Police: An Optimist for Los Angeles

Chief William H. Parker was a crusty law-enforcement fundamentalist who spent 16 years building the Los Angeles Police Department into one of the best known, best paid and least corrupt in the U.S. There was a price though: a chilly distance between the cops and the slum Negroes that helped to start the 1965 Watts riots. When Parker died at 64 last July, Los Angeles set out to find a successor skilled in "community relations"—the art of enlisting citizens to help prevent crime, rather than relying on repression after it happens. Last...

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