As young cops, the three finalists for chief of the Los Angeles Police Department were taught a harsh style of policing that emphasized crackdowns and arrests.
They have since disavowed that strategy, rising through the ranks of a department that has recast itself as a kinder, gentler LAPD. All three use similar catchphrases: building ties with residents, investing in youth sports and academic programs, assuring immigrants that the LAPD wants to help them, not deport them.
But for the official making the selection, Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is considering a run for president, each of the veteran cops brings political benefits.
Robert Arcos would be the first Latino police chief of a city that is nearly 50% Latino. Bill Scott, who left the LAPD to lead the troubled San Francisco Police Department, is African American and a familiar face in South Los Angeles.
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