Pitch: The police officers in MacArthur Park face a unique challenge in that their region is rife with illegal activity, most of which they are aware of, but they are forced to prioritize some crimes of over others due to their division being under-funded and under-staffed. From wide-scale illegal vending by undocumented workers to small-scale drug trafficking, these are crimes that the police have come to accept as unavoidable, thus focusing more on heavier crimes such as drug violence, drug rings and domestic violence. I want to show how the Rampart LAPD has used community policing as a means to police the areas of ‘lesser’ crimes without expanding too many police resource.
Angle: Because the Rampart PD faces this unique challenge, their approach to community policing is equally interesting. Each member of the Rampart LAPD takes the time to get to know their community and be present in the region to show residents that there is a police presence should anything go wrong. For example, in order to deal with the 500-600 illegal vendors in the area, they have resident leaders who are part of the vendor community and act as middlemen if the police need to convey a message. Instead of using police time and funds, these vendors are made to sort out their own issues before bringing in a police presence. Similarly, vendors are respectful of the police because they know that they are being ‘allowed’ to continue this illegal activity.
Officer Frank Garcia – Senior Lead Officer, Rampart LAPD
Officer Flores – Rampart LAPD Bicycle Unit
Officer Gomez – Rampart LAPD Bicycle Unit
Andrew Said- Community Prosecutor
Rollover Audio Clips
Thing-link interactive photos
Map of Macarthur Park and vendors