On Wednesday, January 23rd, LAPD Chief, Michel Moore and LAFD Chief, Ralph M. Terrazas, united at Town Hall LA to discuss the safety issues that affect Angelenos and how their departments work to better serve the community.
The afternoon began with both Chiefs emphasizing their commitment to working together and ensuring that their departments are better equipped to keep the city safe.
“In LA, the LAPD & LAFD are unified. Culturally we’re a much different animal than any other city in America, where fire and police departments struggle over who’s responding to what.” – Chief Moore
Their commitment to keep Angelenos safe is reflected in the decrease of homicides and violent crimes that have been committed in the city. In 1992 there were nearly 2,000 homicides, but in 2018 the number was closer to 260; a record low that hasn’t been seen in decades.
When discussing the culture that they aim to establish, they both reaffirmed their goal of ensuring that everyone in their department felt represented, beginning with the language that is used to describe public safety officers. Antiquated and sexist terms like “fireman” and “policeman” are no longer representative of the officers who currently make up the body of first responders.
“It’s my job to ensure the work environment (of LAFD) is positive and to see things coming before they become problematic.” – Chief Terrazas
Moderator Jon Regardie, Executive Editor of Los Angeles Downtown News, touched upon the measures that both departments are taking regarding the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks and the Woolsey fires. Chief Moore emphasized that for his department having trained officers who assess situations effectively and can make split-second decisions was very important. Chief Terrzas detailed how his department had sent 50 fire trucks to aid LA County Firefighters fighting the Woolsey Fire and how the use of drones helps fire departments combat fires more efficiently by providing locations of hot spots and directing firefighters to where they are needed the most.
During the discussion Chief Moore was also asked about his commitment to transparency, specifically with the release of bodycam footage from officers. He believes that by allowing the public to see the footage they can better understand what “police officers have on their plate” when they encounter a tense situation and therefore, the bodycam footage can provide a truthful narrative of the situation, without attempting to hide anything from the public.
“Public transparency and plain speak builds trust.”– Chief Moore
One of the popular topics of the luncheon was the upcoming 2028 Olympics that will be held in Los Angeles. Both chiefs expressed that their departments will be coordinating and cooperating with all the agencies that are involved with the planning of the Olympics to ensure that the citizens of LA are safe, that visiting athletes and fans enjoy their time in the city, and that the event leaves a positive and stimulating experience for everyone in Los Angeles.
Listen to the full discussion below: