Posted on 07/27/2020

New bureau is a transformational step toward reimagining public safety in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the establishment of a new Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Bureau within the Los Angeles Police Department — placing a nationally-recognized model for community policing at the heart of the City’s public safety efforts. The Mayor was joined by members of the City Council, as well as law enforcement, civil rights, and community leaders.

“Today we take a major step forward in our work to reimagine policing in Los Angeles and strengthen the human bonds that are essential to public safety,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Every Angeleno deserves to feel secure not only in the parks and streets of their neighborhoods, but in the presence of people in uniform — and expanding CSP will help to make that possible.”

The new CSP Bureau will bring the City’s 10 CSP sites under a single command and integrate aspects of the model, including its training curriculum, across LAPD operations. 

“Our CSP officers are measured by the trust they build and the relationships made, rather than arrests or citations,” said Chief Michel Moore. “This commitment to creating safe and healthy communities saves lives. I am confident our CSPs will meet this historic moment in policing and build public trust in law enforcement.”

CSP places specially-trained and selected officers in a 5-year assignment in one place so they can become part of the community and develop relationships with the people they serve. In a recent study of the CSP model by researchers at UCLA, residents in two sites reported feeling safer and an estimated 220 violent crimes were prevented over a 5-year period.

"Today marks a step forward for community policing,” said Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, Chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee. “Like any relationship, trust is earned and the creation of this CSP Bureau builds safer neighborhoods and strengthens the trust and respect between the community and law enforcement.”

“Expanding the Community Safety Partnership is an investment in transforming the role and culture of law enforcement in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “This successful public safety strategy prioritizes relationship building and community engagement to reduce crime without increasing arrests. This expansion is just one of many efforts across the city to re-imagine the role of policing and invest in solutions that effectively engage residents to create solutions to public safety.” 

CSP was launched in November 2011 as a collaboration between the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), the LAPD, and the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD). Initially conceived for the Jordan Downs housing development in Watts, CSP has expanded to 10 sites, including to neighborhoods outside of public housing developments.

“Los Angeles must remain committed to nothing short of a complete transformation of the LAPD into a department of guardians - not warriors. The Community Safety Partnership, which has been modeled in my district for the past eight years, has proven to decrease violent crime, improve murder clearance rates, significantly reduce police shootings, and improve relationships with the community. I am thrilled about this expansion of community policing in Los Angeles and believe it will build real trust and real relationships between the LAPD and the residents of our city,” said LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino.

“We’re living during a pivotal time in our history, and the landscape of our community has changed right before our eyes,” said Councilmember Curren D. Price, Jr. “We know for certain that we need to find ways to heal and re-establish trust between Angelenos and police officers and a great way to do it is through the CSP. I have seen first hand the positive effects that this community-policing model has had on my District and look forward to seeing how its expansion will help unify the people of Los Angeles and the LAPD.”

The CSP Bureau will be led by Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides in partnership with a civilian commander and a Regional Advisory Council tasked with developing effective strategies that can be implemented beyond the confines of CSP sites.

“It is the honor and privilege of my professional life to accept this role,” said Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides. “I have devoted my career to building relationships and engaging the community where I grew up. I have watched our Community Safety Partnerships flourish with lowering crime while lifting public trust.”

In the CSP model, residents work alongside officers to reduce crime by developing sports, recreation, and other programs tailored specifically to their community; putting a heightened focus on tackling quality of life issues; and bridging communication and trust gaps between residents and the LAPD. CSP partners also focus on connecting people in need with resources — such as employment training, mobile medical programs, and counseling.

“CSP is a joint effort to deliver wrap-around safety to residents who rarely feel safe, and it is what 2,000 residents contacted by UCLA researchers requested: police who help them build and improve the community without the destruction of relentless enforcement,” said Connie Rice, civil rights attorney and former member of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. “The CSP Bureau is a serious commitment to the vision of guardian partners as the future mindset of American policing. Guardian policing is the path to ending the warrior culture of impunity that millions are marching to end.”

A 2019 study of CSP by the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs evaluated how residents and law enforcement officers perceived the program, as well as their perceptions of crime, violence, and community health.

The evaluation revealed that the CSP model of policing produced a greater reduction in crime than the traditional forms of policing utilized in the areas surrounding CSP sites — in addition to a lower number of arrests made and incidents of police force used against community members. 

“For over a year, the residents of Nickerson Gardens and Ramona Gardens were partners in the UCLA evaluation effort – designing questionnaires, taking us into their homes and sharing their desire for real change and the type of guardian policing that CSP promises,” said Dr. Jorja Leap, Director of the UCLA Social Justice Research Partnership and author of the study. “They also put us on notice that in the future they expect and will demand full participation and accountability. Residents want to continue to feel safe and they want the transformation in policing, which they believe CSP represents.”

The initial establishment of the CSP Bureau will be cost-neutral, and handled within the LAPD’s existing budget with no additional expenses. 

"The Community Safety Partnership has shown that we can build trust, create positive relationships and lower crime by bringing people together," said Daymond Johnson, Public Safety Chair of the Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council, which covers parts of South L.A. "These common-sense reforms are a big step toward the racial justice in policing that we are marching for in America, and they will make a difference in the experiences of people across Los Angeles."

Today’s announcement builds on LAPD’s past actions advancing key principles of 21st century policing, like adjusting use of force tactics, instituting mandatory implicit bias and de-escalation training, putting body cameras on every officer and releasing those videos to the public. Recognizing that far more must be done to enhance transparency, accountability, and equity in our public safety efforts, the City has moved to expand those efforts in recent weeks. 

The Mayor and the City Council are working to identify $250 million in new investments for community and youth development programs in communities of color, including $150 million in cuts to the police budget. The Council has also enacted measures to explore how to divert non-violent 911 calls away from our officers and toward social service providers. And working with the civilian-led Police Commission, the carotid hold has been banned, and the department has updated its policies on the use of force and the duty to intervene against misconduct, and ended use of the statewide gang database.