American Reporter Staff
Los Angeles, Calif.
March 20, 2001
SHEA HAILED BY L.A.P.D. CHIEF FOR 'COMMITMENT TO LEADERSHIP'
LOS ANGELES, March 20, 2001 -- In rare praise for any political candidate, the Los Angeles Police Dept. today officially commended American Reporter Editor-in-Chief Joe Shea, a candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles in the city's April 10 primary election, for his "commitment to leadership" in calling for other mayoral candidates to leave any decision on the future of Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks out of their political comments.
Noting that Shea has feuded with Chief Parks over a number of issues, including police deployments and the department's stance on some liquor license applications, a press release prepared by the department's Media Relations office quoted Shea at length and issued an official commendation.
"The Department commends Mr. Shea for his commitment to leadership on such a critical issue, an issue that is tantamount to the independence and efficacy of the Office of the Chief of Police. The Department urges all other candidates to follow the lead of Mr. Shea and address the matter at the appropriate time, in the appropriate forum. To do otherwise is not in the best interest of the Department and the people of the Los Angeles community."
The LAPD press release, prepared by Media Relations head Lt. Horace Frank and issued at noon on Tuesday, quoted a March 8, 2001, press release by Shea, reacting to comments by several candidates on whether or not they would renew the chief's contract after his current five-year term ends:
"Suddenly there is an incentive to undermine the chief, to make him look ineffective and damage the credibility and vitality of his office. That's why politics and police don't mix, and why the so-called 'leading' candidates ought to leave specific personnel issues out of their press releases and concentrate on telling us what they will do for the City they have almost brought to ruin."
Shea acknowledged that the LAPD does not endorse any political candidates, but noted, "This is awfully close. I am honored and very, very grateful for this recognition."
Shea said he had no idea the department planned to issue the statement, and had never discussed it with anyone there until an officer called him on Tuesday morning.
Shea's original press release was also posted on the popular LAPD site along with the Department's own.
Other than this publication, Los Angeles media ignored the department's commendation, however.