LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is preparing to roll out his first major initiative in office, expanding the use of the LAPD’s successful CompStat program, tracking progress on goals from pot hole to streetlight repair, on a computer system that residents can check.
The system, championed by former police chief Bill Bratton, was initially used to track crime patterns and move resources to neighborhoods where they are needed most.
Garcetti spoke to CBS2/KCAL9’s Dave Bryan at City Hall, where he championed expanding the program as a method to promote transparency and accountability within the local government.
“This is about making sure that the people of Los Angeles see what their government is doing, and that we collectively figure out what those goals are and move toward them,” Garcetti explained.
“What we want to know is what sort of impact we’re having. Is our money spent well? What is our long-term return on investment? …Are we doing things that save us money in long-term?” he said.
The mayor also addressed concerns he may be over-reaching with a program that is not yet advanced enough to measure such outcomes.
“…I refuse to believe that this is just about where there’s robberies and crime. The CompStat system has grown so much over the years that it is not just primarily about crime any more but about the management of our department,” he said.
Critics say Garcetti’s plan will pave the way to expand his control over city government. However, the mayor said his jurisdiction is clearly outlined in the city’s charter code.
“The voters of Los Angeles years ago changed the city charter to strengthen the mayor’s office,” he said.
“The charter calls my position the chief executive officer of the city. That is what I’m here to do. I’m going to lead. I’m going to make sure people are held accountable,” he said.
Two city council members said they like the idea of expanding the CompStat, although they say it will take more than numbers to fix problems.
“I think it’s a good idea in principle but we have to make it somewhat specific per department because everyone does not do the same thing. And I think what is important also is that you just don’t count numbers for numbers’ sake. The numbers have to be driven into what creates our ultimate goal,” L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks said.
“It’s a great idea,” L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield said. “We need to do everything we can to make this city more effective and using technology I think is the way that you can do more with less.”
“There is no big conflict out there right now,” Blumenfield continued. “The mayor has put out some good ideas. He and I are very much on the same page when it comes to technology issues, and we’re going to figure out the way to do it properly through the city process.”