in the neighborhoods think is the problem,” said Leslie.
According to Leslie, such issues, instead, might be traffic, vandalism or situations with the homeless.
“We will constantly address the statistical crime, especially violent crime,” said Leslie,” but when it comes to quality of life issues that the neighborhoods feel are a big nuisance, we want to address those, too.”
The new Cpt. of the Wilshire Division, Rolando Solano, shares Leslie’s enthusiasm for the C-PAB.
“The C-PAB…gives a voice to the community so that they can tell [the police] what is going on…so we can tailor some of those things that slip through the data cracks and make [their neighborhoods] a better place to live,” Solano said.
Julie Stromberg—a boardmember of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council and the representative from that body on the C-PAB—said she hopes residents and business owners will actively seek out their C-PAB representatives.
“We want to hear from stakeholders, not just the identification of problems, but the identification of solutions,” said Stromberg, “so that [everyone feels] they are also part of the process.”
The C-PAB had their first meeting in March. According to Stromberg, plans are currently in the works for a revised Wilshire Division C-PAB website with contact information.
Published March 30, 2016 at 6:00 a.m.