BACK ON THE BEAT LAPD SENIOR LEAD OFFICERS RETURN TO NEIGHBORHOODS.Byline: Dominic Dominic
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• • Staff Writer
TARZANA - LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. Officer April Archer was back on a familiar and popular bent Monday Monday: see week. , greeting Greeting is a way for humans to intentionally communicate awareness of each other's presence, to show attention to, and/or to affirm or suggest a type of relationship or social status between individuals or groups of people coming in contact with residents and handing out 1,000 newly printed ``senior lead officer'' cards.
``It's exciting to be back,'' said Archer, a six-year LAPD veteran with a charming smile and a determination to prove that the reinstated community policing program works.
Archer is one of 168 senior lead officers citywide who returned to their community liaison duties Monday. LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks Bernard Parks (born December 7, 1943 in Beaumont, Texas) is a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 8th District in South Los Angeles and former Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Parks attended Los Angeles City College, received his B.S. set off a political tug-of-war with community activists three years ago by scrapping the program to get more officers on the streets.
In the face of strong community pressure, Mayor Richard Riordan Richard J. Riordan (born May 1, 1930) is a Republican politician from California, U.S. who served as the California Secretary of Education from 2003–2005 and as Mayor of Los Angeles from 1993–2001. Riordan ran for Governor of California unsuccessfully in 2002. and Parks agreed to put senior lead officers back in place to handle community issues that patrol officers often don't have time to handle. Archer said the idea is to ``work on long-term Long-term
Three or more years. In the context of accounting, more than 1 year.
1. Of or relating to a gain or loss in the value of a security that has been held over a specific length of time. Compare short-term. solutions to preventing crime, not just temporary problem-solving.''
There are 48 SLOs in the Valley, and on Monday, community members who have complained the officers were not accessible when on standard patrol, were overjoyed o·ver·joy
tr.v. o·ver·joyed, o·ver·joy·ing, o·ver·joys
To fill with joy; delight.
o to have them back.
``You have to understand what a difference they make,'' said Rita Vazquez, director of the Reseda Community Center. ``If the kids know there is going to be an officer here, they come.''
Vazquez said that after the senior leads were disbanded, the center had to discontinue dis·con·tin·ue
v. dis·con·tin·ued, dis·con·tin·u·ing, dis·con·tin·ues
1. To stop doing or providing (something); end or abandon: its popular Amigos AMIGOS Advanced Mobile Integration in General Operating Systems program, in which officers organized outings with neighborhood youths.
``Everyone knows the kids need a chance to get out and have positive things to do,'' Vazquez said. ``I hope we can bring that back.''
Jessica Carlson Jessica Carlson is a beauty queen from Oregon who has competed in the Miss USA pageant.
Carlson won the Miss Oregon USA 2005 title in the state pageant held in Redmond, Oregon in late 2004. , an apartment manager in Reseda, where Archer hopes to start a new Neighborhood Watch, says she depends on the senior leads for numerous problems.
``You can't always call 911 for things that take a lot of time to solve like noise problems,'' Carlson said. ``It's great the senior leads are back. There were just not enough hours in the day for them to do two jobs.''
From day to day, the bulk of Archer's work includes resolving neighborhood disputes, attending resident and business meetings, organizing youth activities and countless other community liaison tasks.
West Valley Capt. James Cansler says the new deployment policy is a welcome change.
``It's a good move for all of us,'' he said. ``The idea is to balance the duties between everyone and save time by having the SLOs deal with the time-consuming neighborhood issues.''
The 25 to 35 West Valley officers on duty at any given time usually have their hands full dealing with emergency calls, court appearances, and other duties, he said.
When Archer was on patrol, she would often come in two hours before her shift to answer phone calls.
``It was impossible,'' she said. ``I had a thick stack of paperwork, and sometimes I couldn't get back to people for days at a time.''
In Tarzana, Archer splits her time between community events and responding to individual concerns and complaints.
Under the revised police policy, senior leads will spend four days per week tending to community matters, and one day on regular patrol - a compromise with Parks to increase the patrol ranks.
Senior leads are also required to attend roll call and continue training new officers.
Parks disbanded the senior lead program in 1999 with the argument that more patrol officers were needed, and that all officers should incorporate the duties of senior leads into their normal work shifts.
But community activists argued that the kind of intense neighborhood work that senior lead officers performed was a full-time job.
In the months after the senior lead program was scrapped, programs like the popular Neighborhood Watch suffered, Archer said.
There were about 200 people involved in Neighborhood Watch in her area, she said, and that has dwindled to about half since the senior leads were scrapped.
``If you don't have the time to stay in day-to-day touch with people, the programs suffer,'' Archer said. ``We lost a lot of momentum over the past three years, and now we have to start over and try to build that up again.''
A high-energy high-energy
1. Of or relating to elementary particles with energies exceeding hundreds of thousands of electron volts.
2. Yielding a large amount of energy upon undergoing chemical reaction.
3. Vigorous; dynamic. officer armed with strong people skills, Archer has plans for her neighborhood, including organizing support to build a youth center in Tarzana.
Some say the senior leads are key in boosting community support and restoring the public image of officers as heroes after the damaging Rampart scandal.
``The kids really look up to them,'' said Rob Vogel, a Recreation and Parks employee who works with youth at the Tarzana Recreation Center. ``Being able to reach an officer who knows the problems and the neighborhood saves a lot of time.''
(1 -- color) LAPD senior lead Officer April Archer, left, shows her enthusiasm while informing Alex Wieder, owner of Magazine Depot in Tarzana, that she's back on the community beat.
(2 -- color) - LAPD senior lead Officer April Archer
Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer