(Part 5) LAPD Captain Ann Young: Closing out interview series with readers’ questions

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Affrodite: I have a few questions from facebook and twitter that I want to ask. I will say that the reaction was not so much about speaking to you in particular but it was the reputation of the LAPD of being such a.

Capt. Young: (finishing my sentence) A tough, abusive agency.

Let’s just put it out there, that’s really what comes to mind for many of us when we hear LAPD mentioned. The following questions were submitted via Twitter (@affrodite) and Facebook (Affrodite Sez).  I hope by reading Capt. Young’s responses that you’ll at least get a new perspective from a high ranking officer in the LAPD as opposed to our limited exposure (except for those of you living within Los Angeles).

Thank you, readers, for your questions.  Here’s what Capt. Young had to say in response…

Affrodite: Yes. Here’s the first question from Curtis Heggins on Facebook.

For a number of reasons, I feel that she is the first named to that position.  I can’t help but feel that she may be like that black cop in ‘Boyz in the Hood.’  The one that didn’t like himself and did things to his own to appease his fellow white cops.  She had to bow down to get there.  Being the first [when] LA is a deal making town.  It’s like what have you done for me lately?

My question would be- How will you change the relationship between Blacks and Browns and Blues in your district, and how can you as a role model bring out more trust on both sides?

Capt. Young: Curtis, that’s a lot you’re asking me. I think the race relations between the police department and the black and the browns has gotten better. Do we still have work to do? Yes, on both parts. I’m not one of those officers. I vaguely remember the “Boyz in the Hood” movie because I’m probably older than you are, Curtis, and I didn’t bow down to get to where I am, and if you think this has been an easy road for me, you’re sadly mistaken because even to this day I’m being challenged and questioned. ‘Well, did we make the right decision?’ ‘Does she make the right decisions?’ So it’s not easy. I don’t have a strong sponsor on the department. Every position that I’ve obtained is because has been because of myself and hard work and people- black, brown, white people that I have worked for that have recognized my talent. I have never worked with officers who mistreated other individuals because I guess they knew I wasn’t going to stand for it. So no [to answer the question simply]. We are getting better, but we still, the community and the police, have a long to go, but I think things have gotten a little better.

Affrodite: The next question is from Noel Williams on Twitter (@Newilli), and he has a couple of short questions.

Given the LAPD history in the black community, have you been received as a new beginning or something to appease the black community?

Capt. Young: Oh no! Honestly, when I was first made captain, I was working in the Valley. I wasn’t working in the black community, so they didn’t like move me to the black community because I was black. They kept me in the valley because they needed me there, too, because there’s not many black people that work in the Valley. So the Chief was spreading everybody out, but never just to appease the black community. I actually liked working in all the communities in Los Angeles because they’re all very different and unique…I stayed in the valley for almost 3 years.

Affrodite: Here’s the second question from Noel.

Besides the obvious hard work, do you feel your upward mobility in the LAPD is as a result of diversity efforts or in spite of those efforts?

Capt. Young: No…I mean as for me. I don’t know about other people and conversations they’ve had, but the chief spreads us all out because the city of Los Angeles is so diverse. We have the valley which is predominantly white, caucasian, but you do have black and brown people that live in the Valley and officers that work out there so [the Chief] tries to get black COs and hispanic COs just to get that diversity. Just like in Southborough right now, there aren’t any African-American captains. So, are they not doing a good job? Yes, they’re doing a good job down there.

Affrodite: My last question is one of my own for you. How has Chief Bratton resigning going? Have they replaced him?

Capt. Young: They haven’t yet. They’re going through a process and a lot of our deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs are applying along with outside department chiefs.

At the time of this interview, former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton’s successor had not been named.  The new chief is Charlie Beck (KTLA- “It’s official: Charlie Beck is LA’s new Police Chief“)

Affrodite: Was it something that was expected?

Capt. Young: I was surprised, actually. I think the department was surprised.

Affrodite: Because he went back to join a private security firm?

Capt. Young: Yes, he’s going back to New York, where he’s from. His father is very elderly, and he wants to go back home. He’s done a good job here as far as police department, crime, promotions, diversity, technology. He’s a very outside of the box thinker. Very transparent and [he] uses that word, but you have to be. The part I like about Chief Bratton is that, on issues, he was out there, up front immediately. If he wasn’t, one of the assistant chiefs or deputy chiefs in whatever bureau, they’re out there. They were addressing the community’s concerns, and I think that has helped a lot to keep some of the racial hot beds down because we’re out there. He encourages us as captains if something’s happening in your community you get out there. You get your officers out there talking about what they can talk about. Sometimes, investigations are confidential. You can’t say everything but you’re out there answering questions to the best of your ability.

Related Links

affrodite.netall Capt. Young interview posts

LAPD official websiteCaptain Ann E. Young (BIO)

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