Bernard C. Parks

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Bernard C. Parks
Bernard C. Parks 2010.jpg
Parks in 2010
Member of the Los Angeles City Council from the 8th district
In office
July 1, 2003 – July 1, 2015
Preceded by Mark Ridley-Thomas
Succeeded by Marqueece Harris-Dawson
Personal details
Born (1943-12-07) December 7, 1943 (age 71)
Beaumont, Texas, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Bobbie Parks
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater Pepperdine University
University of Southern California
Occupation Police officer (LAPD)
Bernard C. Parks
Born (1943-12-07) December 7, 1943 (age 71)
Beaumont, Texas, U.S.
Police career
Department Los Angeles Police Department
Country United States
Years of service 1964 – 2002
Rank Sworn in as an Officer – 1965
Sergeant – 1969
Lieutenant – 1973
Captain – 1977
Commander – 1980
Deputy Chief – 1988
Asst. Chief – 1992
Deputy Chief – 1994
Chief of Police – 1997
Other work Los Angeles City Council

Bernard C. Parks (born December 7, 1943) is an American politician. He was a member of the Los Angeles City Council, representing the 8th District in South Los Angeles. He served as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from August 1997 to May 2002. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Personal life and education[edit]

Parks attended Los Angeles City College, received a bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University, and earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Tenure as LAPD Chief & Rampart Division scandal[edit]

Appointed chief of police on August 12, 1997, Parks oversaw a significant drop in violent crime throughout the city, and especially in South Central[citation needed]. However, during his tenure, the LAPD was rocked by a corruption and police brutality scandal involving the elite C.R.A.S.H. anti-gang unit of the Rampart Division in the overwhelmingly Latino Pico-Union and Westlake districts. The department was placed under a federal consent decree and there was concern that morale was low in the department[citation needed]. The Police Commission, under Commission President Rick J. Caruso did not recommend Parks for reappointment as police chief. Parks was succeeded as chief by William Bratton.

Los Angeles City Council[edit]

Parks capitalized on his popularity among South Los Angeles' black population to win the vacant seat on the Los Angeles City Council for Council District 8 representing South Los Angeles.[citation needed] Parks' most frequent media quarrels have been with his successor as police chief, William Bratton, due to their differing stances on LAPD policies.[citation needed]

Parks unsuccessfully ran for mayor in the 2005 elections, placing fourth in the primary. In 2008, Parks unsuccessfully sought to succeed Yvonne Brathwaite Burke on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, losing to Mark Ridley-Thomas in a runoff election.

Councilmember Parks sponsored a successful 2011 City Charter Amendment, Measure L. The Measure passed by 63 percent of the Los Angeles voters. This guarantees a minimum level of funding for Library services. By fiscal year, 2014-2015, the guaranteed percentage will be 0.0300% of "assessed value of all property in the City as assessed for City taxes." [1]

Term limits forced Parks out of the city council office in 2015. Marqueece Harris-Dawson won the District 8 election for the vacant seat, and replaced Parks on 1 July 2015. [2]


  1. ^ Los Angeles City Council File No. 10-1057: City Charter Amendment, Measure L
  2. ^ LA Times: "Marqueece Harris-Dawson takes office as councilman of L.A.'s 8th District", 1 July 2015.

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Bayan Lewis
Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department
1997 – 2002
Succeeded by
Martin H. Pomeroy
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Ridley-Thomas
Los Angeles City Councilmember,
8th district

July 1, 2003 – July 1, 2015
Succeeded by
Marqueece Harris-Dawson