LASPD Disarray: Hyperbole, or Fact?
Still the Gold Standard
Jonathan Gold is by far the best food critic in the U.S. He’s the only non-Korean I trust for K-town recommendations. He knows little nuances and details about my people’s food that only a Korean would know. Only someone who made a serious effort to understand the food and the culture behind the food would know such things. And he does this for all different types of cuisines represented in our diverse county. Everyone’s tastes are different, and of course there will be a few places that I will not think are so great, but overall he’s right on the money. It’s gotten to the point where I will not try a new restaurant unless he gives the approval.
—Comment by peppermonkey
Re “LAUSD’s Finest: Los Angeles School Police,” by Max Taves (Sept. 2):
How can we expect L.A. students, who already face the barriers to a decent education posed by overcrowded, underfunded schools, to rise above it all while also fending off renegade cops who have free rein to harass or assault them at school? How can the residents of L.A. trust the police when crazy people are allowed to roam the streets with authority? The lack of action by the school board shows nothing less than contempt for the students it is supposed to be serving and the wider community. Former chairwoman of the safety committee Ms. Korenstein should be ashamed of herself for not being aware of the abuses occurring under her watch and for blithely dismissing any responsibility in preventing them. All school board members should be ashamed. This is not a problem that can be blamed on budgets, unions, the teachers or parents. It is the job of every employee of the school district to protect students from harm, and these “police” seem to have been a blatant hazard. Contact the Mayor’s Office (email@example.com); this requires action now.
—Comment by Martina, L.A.
Aside from the incident involving King, which was a terrible incident, the entire article is full of incorrect and twisted facts. This includes misquotes and misrepresentation of the facts. Sadly, essentially every police department has had officers arrested for things ranging from drunken driving to murder. Including the LAPD, LAFD and the countless other public departments. The LASPD is not perfect, but it is nowhere near as flawed as the writer would have you believe. This very dramatized article, written by someone who is clearly on a personal mission, falls very short of really providing readers the “truth” or “accuracy” about the LASPD. The always-scrutinized, well-investigated, P.O.S.T.-audited LASPD has performed very well, and professionally, for over 50 years. No police departments are ever run well enough; LASPD is no exception. That is a good thing: The public needs a department to constantly be reviewing its procedures and policies, and there should always be a drive to do more and better. The LASPD officers receive countless commendations for their great work on campus and are appreciated by those who are served by and know the LASPD. Don’t let this outrageously written and irresponsible article influence you.
—Comment by James, L.A.
This article was missing a few things:
1. Lt. Brooks is never to be found.
2. D.C. Anderson never hit the field.
3. Lt. Maldonado always has on cowboy boots.
4. Lt. Rodriguez received his doctor’s degree on department time.
5. Lt. Santome always wants to be chief.
6. Lt. Lima falls asleep standing up.
7. Lt. Glymph is blond.
8. Lt. Fontenette — too much to write about
9. Sgt. Quezada telecommutes all year.
All that said, the Los Angeles School Police Department is a good organization. It is constructed of good sergeants, officers and S.S.O.s
—Comment by Glariador, L.A.
Without question, the LASPD needs new leadership. Unfortunately, the biggest hurdle facing the next LASPD police chief is the inability to select his/her own command staff — as does the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ramon Cortines. This is critical to implementing the reforms sorely needed within this organization. As for being “obsessed with mimicking the LAPD,” this is so far from the truth when it comes to LASPD personnel. LASPD officers pride themselves on being and representing LASPD.
For whatever reasons, the LASPD has had to play catch-up when it comes to getting adequate equipment to fulfill the mission of protecting LAUSD. On the other hand, the LASPD has remained nationally at the forefront of the dialogue and best practices related to safety and policing in schools. How does the writer purport this to be trying to be like LAPD? The events surrounding the Ian King incident are examples of multiple checks and balances (systems) which failed to protect more than just the young women victimized by King.
There are a number of LASPD personnel at various ranks within the organization who are qualified to assist in the efforts to reform the department. Unfortunately, LASPD leadership has dispatched them to various assignments spread across 710 square miles or kept them close enough to keep them from making changes. Many have lost the desire to fight or scale the barriers placed before them, while others await new leadership to assist in the needed reforms.
The men and women of the LASPD work directly with administrators, teachers, students and parents to ensure a safe environment where learning can take place. Regrettably, L.A. Weekly missed an opportunity to report on the outstanding work being done by the rest of the department.
—Comment by Juan Johnson-Beck
I am the parent of three LAUSD students and throughout the years I have had several interactions with some school officers. I must say that for the most part I have always been impressed by how professional they have been. That said, it seems according to this article that their leadership needs some work.
—Comment by Harry, L.A.
This author missed the chance to comment on the positive work the men and women of the LASPD do for the children of the Los Angeles Unified School District on a daily basis. These men and women put their lives on the line every day and do an extremely professional job. It is true that there is no department with out its flaws, or bad officers, including the LASPD. The Chief and his entire command staff need to be held accountable for the decisions they choose to make or not to make. The department needs some competent managers and leaders, and not people put in positions of power because they can take a test well.
This article lost all credibility when it quoted someone like Paul Quezada, and let’s set the record straight he is not president of the department’s sergeant’s union, and he is currently under numerous internal affairs investigations by the department. This is where most of the misinformation for this article came from. Quezada is a person that has tried unsuccessfully to discredit the name of the LASPD for years. If this author is looking for a story he should do one on Quesada for embezzling union funds while he was union president.
—Comment by JP, L.A.
As an avid L.A. Weekly reader and financial supporter from its inception (not a Johnny-come-lately, self-serving, job seeking leech), maybe we should contact the L.A. Weekly staff about your agenda! L.A. Weekly/residents/readers deserve better.
—Comment by EL, Pacific Palisades
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.