Second in a series
In the midst of lauding former Chief Ted Cooke’s “amazingly visionary” education of the Culver City Police Dept. during his nearly 30-year reign, Allen Azran philosophized for a moment.
“Ted Cooke taught us, ‘Don’t do things just because you can,’” he said. “As a police officer, we have a tremendous amount of power. We have a tremendous amount of discretion.
“Just because you can impound somebody’s or just you can arrest somebody or just because you can issue someone a ticket, doesn’t make sense considering the circumstances. That was always taught to us.”
Mr. Azran, who retired last December as acting assistant police chief, said that a central lesson of the controversial Chief Cooke was “that we were not robots. We were allowed to use discretion.
“He was very strong. No doubt about that. But under Ted Cooke’s leadership, this police department grew from 50 or 60 officers to over 100. That was him recognizing what needed to be done in order to make this community safer.
“He had supportive elected officials who allowed the department to grow,” Mr. Azran said.
“Really, the foundation for where we are today is – and I know a lot of people don’t want to hear this – from Ted Cooke.”
(To be continued)