Monday, September 28, 2009

Why senior lead officers keep coming and going through Cypress Park & Glassell Park

Last week's predawn raid against the Avenues gang in Glassell Park, Cypress Park and other neighborhoods featured an army of more than 1,200 officers from different agencies. But, after the raid was over and media helicopters had flown to other hot spots, the same thin blue line was left to keep order. In fact, members of the NELA List complained about the lack of senior lead officers in Cypress Park and Glassell Park. Many senior lead officers serve as the primarily link between neighborhood residents and the LAPD, working on day-to-day crime problems that don't attract an army of law enforcement or reporters.

"Cypress Park has been without a Senior Lead Officer for a long time," said one person on the NELA List. "Tell Ed Reyes office that Cypress Park needs a Senior Lead Officer."

Capt. Bill Murphy, whose LAPD Northeast Division covers both neighborhoods, said a senior lead officer has been working both communities - but on a temporary basis. Murphy blamed a department freeze on promotions for preventing him from assigning a permanent, senior lead officer to handle Cypress Park and Glassell Park. Without being able to promote officers into a senior lead role, Murphy said he's forced to rotate officers through that position every six months, according to union rules. The most recent temporary senior lead officer to come and go was named Leo Rey. "People loved him but I had to move him out," Murphy said.

Murphy praises senior leads as " great resource" to keep tabs on quality of life and other crimes by developing strong relationships with residents. But, when the person filling the senior lead job keeps changing, relationships have to be reestablished. "That adds to the confusion," Murphy said. "Maybe some things don't get reported."

With the city facing a budget crunch, Murphy doesn't see money being freed up in the immediate future to permanently fill the senior lead job in Cypress Park and Glassell Park. He praised the officer currently filling the slot, Fernando Ochoa. But Murphy advised residents not to get to used to him. His six months will also be up eventually.

Photo by Simon Clare/Flickr


  1. Would you want to be a lead officer in 90065? Even after the sweeps, the Drew St. bulldozing, etc. There is such a deep rooted gang influence in Cypress and Glassell Park that I wonder if it will ever be completely exorsized (sic). As a local area real estate broker, I certainly hope it will!

  2. Senior Robert Falconer did and was the best Senior Lead Officer for Glassell Park,Cypress Park ,and Mt. Washington. In 2005, he started to work in the Drew/Estara Area to clean it up. He went after the absent landords, worked with the city attorney's office, and helped the people that lived and worked there. He started this way before Capt. Murphy was transferred to Northeast PD. SLO Falconer thought "outside the box" to solve crime. Most of the "old boys club", "by the books" boys like Capt. Murphy had it in for him. SLO Falconer brought in results. Capt. Murphy wanted him gone and got him transferred out. The monthly CPAB meetings are a joke, they no longer have the Senior Lead Officers at these meetings. Each SLO used to post a weekly/monthly post on their areas and Capt. Murphy took that away from the community. Their website is grossly outdated. Now Capt. Murphy has the SLO's doing a weekly patrol to cover officers lost due to opening 2 new police stations. How's that for community policing?

    Ah yes, the local real estate broker looking for the highest price, continue to book your listings, Eagle Rock Near or Mt. Washington Adjacent. It's not the house that makes a home it's the people. There's nothing wrong with Glassell Park or Cypress Park, crime is all over this city, just a shame your mind is closed.

  3. yes "red" was one of the best slo here in cypress park where he attended our neighborhood council meetings and was visible in our neighborhood. we miss him and with no real explanation why he was reassigned or where he is at.

  4. Ditto for REd. I met Red when i joined our NW in Glassell Park and he was there and always there. he got us equipment for cleanups when needed. He always answered calls and emails. We miss Red. Dont know where he is but sure would be nice to have him back. I have emialed other SLO and higher officers and got nothing in return. i too used to attend the monthly CPAB meeting and when the slo's were no longer attending i stopped. I wasn't getting the information. Maybe we all need to go back the meeting and rally for Red.

  5. wanting the gangs removed does not signify closed-mindedness in my opinion.

    he may be a real-estate agent, but we would all prefer our property values to increase. Reducing crime goes a long way to help that happen.

  6. the position of SLO needs to be a long-term position. 6 months is not enough time to get properly involved with the community to make a difference.

    Weather its the unions or the lack of city funding causing this problem, it needs to be resolved before we will be able to see an end to the deeply-rooted gang culture present in Cypress and Glassel Parks.