The Los Angeles Police Academy Magnet Schools are the culmination of a long career of advocacy in education and law enforcement by the former president of the Los Angeles Board of Education, the late Roberta Weintraub.
In 1995, Weintraub was approached by then-mayor Richard Riordan, who was intrigued by an unconventional solution to expanding the police force that Weintraub presented in a voters’ forum. She proposed to start police magnet school programs across the city that would introduce young Angelenos to the characteristics and values of first responders and the role of police work in the community. The LA Police Academy Magnet Schools are a partnership with the LA Unified School District and the LAPD. For the next 28 years, the partnership worked to expand the program to serve all areas of LA and add middle schools to the offering. Currently, the magnet programs operate at ten LAUSD school sites.
In 2009, LAPAMS partnered with the LA Community College District to open the first Police Orientation Preparation Program in partnership with West LA College at the LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Center. High school graduates undergo two years of rigorous academic, pre-police service and physical training. This, to prepare them for a law enforcement and public safety career. Graduates receive a two-year associate degree and gain a direct pathway to joining the LAPD. In 2022, the program expanded to include a site at LA Valley College.
Thanks to POPP, the vision of Roberta Weintraub, and the work of countless others, hundreds of officers at a variety of California law enforcement agencies and around the country have been trained from a young age to understand the character, demands, and responsibilities of a life spent serving the community through law enforcement.