In South L.A., a More Approachable Police Force Has Led to a Safer Community

An LAPD Commander Returned to the Area Where He Was Born to Help Officers Get to Know the Neighbors

Here’s one big lesson from the progress we’ve seen in South Los Angeles: effective policing requires building deep relationships and real personal connections with the people whom you’re charged with protecting.

When a police commander like me says something like this, sometimes skeptics will dismiss it as just political correctness or public relations or confusion about the difference between policing and social work. Those skeptics are wrong. Relationship building is an essential ingredient in the historic reductions in crime we’ve seen across the city, and especially in parts of South L.A. …

Why TV Moved Its Crime Bosses to Modesto and Oceanside

In Search of Grittier Settings, Hollywood Embraces California's Metropolitan Edges

At first glance, the setting for Hollywood’s newest gangland drama might be jarring: northern San Diego County, in the small city of Oceanside.

But you really shouldn’t be surprised, at least …

A Mass Murderer Is Testing the Limits of Scandinavian Goodwill

Norway’s Most Dangerous Man Is Back in the Spotlight, Leading Many to Wonder How Much Compassion He Deserves

For four days in March, I watched Norway’s national devil return to public view, in another installment of the courtroom drama familiarly titled Breivik v. State. Andres Behring Breivik, now …

Is Photography a Method of Social Control?

From Mug Shots to Crime Scene Photos, a New Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Explores How the Camera Casts Suspicion

Paris, 1888: An eccentric police officer named Alphonse Bertillon creates a new way of looking at criminals or suspected criminals. Law enforcement has already been dabbling with the relatively new …

I Could Never Talk to My Dad About How I Saved Him From Prison

He Never Told Me About His Shady Betting Ring, but I Covered His Tracks Anyway

I stood frozen with two of my sisters, Donna and Elaine, as we stared at the millions of pieces of little white paper that were lying in front of us …

What Are Three Teenagers Supposed to Do When the FBI Raids Their House?

The Wild Story of My Dad’s Mysterious Scraps of Paper, the Agents Who Wanted Them, and Our Race to Find Them First

A Rangers hockey game was on TV as I folded the warm pile of laundry splayed out on the couch. It was a brisk, fall Saturday afternoon in the suburban …