Amid continuing calls for police reform, earlier this week, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the expansion of the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Community Safety Partnership (CSP) to the level of a bureau within the department and the promotion of 25-year LAPD veteran, Emada Tingirides to Deputy Chief, the second African American woman to hold that rank, to lead this new bureau.

We applaud Chief Michel Moore’s leadership and the promotion of Deputy Tingirides to lead this new bureau.

The LAPD and police departments across the nation often train recruits to become warriors. This mentality encourages so-called “peace officers” to become an unwanted occupying force in our neighborhoods and makes a mockery of the hallowed credo of “To Protect and to Serve.” Hopefully, the expansion of CSP will help mend those fences and build those bridges to true community partnerships and understanding.

CSP started in 2011 as a collaboration between the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and the LAPD under Police Chief Charlie Beck with the guidance of civil rights activist and lawyer Connie Rice. The intention was to build trust and improve relationships with residents in the communities that the CSP serves. The program started with 40 open positions and today serves nine neighborhoods with 100 officers. LAPD credits CSP with lowering crime rates in communities such as Harvard Park, Nickerson Gardens, and Jordan Downs. Some of the programs implemented as a result include football teams, Girl Scout Troops, camping trips, scholarships, and other youth programs.

We welcome the expansion of the Community Safety Partnership and stand ready to help if needed. Our voices are being heard, and reforms are being made, but our work is not done. We are encouraged by this announcement and we will closely monitor the progress and expansion of the Community Safety Partnership.

We look forward to working with the LAPD and ensuring CSP’s success.