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Cerritos Sheriff’s Station Recognized At Conference in Kenya, Africa

Pictured with Chief James Lopez is the Deputy Consulate General of Kenya Kevin Thuo

Pictured with Chief James Lopez is the Deputy Consulate General of Kenya Kevin Thuo



By Brian Hews

The Cerritos Sheriff’s Station has been recognized for its efforts this week at a worldwide conference of law enforcement officials that was held in Kenya, Africa.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s East Patrol Division Chief James Lopez traveled to the Altus Global Conference in Nairobi, Kenya where the South Los Angeles, Industry and Cerritos Sheriff’s Stations were saluted by the Altus Global Alliance.

The alliance consists of six academic centers and non-governmental organizations on five continents around the globe, which works in partnership with government institutions to strengthen the delivery of public safety and justice.

In Kenya, Chief Lopez introduced five principles that highlighted how “Public Trust Policing” is implemented by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Lopez said that those principles include: Develop Methods of Public Participation; Model the Department’s Core Values to the Public and the Police; Train and Support all Department Employees to be Leaders; Support College or University Achievement for all Law Enforcement Employees; and Transparency, Key to the Community’s Faith.

“I look forward to sharing ideas and learning from my colleagues throughout the world about effective ways to move Public Trust Policing to a higher level. Sheriff Baca believes that if we improve the public’s trust of the law enforcement profession, we will improve public safety,” said Chief Lopez.”

In addition, Chief Lopez made a presentation about South Los Angeles Station and their commitment to the community. Chief Lopez will be touring several Kenya National Police facilities to learn more about their law enforcement practices.

Police Stations Visitors Week (Police Week) is a unique global event organized by Altus to assess the quality of services delivered in the participating police departments, to identify some of the best practices in use by police, to strengthen the accountability of police to the local citizens whom they serve and to promote human rights standards.

The visitors use a special kit developed by Altus to guide their visit, following protocols that are the same around the world. These kits provided guidelines for how to conduct visits, and questions that were used to evaluate each station, based on their observations. These findings were calculated into scores via Altus’ global website, and overall station scores were determined using five basic categories: community orientation, physical conditions, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability, and detention conditions. Immediately after each visit, the visitors answered 20 questions about what they observed. The scores are based on visitors’ individual perceptions about the police stations. Expectations for police service vary across countries and within localities. As a result, the scores measure the extent to which visitors perceive the police in particular stations to be meeting or even exceeding local expectations in globally comparable areas of service.

“We describe our vision of public safety as Education Based Policing (EBP) because we closely communicate with the public and educate them on current crime trends and how they are instrumental in successful crime prevention. Our residents actively engage in our public safety vision and join us in our crime fighting efforts. We attribute all of our successes to the team effort of our entire community. We are very proud of the work we do, and this recognition is an accolade that all of our personnel and residents will hold in high esteem,” said Captain Keith E. Swensson, Station Commander, Cerritos Station.

“Cerritos Station was designed to provide true community policing, which is also why it is called the Cerritos Community Safety Center. We pride ourselves on having very little crime, and our residents consistently express their feelings of safety and service,” Swensson continued.

“All of the staff at Cerritos Station work closely with community members, and while we serve 49,000 residents, our station strives to maintain a small town feel whereby all residents feel comfortable contacting and working with us at all times,” said Swensson.

(Video Clip Provided By Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

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