Policy consists of principles and values which guide the performance of a Department activity. Policy is not a statement of what must be done in a particular situation; rather, it is a statement of guiding principles which should be followed in activities which are directed toward the attainment of Department objectives. Policy is formulated by analyzing objectives and determining through research those principles which will best guide the Department in achieving its objectives.
Policy is based upon police ethics and experience, the desires of the community, and the mandate of the law. Policy is articulated to inform the public and Department employees of the principles which will be adhered to in the performance of the law enforcement function. Additionally, policy establishes operational standards to assist Department employees in the necessary exercise of discretion in discharging their responsibility.
An officer in the performance of his duty is confronted with an infinite variety of complex situations which require police action. Since policy is objective rather than situation oriented, it is broad enough in scope to encompass most situations. Policy, therefore, must be stated in general terms. A value is a quality of performance or accomplishment.
Values are the basis for the determination of objectives and may be both ethical and functional. An objective is a desired end for which effort is expended, and which, if attained, fulfills the purposes of the Department. Within each objective, there may be a number of ancillary objectives, each of which, if attained, contributes to the accomplishment of the police mission.
A principle is a conceptual guide arrived at through logical deduction by evaluating experience with a view toward the attainment of objectives. A procedure is a method of performing an operation or a manner of proceeding on a course of action. It differs from policy in that it directs action in a particular situation to perform a specific task within the guidelines of policy. Both policies and procedures are objective oriented; however, policy establishes limits of action while procedure directs response within those limits.
A rule is a specific prohibition or requirement which is stated to prevent deviations from policy or procedure. Rules allow little deviation other than for stated exceptions. The Department protects the right of all persons within its jurisdiction to be free from criminal attack, to be secure in their possessions, and to live in peace. The Department serves the people of Los Angeles by performing the law enforcement function in a professional manner, and it is to these people that the Department is ultimately responsible.
The Los Angeles Police Department is committed to serving the community while protecting the rights of all persons. It is the vision of the Los Angeles Police Department to, as closely as possible, achieve a City free from crime and public disorder. It is the mission of the Los Angeles Police Department to safeguard the lives and property of the people we serve, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and to enhance public safety while working with the diverse communities to improve their quality of life.
Our mandate is to do so with honor and integrity, while at all times conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards to maintain public confidence. We are dedicated to enhancing public safety and reducing the fear and the incidence of crime. People in our communities are our most important customers.
Our motto, "To Protect and to Serve," is not just a slogan - it is our way of life. We will work in partnership with the people in our communities and do our best, within the law, to solve community problems that affect public safety.
We value the great diversity of people in both our residential and business communities and serve all with equal dedication. We have been given the honor and privilege of enforcing the law. We must always exercise integrity in the use of the power and authority that have been given to us by the people. Our personal and professional behavior should be a model for all to follow. We will obey and support the letter and the spirit of the law. We also believe that each individual needs to be a leader in his or her area of responsibility.
Making sure that our values become part of our day-to-day work life is our mandate. We must each work to ensure that our co-workers, our professional colleagues and our communities have the highest respect for the Los Angeles Police Department. Integrity is our standard. We are proud of our profession and will conduct ourselves in a manner that merits the respect of all people. We will demonstrate honest, ethical behavior in all our interactions. Our actions will match our words.
We must have the courage to stand up for our beliefs and do what is right. Throughout the ranks, the Los Angeles Police Department has a long history of integrity and freedom from corruption.
Upholding this proud tradition is a challenge we must all continue to meet. Working with the Los Angeles Police Department should be challenging and rewarding. Our people are our most important resource. We can best serve the many and varied needs of our communities by empowering our employees to fulfill their responsibilities with knowledge, authority and appropriate discretion.
We encourage our people to submit ideas, we listen to their suggestions, and we help them develop to their maximum potential. We believe in treating all people with respect and dignity. We show concern and empathy for the victims of crime and treat violators of the law with fairness and dignity.
By demonstrating respect for others, we will earn respect for the Los Angeles Police Department. We will strive to achieve the highest level of quality in all aspects or our work. We can never be satisfied with the "status quo. We value innovation and support creativity. We realize that constant change is a way of life in a dynamic city like Los Angeles, and we dedicate ourselves to proactively seeking new and better ways to serve.
The below Management Principles are an important part of the Department's history, and reflect the principles by which it functions. However, employees are reminded that these are principles only. For official verbatim Department policy, employees should refer to the respective Department Manual Section. The main thrust of a peace officer's duties consists of an attempt to enforce the law. In our application of the law we must do it within a legal spirit which was so clearly set forth by the framers of the Bill of Rights, which was an original part of our Constitution.
That bill had as its purpose elevating the rights of each citizen to a position co-equal with the state which might accuse him. Its purpose was to provide for an enforcement of the law with fundamental fairness and equity. Because of the Bill of Rights, the dignity of the individual person in America was placed in an almost sacred position of importance.
A peace officer's enforcement should not be done in grudging adherence to the legal rights of the accused, but in a sincere spirit of seeking that every accused person is given all of his rights as far as it is within the powers of the police. In the discharge of our enforcement of criminal statutes, the peace officer must scrupulously avoid any conduct which would make him a violator of the law.
The solution of a crime, or the arrest of a lawbreaker, can never justify the peace officer committing a felony as an expedient for the enforcement of the law. We as peace officers should do our utmost to foster a reverence for the law. We can start best by displaying a reverence for the legal rights of our fellow citizens and a reverence for the law itself. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
When the police fail to prevent crime, it becomes important to apprehend the person responsible for the crime and gather all evidence that might be used in a subsequent trial. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior, and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect. The police must secure the willing cooperation of the public in voluntary observance of the law in order to be able to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public.
The degree of public cooperation that can be secured diminishes, proportionally, the necessity for the use of physical force and compulsion in achieving police objectives. The police seek and preserve public favor, not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to the law without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws; by readily offering individual service and friendship to all members of society; by the ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humor; and by readily offering individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
The police should use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient to achieve police objectives and police should use only the reasonable amount of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective. The police at all times should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police; the police are the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interest of community welfare.
The police should always direct their actions strictly toward their functions and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary by avenging individuals or the state, or authoritatively judging guilt or punishing the guilty.
The test of police effectiveness is the absence of crime and the presence of public order. It is not the evidence of police action in dealing with crime and disorder. The task of crime prevention cannot be accomplished by the police alone. This task necessarily requires the willing cooperation of both the police and the public working together toward a common goal. Since the police cannot be expected to be on every residential or business block, every hour of the day, a process must be developed whereby each person becomes concerned with the welfare and safety of his neighborhood.
When people are working with other people in their neighborhood, they can effectively reduce crime. Only line police officers perform the tasks for which police were created.
They are the operating professionals. Supervisors and managers exist to define problems, to establish objectives, and to assist line police officers in the accomplishment of the police mission.
The evaluation of a manager should be based on the improvement and excellence of his subordinates in the achievement of organizational goals. The life's blood of good management is thoroughly systematic, two-way circulation of information, feelings, and perceptions throughout the organization. For many reasons, some specialization of work is necessary.
Specialization should be created only when vitally necessary. When specialization is created, organization should be adjusted to ensure that the specialists and generalists who serve the same citizens work closely together on the common problems in as informal an organizational structure as possible.
This tends to ensure a unity of effort, resources and the effective service to a common goal. It must be recognized that the police and the people alone cannot successfully resolve the problems of crime. The criminal justice system as a whole, in order to properly serve the public, must operate as a total system with all of its various elements working together.
The close cooperation of the police with prosecutors, courts and correctional officers is necessary in order to ensure the development of a safer community. One of the first and most fundamental considerations of this nation's founders in drafting the Bill of Rights was to provide for a free press as an essential element of the First Amendment to the Constitution.
They recognized that a well-informed citizenry is vital to the effective functioning of a democracy. Police operations profoundly affect the public and therefore arouse substantial public interest. Likewise, public interest and public cooperation bear significantly on the successful accomplishment of any police mission.