Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday at the first in a series of meetings seeking public comment on his bid for a second, five-year term as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department that he believes he has more to give to the city.
"I think that I have a lot left to do. I think we've made good progress, but I can see there is a lot more we can do, and I believe I have more to give," Beck told Video News West after the event ended.
About 25 people attended the meeting at the Westchester Senior Center and the turnout have been impacted by the Los Angeles Kings playing Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Beck said he was satisfied by the turnout.
"The public trust is the stock and trade of good policing," Beck said. "To not hear from the public, and not hear what they are feeling about you and how they perceive you is ineffective."
Steve Soboroff, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, said the meetings are meant to include the public in a process that was previously closed off.
"We're interested in what the public says. We're interested in perceptions. We're interested in doing this better," Soboroff said.
Soboroff said the commission is taking public comment seriously.
"We're hoping to hear things that maybe go deeper than we've gone before," Soboroff said.
Beck submitted a letter to the Police Commission last month officially seeking a second term, saying he has led the department through the "toughest financial era since the Great Depression" while overseeing a reduction in crime and gang activity and the completion of federal consent decree requirements.
The LAPD has undergone "tremendous progress" in the 4 1/2 years since he was appointed, and "there is much more to be accomplished," Beck said in his letter to the commission.
"We must continue to rebuild and re-engineer a department that's suffered massive budget cuts," he wrote.
"We must continue to be data-driven and help to lead other city departments on the same path. We must enhance our abilities through intelligent use of technology and by doing so fulfill the promise of policing in the 21st century."
Other meetings will be held Thursday at the A.G.B.U. Manoogian- Demirdjian School in Canoga Park and July 8 at the Lincoln Heights Senior Center.
Comments can also be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, 100 W. First St., Room 134, Los Angeles, California 90012.
The Los Angeles Police Commission, whose five members are the LAPD's civilian bosses, has until Aug. 20 to respond to Beck's request for a second term.
— City News Service