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Willie L. Williams

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The Los Angeles Police Department said of Willie L. Williams, he “took the helm in June of 1992. Chief Williams was the 50th Chief of Police and the first African-American and the first Chief from outside the Department to assume command in more than four decades. With Chief Williams came a grant of $607,000 from the Department of Justice to make changes within the Department. These changes included rebuilding the patrol force, rejuvenating the Basic Car Plan, and restoring the public confidence in the police department.

In 1995 the Los Angeles Police Department began to upgrade its facilities. The year began with the opening of the Recruit Training Center in Westchester and by year’s end more than 1,000 recruits had passed through its portals. Also, the Department began to plan new police stations for North Hollywood, 77th Street, and Newton Street. These new stations were constructed and operational by 1997. These were the first new police stations in more than 20 years. In August of 1996, ground was broken for a new 44-acre Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (EVOC), in Granada Hills. This multipurpose training facility will combine vehicle, firearms, and tactical training for officers and recruits and is expected to be completed in 1998.

In May 1997 Chief Williams left the Department, and the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners appointed Assistant Chief Bayan Lewis as the interim Chief.

TAKING BACK OUR STREETS: Fighting Crime in America
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According to the Library Journal, “That Los Angeles police chief Williams is upbeat shines through everything he has to say about his four years' tenure in L.A., his service before that in Philadelphia, and the country's prospects for fighting urban crime. Only a hopeful, positive, and competent person would sign on for a police department and a city wracked by the Rodney King trial riots and the exodus of elected officials from the city. Even as Williams was uplifting and retraining his demoralized police and giving the public renewed confidence in them, his department has faced a whole series of new traumas: the second King trial and its threat of riot; the Reginald Denny trial; the earthquake; the Michael Jackson child molestation probe; the Heidi Fleiss prostitution.”

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