SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was warmly greeted by residents and Los Angeles Police Department officers at South Park Friday. He heard about how things have changed here since his office created the Community Safety Partnership Bureau one year ago when the city saw a major surge in crime.
Last July, the Community Safety Partnership Bureau brought the city's 10 CSP sites under a single command. The sites were selected in high-crime communities. CSP places specially trained and selected officers in a 5-year assignment in one place so they can become part of the community and develop relationships with the people they serve.
"So we know this isn't just good in terms of community relations, it's good for bringing crime down," said Mayor Garcetti. "Because when people trust the police when the police trust the people, that's the model we want to see."
The mayor's office says over the past year, violent crime has gone down by 10% across the CSP sites. At the South Park site, it has decreased by nearly 35%.
"Police officers want the same thing that the community wants," said Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, of the LAPD Commanding Officer CSP Bureau. "They want safety, everyone wants to be humanized, and understood, and that's what's most important about this program."
Residents work alongside officers to reduce crime by developing sports, recreation, and other programs as well as focusing on quality-of-life issues.
"It showed that all police officers are not bad, but most of all, we have a mutual understanding," said Ed Harris, a South LA resident.
Ed Harris, 52, told CBSLA Friday he is an ex-gang member and was once part of the problem. Now, he is working with the police to help the next generation in his community.
"For those who watched me grow up and seen the mistakes I've made, to give back and help the youth, it's a positive thing, but most of all it's beautiful," he said.
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