The law enforcement culture is going through a deep conditioning within Los Angeles, recent incidents triggered a global awareness of the imbalance in community protection. It unveiled a disconnection between the purpose of the police and the spirit of trust among the community. Los Angeles has looked to bridge that gap by designing the Community Safety Partnership Program in 2011. Captain Emada Tingirides has been the Coordinator Sergeant for CSP, she has embodied the mission and now leads the programs as Deputy Chief.
On Monday, July 27, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press briefing. LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced Tingirides’ appointed title and expressed that her work symbolized the ideal relationship law enforcement should have with the community. Moore stated, ““In making that appointment, in choosing her for this critical moment, it wasn’t that she was the face of CSP since inception, it wasn’t that she grew up in the Watts Community, both these circumstances are true but you only need to spend a few moments with her to understand her empathy.”
Tingirides has been policing for over 25 years, she developed her skills in the central division located in downtown Los Angeles. She grew throughout the department and served different communities, but there was a pivotal point in her career in 2007. The South East Community Police Station had an opening for a supervisor; the position called for a strong sense of community relationship building. Officer Tingirides felt the position pulling at her roots.
The newly appointed Deputy Chief was born in Los Angeles, being raised in Watts, molded her to be supportive and aware of her community. She reflected on her upbringing; Tingirides has seen generations of her family support the community. Her grandparents both worked for the city as probation officers and as Los Angeles Unified School District teachers. Her mother is a nurse that started her career in the emergency room at USC Medical Center. Tingirides was groomed with traits of compassion, selflessness, and building bonds that uplift everyone in the community.
The Community Safety Program was incubated in the fall of 2011; it is a collaboration between the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, (HACLA) and the Los Angeles Police Department. The mission of CSP is to “foster relationships with the residents in the Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens, Imperial Courts, and Ramona Gardens housing communities. The ongoing focus is to start and support community and youth programs, address quality of life issues and develop programs to address and reduce violent crimes.”
With a new addition to the partnership in San Fernando Valley, the program has been replanted as a bureau and Tingirides is holding the reigns of its future influence over the Los Angeles Police Department. Within this directive, CSP officers are held at a higher standard than what is required by the traditional level of policing. CSP personnel must keep a strong communication with the HACLA, attend community meetings, be aware of community disparities, and participate in the Safe Passage program.
Public officials who spoke about Tingirides highlighted her integrity and reputation of building relationships that magnify the strength of the community. Deputy Chief Tingirides reflected on the impact of this newly shaped bureau and she’s looking to navigate throughout the rest of her career, “Every day, I try to pause, and really think about what happened in the position that I’m in.” She went on to describing her personal adjustment to capture the magnitude that this progressive step that has been taken by the City of Los Angeles.
“I feel like I been given this huge opportunity to represent a community to represent my family, to represent the LAPD, and most important and precious to me is representing police officers that are out there doing their best to try to engage, work, and understand the community.”
Tingirides shed light on the many cops who were also devastated to hear of recent murders by the hands of law enforcement. From their perspective, certain people from the law enforcement community have committed devastating acts, and there is a common ground of a deeper hurt when it comes from within a collective community.
“I know they have a heart to serve; they joined this profession because they wanted to make a difference.” Tingirides continued, “I feel like I carry all of this and I constantly find myself, telling myself, ‘hey Emada, sit down. Take a pause.’”
Tingirides is healing multiple communities just with her presence as a Black Woman deputy chief. Her role, from surface value, serves as confirmation that the system in which everyone is governed can work if it is all-inclusive and represents the spectrum of the community.
Chief Deputy Tingirides finished her thoughts by saying, “We all have to be willing to sit at the table and have this discussion. When we are angry and we put up a wall, thinking one way is the only way we can’t move forward. So, we need to challenge each other’s thoughts and feelings and be willing to sit at the table and be open to make that change. “