LASA Learns Public Safety

On November 12, LASA explored justice and public safety in LA via two thought-provoking field trips with law enforcement.

We met in the courtyard of the Huntington and boarded our bus to visit Pasadena police. Lt. Tracey Ibarra greeted us and Chief of Police Phillip Sanchez provided us with helpful thoughts on the education background his is looking for in his department, diversity in policing, and the critical role of community engagement. We passed around a (surprisingly heavy) body camera. For those students interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement, Lt. Ibarra acted as a terrific guide.

Then we went downstairs and met with members of Pasadena’s SWAT team. They explained the wide range of their work duties and we climbed on their vehicle and handled some of their (very heavy) gear. We jumped back on our bus as they headed out to protect Bruins at the football gate at the Rose Bowl later than day.

After a quick
(and delicious) lunch break at the Huntington’s new 1919 café, we boarded the bus and traveled through downtown to LAPD’s Rampart. Sergeant Juan Franco and Senior Lead Officer Victor Gutierrez talked about their career paths and their current work with the Community Relations Office. They conveyed the gravity of the importance of their work and weight they carry day-to-day as they approach every aspect of their jobs. We toured their space from the gym to the holding cells and walked away with a deeper understanding of the humanity of not only police work but of civic engagement more broadly.
We ended the LASA year with these two law enforcement visits and look forward to unpacking new issues and questions in 2017.