Newly sworn Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks has hit the ground running, ordering a sweeping reorganization of the 12,000-employee Police Department that includes promoting the agency’s second female commander and the appointment of another commander to serve as internal ombudsman.
The changes, which include a flattening of the department’s top command structure, took effect on Aug. 31, a little more than a week after Parks was sworn in on Aug. 22.
Parks scrapped several LAPD administrative sections, consolidating or transferring their functions to other units, as part of an effort to continue and widen the scope of the agency’s community policing plan. “The new structure is entirely consistent with our vision for institutionalizing community policing in this city,” the memo stated. “Reorganization is critical to our success and therefore, must be implemented as soon as possible.”
Parks chose Deputy Chief Mark Kroeker, who had emerged as his chief rival for the hotly contested chief’s job, to serve as his special assistant, putting him in charge of the reorganization effort. Kroeker will take over duties formerly assigned to three assistant chiefs currently vacant positions that will remain unfilled, Parks said and will develop a new system for command accountability modeled on the New York Police Department’s Compstat program.