Policing Los Angeles

Policing Los Angeles Forum

We recognize that the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department are among the largest policing organizations in the nation, and indeed the world. These institutions are responsible for serving and protecting around 14 million people. The community of Los Angeles is an economically, socially and demographically diverse group that presents multiple, complex challenges to social welfare, public order and crime control. In facing these challenges, LAPD and the Sheriff's Department, along with the federal law enforcement agencies, are at the forefront of police organization and police tactics worldwide. What happens in Los Angeles, historically and currently, sets the standards for policing around the globe.

Our goal is to provide a forum in which to discuss core developments in police organization and policing in Los Angeles; to evaluate their impact on the communities around the city; and to develop strategies for innovation and change. We seek to create a series of conversations about Policing Los Angeles, seeking input from diverse groups, including LAPD and L.A. County Sheriff's Department, as well as the police unions; members of the Los Angeles, California and United States legislative and executive officials; city, state, and federal prosecutors and defense counsel; local NGOs and civic activists; academic experts; members of the media; the Loyola student body; and the Los Angeles public.

The Policing Los Angeles Forum Series plans to focus on five overlapping issues:

  1. Technological innovations in policing
  2. Privatization of policing functions
  3. Bail reform
  4. Police administration and policy-making
  5. Police recruitment and training
  • Nov. 16, 2018: Access to Police Disciplinary Records: Proposals for Reform

    The Los Angeles County District Attorney keeps a list of police officers' whose disciplinary records indicate a history of dishonesty and similar misconduct. These records are often called "Pitches" records, after a California State case that establishes an officer's right to privacy in these records. That law, backed up by California statute, makes it difficult for criminal defendants to obtain the disciplinary records of police officers. Our panel will discuss whether individual officers' disciplinary records should be made public. It looks at the benefits to making such records public in courtroom situations and the drawbacks to more public availability.

  • Oct. 26, 2018: Big Data Policing

    Big data technologies are revolutionizing policing. At this Policing Los Angeles Forum, panelists will explore how data-driven surveillance technologies impact everyday policing and concerns about racial bias, transparency and the erosion of constitutional rights.

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  • Sept. 21, 2018: Promoting De-Escalation Training

    Since Terry v. Ohio, courts have recognized that peaceful police encounters on the street may escalate into more serious uses of force. More worryingly, excessive discretionary arrests and the use of force by officers can reduce public trust in the police. The lack of trust between police and public, public and police, risks entrenching escalation as an inevitable feature of the encounter. The solution would seem to be adopting training protocols to reduce escalation and emphasize safe de-escalation of confrontational encounters. To date, there is scant evidence as to how police departments can successfully train officers to balance enforcement and public trust in the field. Professor Emily Owens participated in a recent study, demonstrating that a relatively minor supervisory intervention may cause substantive changes in how police and citizens interact with each other. We will discuss her study, and other ways in which the police do and should engage in de-escalation as a policy when policing the public.

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  • Aug. 24, 2018: Policing Under SB54

    Sanctuary cities and states are jurisdictions in which the local police department does not automatically refer individuals with immigration offenses to the federal authorities, including ICE. California is a sanctuary jurisdiction, and the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriffs are tasked with enforcing the law under SB54, the sanctuary law. Our panelists will discuss the issues presented by complying with state and federal law, and propose some ways in which the police can ensure they abide by SB54.

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  • July 20, 2018: Police Body Camera Video Evidence: Recommendations for Use in Criminal and Civil Rights Proceedings

    Video evidence from police body cameras often proves decisive in criminal and civil cases, especially where the only other evidence is the testimony of the police officer and the criminal suspect. Panelists will discuss policies governing the retention and use of video evidence at trial or as part of the plea bargaining process.

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  • April 4, 2018: Police Body Cameras

    The panel will discuss the law and policy surrounding the collection and dissemination of police-worn body camera video. The video is often important evidence when force is used. But police body camera video also raises important privacy concerns, both for the police officers and the public who are captured on the video. 

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  • Jan. 30, 2018: Police Policy Making

    Are privately written police policies in the public interest? It depends on whom you ask, guests learned at the Police Policy-Making event held on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Moderated by Loyola Law School Professor Eric J. Miller, Leo J. O'Brien Fellow, the panel featured law-enforcement scholars, police watchdogs and a police chief.

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