The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is the police department of the city of Los Angeles, California. With over 9,600 sworn officers and 3,000 non-sworn staff, covering an area of with a population of more than 3.8 million people, it is the fifth largest law enforcement agency in the United States (behind the New York City Police Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation).
The LAPD has been heavily fictionalized in numerous movies and television shows throughout its history. The department has also been involved in a number of controversies, mostly involving racial animosity and police corruption.
The first specific Los Angeles police force
was founded in 1853 as the Los Angeles Rangers, a volunteer force that assisted the existing County forces. The Rangers were soon succeeded by the Los Angeles City Guards, another volunteer group. Neither force was particularly efficient and Los Angeles became known for its violence, gambling
LAPD also had the first SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team in the U.S. Officer John Nelson and inspector Daryl Gates created the program in 1965 to deal with threats from organized factions such as the Black Panther Party and other radical groups operating during that time. LAPD's SWAT team is considered by many in law enforcement to be one of the premier units of its kind.
Since the establishment of the Los Angeles Police Department, 199 officers have died in the line of duty. The Los Angeles Police Memorial is a monument outside Parker Center
, the LAPD's headquarters, and was unveiled on October 1
. The monument is a fountain made from black granite
, the base of which is inscribed with the names of the LAPD officers who have died while serving the City of Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners is a five-member body of appointed officials which oversees the LAPD. The board is responsible for setting policies for the department and overseeing the LAPD's overall management and operations. The Chief of Police reports to the board, but the rest of the department reports to the chief. The headquarters for the LAPD is the Parker Center, named after former chief William H. Parker. A new headquarters building is currently being constructed.
Office of Operations
The majority of the LAPD's 9800 officers are located within the Office of Operations, located in the Parker Center. An Assistant Chief commands the office, and reports directly to the Chief of Police. The LAPD is composed of 19 stations, known officially as "Areas" but also commonly referred to as "Divisions". The 19 stations are then grouped geographically into four command areas, each known as a "Bureau". There are two additional bureaus, the Detective Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau. Two more areas, "Olympic" and "Topanga", will be added in 2008.
The Detective Bureau
, which now reports directly to the Chief of Police, is responsible for investigating reported crimes. It consists of:
- Investigative Analysis Section
- Tactical Technology Unit
- Robbery-Homicide Division
- Commercial Crimes Division
- Detective Support and Vice Division
- Juvenile Division
- Narcotics Division
- Gang and Operations Support Division
- Real-Time Analysis and Critical Response Division
The computer statistics unit (COMPSTAT
), reports directly to the Chief of Detectives. The COMPSTAT
unit maintains statistical crime data and hold weekly meetings with the Chief of Police to review the data. COMPSTAT is the LAPD's version of the NYPD CompStat unit, which was originally developed in 1994 by current LAPD Chief William Bratton
, while he was still the NYPD Police Commissioner
. When Bratton became chief of the LAPD in 2002, he immediately implemented the COMPSTAT system in the LAPD.
Special Operations Bureau
The Special Operations Bureau
provides the Los Angeles Police Department specialized tactical resources in support of operations during daily field activities, unusual occurrences, and especially during serious disturbances and elevated terrorism threat conditions.
Structure of the Special Operations Bureau
The Central Bureau is responsible for downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, and is the most densely populated of the four patrol bureaus. It consists of five patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.
The Central Area
(#1) station serves the vast majority of downtown Los Angeles
, including Los Angeles City Hall
, the Los Angeles Convention Center
, the Staples Center
, the Fashion District
, and the Financial District
The Hollenbeck Area
(#4) community police station serves the easternmost portions of the city of Los Angeles
, including the communities of Boyle Heights
, Lincoln Heights
, and El Sereno
The Newton Area
(#13) serves part of downtown Los Angeles
, including part of the Fashion District
The Northeast Area
(#11) is responsible for parts of central Los Angeles including Elysian Park
) and Silver Lake
, along with the easternmost parts of Los Feliz
The Rampart Area
(#2) serves regions to the west and northwest of Downtown Los Angeles
including Echo Park
, all together designated as the Rampart Division's patrol area.
The South Bureau
oversees South Los Angeles
with the exception of Inglewood
, which are both separate cities that maintain their own law enforcement agencies (in Compton's case, a contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
). The South Bureau consists of four patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.
77th Street Division
The 77th Street Area
(#12) serves a portion of South Los Angeles
, roughly in an area south of Vernon Avenue, west of the Harbor Freeway
, north of Manchester Avenue
and points west to the city limits, including the Crenshaw
region. A section of South Central Los Angeles
that borders Florence, Central and Manchester Avenues to the Harbor Freeway
is also part of this division.
The Harbor Area
(#5) serves all of San Pedro
and the Harbor Gateway annex south of Artesia Boulevard. This division often works with the Port of Los Angeles Police
The Southeast Area
(#18), like the 77th Street Division, patrols a part of South Central Los Angeles
. Their area extends to the city limits north of Artesia Boulevard, includes Watts
, and areas south of Manchester Avenue
The Southwest Area
(#3) serves all of the city limits south of the Santa Monica Freeway, west of the Harbor Freeway, north of Vernon Avenue, and east of the Culver City
area. This section also includes the University of Southern California
and Exposition Park
The Valley Bureau is the largest of the four patrol bureaus in terms of size (about 221 square miles), and oversees operations within the San Fernando Valley
. It consists of seven patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.
The Mission Area
(#19) community police station began operations in May 2005. This was the first new station to be created in more than a quarter of a century. The Mission Area covers the eastern half of the old Devonshire and the western half of the Foothill divisions in the San Fernando Valley
, including Mission Hills
and Panorama City
The Devonshire Area
(#17) is responsible for parts of the San Fernando Valley
, including parts of Northridge
The Foothill Area
(#16) patrols parts of the San Fernando Valley
, including the Sun Valley
North Hollywood Division
The North Hollywood Area
(#15) is responsible for Studio City
and the North Hollywood region.
Van Nuys Division
The Van Nuys Area
(#9) serves the city of Van Nuys, California
West Valley Division
The West Valley Area
(#10) is responsible for parts of the San Fernando Valley
, including parts of Northridge and Reseda
, where it is based.
The Northwest (Topanga) Area
(#21) community police station is currently under construction and is due to be operational by October 2008. When opened, it will be responsible for parts of the San Fernando Valley
that are within the city's 3rd Council District (represented by former officer Dennis Zine
), including Woodland Hills
and Canoga Park
, where it will be based.
The West Bureau's
operations cover most of the well-known areas of Los Angeles, including Hollywood
, the Hollywood Hills
area, the UCLA
campus and Venice
. This does not include Beverly Hills
and Santa Monica
, which are separate from Los Angeles and maintain their own law enforcement agencies. The West Bureau consists of five patrol divisions and a traffic division, which handles traffic-related duties such as accident investigation and the issuing of citations/tickets.
The Hollywood Area
(#6) community police station serves the Hollywood
region, including the Hollywood Hills
, Hollywood Boulevard
and the Sunset Strip
The Wilshire Area
(#7) community police station serves the Mid-Wilshire
"Miracle Mile" region, including Koreatown
, and the Fairfax District
The Pacific Area
(#14) community police station serves the southern portion of West Los Angeles
, including Venice Beach
and Playa del Rey
. Some officers assigned to the Pacific Division are commonly assigned to work with the Los Angeles Airport Police
at the Los Angeles International Airport
West Los Angeles Division
The West Los Angeles Area
(#8) community police station serves the northern portion of the West Side
. Communities within its service area include Pacific Palisades
, West Los Angeles
and Cheviot Hills
and Twentieth Century Fox
are both located here.
The Mid-City (Olympic) Area
(#20) community police station is currently under construction and is due to be operational by November 2008, and will receive parts of the Hollywood, Rampart, and Wilshire divisions when opened. When opened, it will serve the Mid-City
region, including Koreatown
and a section of the Miracle Mile
The Real-Time Analysis & Critical Response Division
began operations in March 2006. It is composed of the Department Operations Section, which includes the Department Operations Center Unit, Department Operations Support Unit and the Incident Command Post Unit; Detective Support Section and the Crime Analysis Section.
Rank structure and insignia
Rank insignia for Lieutenant I through Chief are metal pins worn on the collars of the shirt and the shoulders of the jacket. Rank insignia for Police Officers/Detectives and Sergeant I and II are embroidered chevrons worn on the upper sleeves.
Tenured officers will have silver-gray hash-marks on the lower left side of their long-sleeved shirts. Each mark represents five years of service.
|Assistant Chief - Deputy Chief II
|Deputy Chief - Deputy Chief I
|Captain I/Captain II/Captain III
|Lieutenant I/Lieutenant II
|Police Officer III+1/Senior Lead Officer
|Police Officer III
|Police Officer II |
|Police Officer I |
Chiefs of Police
Since 1876, there have been 53 appointed chiefs of the Los Angeles Police Department. William H. Parker
was the longest serving police chief in Los Angeles Police Department history, serving for 16 years as chief.
The Los Angeles Police Department has long suffered from chronic underfunding and under-staffing.. In contrast to most large cities in the United States, Los Angeles has historically had one of the lowest ratios of police personnel to population served. The present Chief of Police, William J. Bratton
, has made enlarging the force one of his top priorities (Bratton has been quoted as saying, "You give me 4,000 more officers and I'll give you the safest city in the world"). The LAPD's own web site illustrates the challenges faced by the department. As a point of comparison, New York City
boasts one NYPD
officer for every 228 residents. Resulting disadvantages of such a large police force is that advancement within the NYPD is difficult and salary and benefits are severely limited. As of spring 2008, the LAPD was offering as much as $54,475-58,881 to new recruits. The NYPD offers new recruits substantially lower salaries compared to the LAPD, ranging from $35,881-$41,975. Further points of comparison include Chicago, which has a ratio of one officer per 216 citizens and Philadelphia, whose officer per citizen ratio is 1 to 219. By contrast, the Los Angeles Police Department protects its city with only one officer for every 426 residents. For Los Angeles to have the same ratio of officers as New York City, the LAPD would need to add nearly 17,000 officers. As of spring 2007, the department is in the middle of a massive recruiting effort, looking to hire an additional 1,500 police officers. They have used a high starting salary ($50,000+) as an incentive. One problem with such a drive is the lack of qualified candidates. Stringent hiring practices instituted by top LAPD brass (following several accusations of corrupt police officers, including the Rampart scandal
) has led to fewer than 1 in 10 initial applicants actually being hired. Also, the city has four specialized police agencies which are not directly affiliated with the LAPD: the Los Angeles Port Police
, the Los Angeles Airport Police
, the Los Angeles General Services Police
, and the Los Angeles School Police Department
During the Parker-Davis-Gates period, the LAPD was overwhelmingly white (80% in 1980), and much of it lived outside of the city. Simi Valley
, the Ventura County
suburb that later became infamous as the site of the state trial that immediately preceded the 1992 Los Angeles riots
, has long been home to a particularly large concentration of LAPD officers, almost all of them white. A 1994 ACLU
study of officer's home zip codes, concluded that over 80% of police officers lived outside city boundaries.
Hiring quotas began to change this during the 1980s, but it was not until the Christopher Commission reforms that substantial numbers of black, Hispanic, and Asian officers began to join the force. Minority officers can be found in both rank-and-file and leadership positions in virtually all divisions, and the LAPD is starting to reflect the general population.
The LAPD hired the first female police officer in the United States in 1910, Ms Alice Stebbins Wells. Since then, women have been a small, but growing part of the force. Up through the early 1970s, women were classified as "policewomen" on the LAPD. Through the 1950s, their duties generally consisted as working as matrons in the jail system, or dealing with troubled youths working in detective assignments. Rarely did they work any type of field assignment and they were not allowed to promote above the rank of sergeant. However, a lawsuit by a policewoman, Fanchon Blake, from the 1980s instituted court ordered mandates that the department begin actively hiring and promoting women police officers in its ranks. The department eliminated the rank of "Policeman" from new hires at that time along with the rank of "Policewoman." Anyone already in those positions were grandfathered in, but any new hires were classified instead as "Police Officers", which continues to this day.
In 2002, women made up 18.9% of the force. Women have made significant strides within the ranks of the department since the days of the Fanchon Blake lawsuit. The highest ranking woman in the department today is Assistant Chief Sharon Papa, who came to the LAPD as a Commander from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Transit Police Department in 1997. Chief Papa was the last Chief of Police from the MTA, and is now in charge of the Office of Support Services.
The LAPD also hired the first two known black police officers in the United States. In 1886, the department hired its first two African-American officers, Robert William Stewart and Roy Green.
According to the US Department of Justice, the LAPD was 82% male in 2000. Forty-six percent of the department was white, 33% of the department was Hispanic/Latino, 14% was African-American, and 7% was Asian.
The LAPD has a three-day 12-hour and 4 day-10 hour work week schedule. The department has over 250 types of job assignments, and each officer is eligible for such assignments after two years on patrol. LAPD patrol officers almost always work with a partner, unlike most suburban departments surrounding the city of Los Angeles
, in which many departments deploy officers in one-officer units in order to maximize police presence and to allow a smaller number of officers to patrol a larger area.
The department's training division has three facilities throughout the city, including Elysian Park, Ahmanson Recruit Training Center (Westchester), and the Edward Davis Training Center (Granada Hills).
Pay and benefits, however, are a plus to new LAPD officers, who are among some of the highest-paid police officers in the country. As of spring 2007, new recruits could earn money through sign on bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. Sign on bonuses are paid 1/2 after graduation from the academy, and 1/2 after completion of probation. Also, $2,000 could be added for out of town sign ons for housing arrangements.
The LAPD has vast resources, including the third largest civilian air force in the country. Only the Civil Air Patrol and Office of CBP Air & Marine command a larger force. The Los Angeles Police Air Support Division resources include 17 helicopters ranging from 4 Bell 206 Jet Rangers to 12 Eurocopter AS350-B2 AStars, and 1 Bell UH-1 Huey (No longer in service due to maintenance issues). The LAPD also has 1 Beechcraft Kingair A200 and 1 unspecified and undenied drone.
Main Airship missions are flown out of downtown's Piper Tech center at the Hooper Heliport, located outside of Union Station. The LAPD also houses air units at Van Nuys airport.
Before 1988, LAPD officers were armed with the Smith and Wesson Model 10 .38 Special revolver or the Model 36 "Chief's Special." In response to increasing firepower carried by criminals, including fully automatic weapons and assault rifles, LAPD patrol officers were issued Beretta 92FSs
. Later, officers were able to carry the Smith and Wesson 5906, a semi-automatic 9mm pistol, in addition to a few other approved weapons. In response to the North Hollywood Bank Robbery of 1997, LAPD officers had the option of carrying the Smith and Wesson Model 4506 & 4566 service pistols. Chambered in .45 ACP, these firearms provided the officer with more stopping power than the standard-issue 9MM cartridge.
Until 2002, LAPD officers standard issue pistol was the Beretta 92F. However, when William Bratton was appointed Chief of the LAPD, he allowed his officers to carry the Glock pistol, a weapon which the two previous departments he was chief at (NYPD and Boston PD) carried. New officers gradutaing from the LAPD academy are now issued the Glock 22 in .40 S&W. Officers now have the choice of carrying either the Glock 17 9mm, the Glock 22 or the Glock 21 in .45 ACP(only in SIS,the Special Investigation Section unit).
The LAPD SWAT team decided to go with the Kimber Custom II TLE in 2002, renaming it the Kimber LAPD SWAT Custom II TLE. Before that, LAPD SWAT carried modified Springfield or Colt 1911A1 pistols; all the 1911 handguns carried by LAPD SWAT are mounted with Sure-Fire 310R/610R flashlights.SWAT's primary weapons are the MP5 series submachine guns and most officers choose the fixed stock A2 model. For assistant weapons, officers carry AR15s and CAR-15s(they used Air Force model M16s in the 60's and 70's. In the 80's and early 90's they carried Colt RO727s and RO733s. In 2000 they imported the M4A1s. Now SWAT carry M4A1s and converted M16A2s. LAPD SWAT uses two shotguns, the Remington Model 870(mostly for non-combat usages) and the Benelli M1 Super90 Entry(for combat). All the weapons carried by SWAT are equipped with Sure-Fire flashlights.
In addition,the Remington M870 or Ithaca Model 37 12 gauge shotguns are carried in most patrol vehicles and qualified personnels may carry the Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in .223 cal which are military surplus rifles, introduced after the 1997 North Hollywood Bank Robbery shootout.
LAPD awards, commendations, citations and medals
The department presents a number of medals to its members for meritorious service. The medals that the LAPD awards to its officers are as follows:
The Los Angeles Police Department Medal of Valor is the highest law enforcement medal awarded to officers by the Los Angeles Police Department. The Medal of Valor is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of extraordinary bravery or heroism performed in the line of duty at extreme and life-threatening personal risk.
The Liberty Award, an award for bravery, was created in 1990 and has only been awarded once in the Department's history. It is a medal for police canines who are killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. The award is named after Liberty, a Metropolitan Division K-9 who was shot and killed in the line of duty. Liberty's handler received the Medal of Valor for the same incident.
- Police Medal for Heroism:
The Police Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for individual acts of heroism in the line of duty, though not above and beyond the call of duty, as is required for the Medal of Valor.
The Police Star is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for performing with exceptional judgment and/or utilizing skillful tactics in order to diffuse dangerous and stressful situations.
- Police Life-Saving Medal:
The Police Life-Saving Medal is an award for bravery, usually awarded to officers for taking action in order to rescue or attempt the rescue of either a fellow officer or any person from imminent danger.
Police Distinguished Service Medal
Police Meritorious Service Medal
Police Meritorious Achievement Medal
Police Commission Distinguished Service Medal
Community Policing Medal
Human Relations Medal
Police Commission Unit Citation
Police Meritorious Unit Citation
- 1984 Summer Olympics Ribbon:
Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1984 Summer Olympics from July 28 to August 12, 1984.
Given to LAPD officers who were used during the September 1987 pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II.
- 1992 Civil Disturbance Ribbon:
Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1992 Los Angeles riots from April 29 to May 4, 1992.
Given to any LAPD officer who saw service during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake from January 17 to January 18, 1994.
Annually awarded to the LAPD Reserve Officer of the Year
Riots of 1992
The riots of 1992 began after four LAPD officers were acquitted of charges that they used excessive force when arresting Rodney King
. Following the King incident, the Christopher Commission
was formed in July 1991. The attorney Warren Christopher
investigated the LAPD's hiring practices, as well as their handling of excessive force complaints.
Rampart scandal and consent decree
Following the Rampart Division C.R.A.S.H. scandal
of the late 1990s - early 2000s, the United States Department of Justice
entered into a consent decree with the LAPD regarding numerous civil rights violations. Mayor Richard J. Riordan
and the Los Angeles city council agreed to the terms of the decree on November 2, 2000. The federal judge formally entered the decree into law on June 15, 2001. The consent decree is legally binding and will last until at least 2009. However, if any judge finds the LAPD in violation of the decree, federal oversight of the LAPD could be extended beyond this current deadline.
The Rampart scandal mainly surrounded the unethical actions of members of the LAPD's anti-gang unit, Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH). By 2001, the resulting investigations would lead to more than 75 officers being investigated or charged and over 100 criminal cases being overturned due to perjury or other forms of misconduct
The DOJ-LAPD Consent Decree places emphasis on the following nine major areas:
- Management and supervisory measures to promote Civil Rights Integrity
- Critical incident procedures, documentation, investigation and review
- Management of Gang Units
- Management of Confidential Informants
- Program development for response to persons with mental illness
- Integrity Audits
- Operations of the Police Commission and Inspector General
- Community outreach and public information
The Consent Decree includes several recommendations from the Rampart Board of Inquiry, and several Consent Decree provisions mandate the Department to continue existing policies. Some of the more complex or major provisions in the Decree call for the following:
- Development of a Risk Management System
- Creation of a new division to investigate all Uses of Force formerly investigated by Robbery Homicide Division and Detective Headquarters Division
- Creation of a new division to conduct audits Department-wide
- Creation of a Field Data Capture System to track the race, ethnicity or national origin of the motorists and pedestrians stopped by the Department
- Creation of an Ethics Enforcement Section within the Internal Affairs Group
- Transfer of investigative authority to IAG of all serious personnel complaint investigations
- A nationwide study by an independent consultant of law enforcement agencies’ protocols for dealing with the mentally ill. The study will serve as the Department’s foundation for refining its own system.
- A study by an independent consultant of the Department’s training programs
- Creation of an informant manual and database
There are several stakeholders in the LAPD Consent Decree compliance process. At the Federal level, stakeholders include:
As the Consent Decree is a binding agreement between the City and the DOJ, the following City entities are key stakeholders:
- Office of the Mayor
- City Council
- Office of the City Attorney
- Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst
- Office of Administrative and Research Services
- The Los Angeles Police Department, including the Board of Police Commissioners and the Inspector General
The Consent Decree Bureau is the LAPD bureau charged with overseeing this process. Since 2003, The Commanding Officer of the Consent Decree Bureau, a civilian appointed by the Chief of Police, is Police Administrator Gerald L. Chaleff.
Other controversies include former detective Mark Fuhrman
's role in the Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman
murder investigation (1994), the controversy surrounding the arrest of Stanley Miller
(2004), the Rampart Scandal
-related Javier Ovando
incident (In which Ovando, an unarmed teenage gang member, was shot, paralyzed, and framed by officers Rafael Perez
and Nino Durden
and served 2 1/2 years of a 23 year sentence before being exonerated), and the LAPD's reaction to illegal immigrant rallies
(2007). In 1962, the controversial LAPD shooting of 7 unarmed members of the Nation of Islam
resulted in the death of Ronald Stokes, and led to protests of the LAPD led by Malcolm X
and the Nation of Islam. In 1972, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt
was framed by members of both the LAPD and FBI, and his conviction was overturned on appeal on February 18, 1999. In 1988, African-American baseball
sportscaster and retired Baseball Hall of Fame
player Joe Morgan
was detained at Los Angeles International Airport
by LAPD and L.A. Airport Police officers after falsely being identified as a drug dealer. He was released when the LAPD realized their mistake in identity. Morgan subsequently filed a civil suit against both the LAPD and the city after he was denied the opportunity to file a formal complaint against the LAPD. The lawsuit would eventually be settled in 1993, and Morgan was awarded $800,000 by the Los Angeles City Council.
The LAPD in popular media
Several prominent representations of the LAPD and its officers include Adam-12
, The Terminator
, Blue Thunder
, Die Hard
, the The Shield
, and the Lethal Weapon
and Rush Hour
film series. The television series LAPD: Life On the Beat
provided a more accurate depiction of the LAPD.
The independently iconic television series Dragnet, with LAPD Detective Joe Friday as the primary character, was the first major media representation of the department. Real LAPD operations inspired Jack Webb to create the series and close cooperation with department officers let him make it as realistic as possible, including authentic police equipment and sound recording on-site at the police station.
Due to Dragnet's popularity, LAPD chief Parker "became, after J. Edgar Hoover, the most well known and respected law enforcement official in the nation." In the 1960s, when the LAPD under Chief Thomas Reddin expanded its community relations division and began efforts to reach out to the black community, Dragnet followed suit with more emphasis on internal affairs and community policing than solving crimes, the show's previous mainstay.
It has also been the subject of several novels, probably the most famous of which is L.A. Confidential, a novel by James Ellroy that was made into a film of the same name. Both chronicled mass-murder and corruption inside and outside the force during the Parker era. Critic Roger Ebert indicates that the film's characters (from the 1950s) "represent the choices ahead for the LAPD": assisting Hollywood limelight, aggressive policing with relaxed ethics, and a "straight arrow" approach. A Native-American LAPD detective is also featured in the novel Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult.
L.A. Confidential is part of a modern trend of more negative portrayals of the department that started with the Rodney King beating and subsequent riots. There was, however, much tension in LA prior to the riots, as evidenced by songs such as Fuck Tha Police by rap group N.W.A. The Closer is a contemporary example of a neutral portrayal which has been missing in recent media coverage of the LAPD.
- Bentley, Brian (1997). One Time: The Story of a South Central Los Angeles Police Officer. Los Angeles:Cool Jack Publishing. ISBN 1-890632-00-7.
- Corwin, Miles (1997). The Killing Season . New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-684-80235-X.
- Corwin, Miles (2003). Homicide Special: A Year With the LAPD's Elite Detective Unit. New York: Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-6798-1.
- Domanick, Joe (1994). To Protect and to Serve: The LAPD's Century of War in the City of Dreams. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-9727625-5-8.
- Gates, Daryl F. (1992). Chief: My Life in the LAPD. New York: Bantam. ISBN 0-553-56205-3.
- Sjoquist, Art R. (1984). History of the Los Angeles Police Department. Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club.
- Starr, Kevin (2004). Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003. New York: Knopf.
- Stoker, Charles (1951). Thicker'n Thieves. Sutter.
- Wambaugh, Joseph (1973). The Onion Field. Delacorte.
- Webb, Jack (1958). The Badge: The Inside Story of One of America's Great Police Departments. New York: Prentice-Hall.