Compton Police Department
Compton Residents Want Police Dept. Back
Not too long ago, Compton had its own police department of which the residents were proud. They are calling for it to be returned.
Sentinel Contributing Writer
Compton has often been associated with gangs and violence, and the current elected officials have been literally working 24/7 to rid the city of that dreadful image in order to make it a place that the residents will be proud of and be able to live in, in peace and safety. To that end, there is a massive drive to reinstall the city’s police–the Compton Police Department.
According to Dr. Willie Jones, the councilman of the 4th district, “We (the city of Compton) are having four town hall meetings this month, and the purpose of those meetings is for citizens’ input and to find out what’s going on.” Dr. Jones sounded very interested in having citizens’ input before he made his decision. “I like to make my decision based on what I understand the facts to be and what the people want, because this is a rather complex issue in terms of all the things we have to do–if that’s the way we’re going to go.” Dr. Jones promised that he will let the public know as soon as a decision is made based on what the residents want and what’s best for the city.
And it’s not a new thing. Some time ago, the city council passed a resolution authorizing a feasibility study to review alternatives for the delivery of future city police services. They named former Compton Police Chief Joseph Rouzan, Jr. to prepare the feasibility report outlining the issues related to city police operations. His qualifications for the job were impeccable and beyond question. At that time, Rouzan said, “It is about home rule and accountability, and having its own police department engenders a sense of pride and responsibility among the citizens.”
Not only was the policy study designed to see if it was/is possible and/or economically viable to re-establish the Compton Police Department but it also entertained the idea of a similar metropolitan-type law enforcement entity that would embody the needs of several organizations, including the Compton Unified School District, the Community College and any other such needs in addition to the city.
Not that the city was dissatisfied with the current arrangement, through which the Los Angeles County Sheriff provides its police services; the city felt that they would be better served with their own local police department. (Their mantra was/is, “God bless the child who has its own.”)
Prior to this resolution, there was a policy study done by the city, as a prelude to re-establishing the police department. At that time Mayor Eric Perrodin of Compton said, “I think a city like Compton is better off having its own police department because you have the opportunity of getting to know the officers on a daily basis. Whereas you have a contract agency like the sheriff’s department with deputies that don’t know the community and generally the ones in Compton have little experience on the street. And when they do get enough experience, they leave and never get a chance to cultivate those relationships, which is very important if you want to solve crime.”
The Mayor was not speaking in a vacuum; he is a former Compton police officer.