Officers of the Los Angeles Police Department’s 77th Street station buffed badges and shined shoes in preparation for their first divisional inspection in seven years Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports. The inspection came as the LAPD faced criticism for the recent videotaped beating of a car-theft suspect and as commanders sought to boost morale and keep officers focused on daily tasks. Most 77th officers chase radio calls in more casual short-sleeved blues or work as plain-clothes detectives. For them, inspection day meant pulling out uniforms they hadn’t worn in months or years. Many had spent the previous night shining shoes or dabbing brass polish on badges.
The 77th Street Division’s nearly 400 officers lead the city in violent-crime arrests. The division is down about 36 officers from last year. Police Chief William Bratton greeted each of the nearly 200 officers who stood at attention with guns across their chests. Then he gave a pep talk, urging officers to help pass a countywide proposition in November for a half-cent sales tax for police. Bratton called the measure “a once-in-a-generation possibility to make a difference in this city.”