The LAist Interview: Sister City's Chief William Parker
William H. Parker joined the LAPD on August 8, 1927. After serving 15 years with the Department, Captain Parker took a leave of absence to serve his country in Word War II. After the war, Captain Parker returned to the Department where he rapidly ascended through the ranks. He was appointed Chief of Police on August 9, 1950, and served as such until July 16, 1966, when he died as a result of a heart attack. Chief Parker is credited with bringing the LAPD to the forefront as a world renowned law enforcement agency.
His apparition, apparently, is now blogging at Mayor Sam's Sister City along with the very dead former mayor Sam Yorty.
Our former editor (and not at all dead), Tom Berman, came out of LAist retirement to conduct this interview with the expired police chief.
How did you get your start as a dead former police chief/blogger?
Initially it began writing letters to all my officers that worked vice, but that got cumbersome so I created a newsletter. Which was unusual for police chiefs back then, but I had to start communicating since I was in constant demand with almost every police chief looking into how I ran my department. The blog was the brainchild of Mayor Sam, he invited me to participate which I was more than honored to do.
Do you have to take great pains to maintain your anonymity?
Well there are those whose life mission is to out everyone of us, I don't think anyone can actually prove who is reall behind any of these blogs. It will always be a he said, she said type of allegation.
How much time do you and the other Sister City bloggers spend managing the blog's lively comments section?
One of the 3 main bloggers are always online about 16 hours of the day. Midnight to 7am we are asleep like many Angelinos.
One City Hall insider I know scoffs at the idea that your blog is influential - I quote: "It's just a bunch of CD14ers slinging crap at each other and no one in City Hall takes it seriously." How do you respond?
CNN just reported on our blog on Monday – has this unnamed City Hall observer even been on CNN? I think not.
What's your favorite building in L.A. - other than the one that's named after you?
City Hall - before the retro-fit.
Kevin Roderick is reading this interview. Anything you'd like to say to him?
I think Mayor Sam and Frank have some choice words for Kevin, but I've always gotten along with him. I'd like to think he'd say the same thing.
What's your favorite LA-themed movie?
Favorite LA-themed book?
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Larchmont Village is one of my favorite neighborhoods.
The Original Pantry
Lucy's El Adobe
Pacific Dining Car
La Gondolaria (Olvera Street)
Favorite place to get a quick meal near City Hall?
Malibu has a special place in my heart.
Do dead former police chiefs take the subway?
We do. But not often enough.
Do you think Mayor Villaraigosa can deliver on his promise to create a subway that extends all the way to the ocean?
If I recall correctly he always said he'd start the momentum during his term, but this is a 10-15 year campaign to see it complete. I think the Mayor can use his bully-pulpit to get the ball rolling, so 20 years from now you and I can thank Mayor Villaraigosa for having the vision to see into the future and get this project started.
Do you think any of the current members of the City Council will end up in Congress or some other higher office?
I think Padilla, Cardenas, Greuel, Garcetti and Weiss all have bright futures after their time in Council Chambers ends.
It's 4:30 PM on a Thursday, and you need to find a quick alternative to the clogged 405. What do you do?
Depends. Going from the Valley to the Westside --- I'd take Beverly Glen over the hill. For Westside internal traffic, I'd take any street down to Pico, to Motor, to Washington, to Overland, to my next destination.
What is the city's greatest secret?
The park on top of Muholland Blvd.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that you and Daryl Gates worked to cover up "the truth" about the RFK assassination at the Ambassador in '68. How do you respond to this allegation?
I have no comment - when Daryl Gates has passed away, I'll be happy to comment on it.
Where do you want to be when the Big One hits?
I am underground and dead already.