Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to a graduating class of the Los Angeles Police Academy Friday morning in Elysian Valley for the first time since taking office, and used his speech to highlight ties between the police force and his goals for the city's economic growth.
"One of my primary goals as mayor is to create more jobs here in Los Angeles," he told them. "That can't happen without a strong police department."
He referenced community policing efforts in Hollywood, which he represented in City Council prior to becoming mayor, and urged the officers to embrace crime prevention efforts.
"A good police officer can apply the tactics that you have learned to suppress or deal with crime that has occurred. But a great police officer can help prevent and intervene and rehabilitate," he said. "You can play a role in making sure crimes don't happen in the first place."
Garcetti also spotlighted the diversity of the graduating class, which comprises 12 Hispanic, 11 white, three black, two Asian and one Filipino officers.
The mayor joined LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and Los Angeles World Airport Chief Patrick Gannon in inspecting the 28 graduates, two of whom will join the LAWA police department.
Beck also stressed the importance of community perception of the department's officers in his address to the recruits and their families.
"It's the only job in which the ends never justify the means," he said. "How you do things is more important than the result."
LAPD recruits spend 920 hours in training during a six-month period before joining the department. The academy celebrates several graduations each year.