The LAPD is a part of our life whether we know it or not. We see them at events, driving down the roads, giving tickets, confronting the homeless, and we count on them to help us if we were burgled or a victim of a crime. They are so much a part of our lives that we think that we know what they do in their daily lives.
Now I’m not an expert on law enforcement, but I work with them almost every day as a journalist and every day I learn more about them as I go about my job. Everything from thefts, bar fights, drugs, DUI; traffic tickets & accidents; and homeless encounters.
That seems to sum it up, but here in Sunland-Tujunga, the majority of the calls are for domestic disturbances. There are so many domestic violence calls that I never even cover them. I asked a few officers I know how they handle these. No officer can be really prepared for this. An officer that should have a PhD. In psychology. Nothing is ever cut and dry, and the officer has to make some quick decisions to calm the situation down without anyone getting hurt (or more hurt). You can’t take everyone to jail to cool them off. From the moment he/she first knocks on the door, the officer has to be really in tune to what is happening and not get personally involved, yet make fair discussions.
Our officers have so many different types of incidents that they have to cover every day that it is almost impossible to call them out. And they do it pretty well. Not only do they take care of the “bad guys” and handle traffic, but most of the time they’re “flowing with the tide” and helping smooth out that undercurrent of turmoil in our town that pits the haves against the have-nots. It’s a fine line and they have to navigate it carefully. After all, everyone has their individual rights, and our LAPD are to insure that no one violates them. So think about that the next time you see one go by in their police cruiser, they’re doing the best they can – for you.