Interesting read, Jack. And, hats off to the ten of you for 'keeping the wheel on' back in '92.
After London, Manchester cops were more robust, which seemed to be effective.
You're right about the necessity of training, planning and strong leadership.
Hit the nail on the head again Jack. As an active LAPD Officer myself, I too am a South Central copper. But yes we're lead by weak kneed, megalomaniacs, with zero substantive experience in street police work. These bloviating, narcissistic and incompetent buffoons haven't the slightest concern for the citizens or the front line LAPD law enforcement professionals. All they care about is the easiest, and least resisted road to the next rank. They could care less about anything else. A roll of the dice on the backs of police officers is a better bet to these frauds, than making a well thought-out and substantive decision.
Allegedly......(And I would think the FBI wold have a problem with this.....But then maybe they don't care how sloppy the work done by the LAPD is? I don't know.) You have a Captian in charge of one of our divisions (MCD), a counter terrorism asset nonetheless, who is of Lebanese decent. Not to mention he's lazy, weak kneed and clueless. Now his national origin wouldn't be a big deal, but for the fact that his family is of Muslim decent and he refuses to take a polygraph, because he may have to answer tough questions about his uncles or aquaintances who are "possibly" linked to Hezbollah. Now this guy is getting briefed on top secret information, and refusing to do his job by getting cleared to hear said information, of which he's NOT cleared to hear???. What is that all about? A police officer fails to give a business card upon request, and he's looking at a couple unpaid days off. This mindless hack keeps current with the status quo of mediocrity, which is CURRENTLY plaguing the LAPD's megalomaniacs in upper ranks, and he's allowed by Chiefs Beck, Moore and Downing to remain in that highly sensitive and critical position?
These are the incompetent fools that are in charge of the LAPD. The patrol officers will meet the challenge when the violence erupts, but these hacks will fail miserably in the logistics operational acuity necessary to quickly thwart any uprising. Then they'll second guess the Officers to within an inch of their lives when all is said and done.
And I don't have the finger strength to type out all the issues the department is having with all the incompetent Lieutenants and Captains in-charge of these LAPD divisions and bureaus. The valley is the WORST! The have MAJOR problems up there. But this department cannot get out of it's own way, and will likely promote these morons. It's a vicious cycle of gross incompetence. There are few good ones that make it through the cracks, but they are overwhelmed at the top by gross cronyism and incompetence.
we need a federal consent decree for the upper brass of the LAPD.
PS Great Article Mr. Dunphy....My google search seems to find your articles every time.
I'm bothered by the author's description of the riot zone as 'South Los Angeles'. I've lived in Los Angeles most of my life, and was in law enforcement myself during the King riots. Ground zero was South Central L.A., my birth place. There was no 'South Los Angeles' then. Many would say there still isn't. You might have a smell test problem here.
Training is great but it comes in a distant second to experience. What really counts is the desire (to do the right thing for the citizens), ability and experience of the front-line leader. Training can provide sufficient foundation to inexperienced officers to allow them to follow a good leader and perform effectively. HOWEVER- LAPD does not have good leaders- you can count on about 3/4 of the officers but only 10-15% of the sergeants and about 1% of the LTs and above. For those of you who know LAPD, you can tell I am an optimist. LAPD is good at crowd control- pre-planned political demonstrations because they know where, when, who, etc., and can plan to have enough people there in advance. The LAPD will fall behind the curve in a London-type riot or a 1965/1992 riot incident because they now practice and plan for demonstrations, not riots. Nowadays LAPD mobile field force training means crowd control techniques for fixed political demonstrations, not for the "brush fire" rioting it was designed for.
Last April, the Vancouver police were ineffective in controlling a riot over a lost hockey game. But whatever the faults of the police, matters were made much worse by city fathers encouraging people—mostly 20 something males—to crowd into a small public space and watch the game on giant TVs. As anyone would have predicted, the crowd got drunk and drunker, and fuelled by the very presence of other 20-something drunks, predictably rioted. To make matters even crazier, a similar riot had occured years before. City officials had learned nothing.
A wholly preventable event that was not prevented. Guess who got most of the blame for letting the rioters riot?
Given Mr. Dunphy's wisdom, and the recent incidents in New York City and Wisconsin, it probably wouldn't be such a bad idea if every city's police department did some advance training.
But, given the history of most politicians, the horse will no doubt be gone by the time the barn door ever gets closed.