LAPD Fails at Community Engagement (Again) for National Night Out

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We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).

Today is National Night Out.

As any good citizen who likes to participate in her community and who wants to engage with others in sending a message to the would be robbers, thugs, murders, rapists and the like that we’re taking back our community—I went searching the Los Angeles Police Department’s website for info on planned activities for this evening. Being the communications guru that I am I fully expected that on the homepage of the Department’s website I would be hit with all of the info. Right? Wrong.  See below.

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For a Department that has more staff dedicated to “community engagement” and “community relationship building” than I’ve ever known, they never make community engagement easy. After not being able to quickly find the information on National Night Out for South L.A. I turned to Twitter.

Thank God for Twitter.

So on the Department’s Twitter feed I see an ugly print screen Excel matrix of planned events. I can overlook the ugliness of it–they’re just not graphics saavy over there at LAPDHQs but why on God’s green Earth would you put the times in military time?

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Do they or do they not want the community to participate?  They are engaging with the community–you know normal people. They want people to come out, make it easy, not a frickin challenge. Lawd have mercy. I swear sometimes I have to ponder if they even want the community to come out for these events.  Really I do.  Ugly hard to read flyers, military time, information not readily available to average person.

Going forward perhaps they can employ some folks who can help them jazz up their graphics in an effort to attract the community to these events.  Talk to Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and those other community groups–they seem to be good at designing memes, flyers and such that catch eyes and attention. Or better yes, just have the same people who do those LAPD Is Hiring flyers help them out.

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Add to that, they really need to re-examine who they’re paying to do what over there in that community relations division.  If we the public can’t log onto the LAPD’s website and see a list of or link to events for National Night Out on the HOMEPAGE for every community the Department serves, that’s a problem and shows poor planning and lack of real effort to engage the community.  There’s no excuse.  The date doesn’t change.  Every year National Night Out is on the first Tuesday of August.  Get it together people.

I’m done.

The Court of Public Opinion

  • LAFan

    Each station does their own outreach. They must be doing something right because thousands came out all of the city. Southeast had over 1,000, Hollenbeck over a 1,000 and so on.

  • That answer may fly with someone who doesn’t know 💩, but in the real world yes–it’s expected each station would do their own outreach. But, that’s no reason for the Department not to have that same information accessible. It’s an annual event. For example, several councilmembers in a small city might have their own events for National Night Out but I bet you that if you go to that city’s website, you’ll find a list to all of the events. Why? Because average citizen isn’t looking up their Councilmember for events. They’re going to go the website for city hall. Average citizen also is not expecting times to be listed in military time. I am not saying NNO2016 wasn’t or wouldn’t be a success–merely pointing out that with all of the resources dedicated to community relations they can and should do better. Why should average citizen have to hunt out information for an event allegedly the Department wants average citizen at? The left and right hands need to work together–divisions, CRD and the folks handling the website. The end.

  • 3Beeps

    LAFAN (CRD). The community went out due to the outreach by divisional Senior Lead Officers. NOT because of CRD reps who only shows up to take photo ops to tweet and then disappear! Poof!💨

  • I agree. But CRD should be supporting the SLO’s since they’re the anointed gatekeepers to public info for the Dept. on this kind off stuff. There are more than enough people in CRD to get it right.

  • Truth of the matter

    CRD is a joke. The Department all knows this section was created to give Becks Girl Friend Ruby Malachi a position. Interesting how a Captain with no field experience is leading a command that deals directly with the community or trying too anyway- they haven’t had much success. Although there are some good people who know community relations that got into the command- everyone knows overall this section is a joke. Their MO is they usually show up in the pretty cars take a few photos, post crap on twitter then move on to the next spot. On a typical weekend they may hit 3-5 or more events going on in the city. They have no vested interest in the community because it’s not their assignment. Nor does the community even relate to them. The working officers in the command are the ones who deal daily with the community not the CRD officers who show up for photo shoots. Its the hard working SLO’s in the commands and supporting officers/personnel of the command that made National Night out work. Your right Jasmyne CRD should have been all over National Night Out helping to promote it- u did eventually find it on twitter however the average Angelino is not too familiar with where to search. CRD is a joke and that’s the reputation it has amongst the worker bees who are boots on the ground and dealing wit the community daily.

  • And let the choir say Amen.

  • zoeJ

    While I totally agree with you when it comes to the fact that the LAPD’s website should be more update (a lot of stuff on there in eluding specific divisional information is out of date or wrong), I think you should focus more on who’s responsibility it is to make sure that the website and the information on it is current. the LAPD has a webmaster, and an online unit that are charged with working with Radar Blue (the website developer) in making sure that all the info on is current. Further, the online unit is run out media relations and not CRD. I can totally agree with you though that a flyer should have gone out that it definitely more palatable for people, like one that doesn’t include military time…that’s a no brainer. But I think it’s important to focus on the truth when it comes to these things, and not half-baked arguments that really seem to be filed more by a general dislike for a specific division, person, or entity. Maybe it would be easier to fuel or encourage actual change if a lot of these articles didn’t come across so vindictive. Just my .02.

  • Thanks for your two cents. Maybe I wasn’t crystal clear. I know that the website is done in a different department. My point is that given all of the resources dedicated to community relations and public information the right and the left hands should be working together. There’s no excuse especially for an annual event that happens on the same day every year and that’s just one example. There are others. Even in a department as large as the LAPD it is possible. Good day.

  • NinaG

    It’s hard enough for LAPD employees to find out info as it is…what makes anyone think they give a rat’s about the public?

  • LAFan

    You criticize this event but no mention or blog of all the successful ones citywide. You criticize LAPD and outreach yet the company you are the pr person for has the worse communication with the residents on LAX police union. Their website is no better listing events from back in May. The last article posted is from back in July.

  • It’s Sunday so let me keep this short.

    You don’t dictate what I write about on my blog. You will always be disappointed because I will write about what moves me. This isn’t a news website I am under no obligation to report on every damn thing that goes on the LAPD. If you can’t figure the difference out between a blog and a news website, let us all pray for you.

    Second, police unions, even LAAPOA, are not the place where average citizens go to find out what’s going on their neighborhood with the police. If you think differently, I only hope that you are not in a position of leadership in the LAPD.

  • bluethru1994

    100% agree about this unit being a joke. The number one priority of this unit is to raise money for the Department. Has nothing to do with Community Relations. The admin officers in the unit are getting a patrol bonus. Can you believe that. All they have to do is go out one day a month and they get a 2.5 % patrol bonus. Gee, I would like to drive around one day a month, do absolutely nothing and get paid for it. You could get rid of every person in this unit and nobody would even notice. Oh, sorry except for the Chief’s buddies that he has put in these cushy positions.

  • bluethru1994

    What is a councilman in South LA. Does anybody ever see Harris-Dawson walking around the neighborhood. I sure never have.