Sir Robert Peele wrote his nine Principles of Law Enforcement in 1829. To me, none of the nine ring more true than number seven:
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 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 incumbenton every citizen in the intent of the community welfare.
Since taking over as East Division Commander a few months ago, I have been so impressed by the level of community engagement throughout the division, from the council district offices, to the community watch groups, business associations and neighborhood associations, I feel a real sense of connectedness.
Our four council district offices, led by Councilwoman Pearce in District 2, Councilwoman Price in District 3, Councilman Supernaw in District 4, and Councilwoman Mungo in District 5, have welcomed me and wasted no time getting me up to speed on the pertinent issues facing their communities. I work with them on a regular basis and find they are very effective in communicating the needs of their constituents directly to the police department. The council offices’ direct connection with the other departments within the city puts them in a unique position to obtain quick results. I encourage residents who are not involved with their council offices to make that valuable connection. You can find your council district office on the City of Long Beach website (www.longbeach.gov) under the City Officials tab.
Another valuable connection I encourage residents to make is with one of their local community groups. There are dozens of community groups located in East Long Beach. Whether it is a neighborhood association, business association, community watch group or neighborhood coalition, getting involved and getting to know your neighbors is always productive and rewarding. I have attended numerous meetings and events hosted by these the East Long Beach groups. I have made new friends and formed relationships that help me better understand the needs of the community. Feel free to email the Long Beach Police Department’s East Patrol Division at LBPDEast@longbeach.gov to learn more about groups in your area.
East Long Beach’s collection of neighborhood groups focus on a variety of issues. One common issue is the challenge of how to relate to individuals who are experiencing homelessness. East Long Beach is filled with compassionate people who want to help others while also keeping their families safe and neighborhoods clean. During this holiday season of giving, please think about giving a “hand up” instead of a “hand out.” Our city has an interdepartmental team that is recognized as being on the cutting edge for finding long-term solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness. Please consider donating to one of several worthwhile organizations who are working to help the homeless as opposed to handing out money to individuals on the street. One such organization is the Long Beach Police Foundation’s Quality-of-Life Program, which can be found at https://lbpolicefoundation.org/quality-of-life/. Your donation will be directed toward finding lasting solutions as opposed to prolonging an individual’s ability to live on the street without accepting the assistance offered by local shelters.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in East Division a happy holiday and to thank all of you who are involved in your neighborhoods for your efforts. I truly believe the way to maintain a successful police department is through the support and involvement of the community and East Long Beach should be proud of their very active and connected community. Thank you for your warm welcome and have a happy and safe holiday.
Commander Patrick O’Dowd
Long Beach Police Department, East Division