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LAPD chief Willie Williams wants to stay, but it could be a tough fight

December 11, 1996

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Despite criticism from the police union, charges he accepted free perks in Las Vegas and a rumored Clinton administration post, Police Chief Willie Williams wants to stay.

``It is with great pride, and your support, that I announce that I will soon be submitting my papers to seek a second term,″ Williams told 1,600 supporters at a breakfast meeting Tuesday.

But not everyone was cheering Williams’ bid for another five years.

``The most significant announcement at the breakfast for us was that he endorses a compressed work week schedule for the officers. As for the second thing, that’s up to the Police Commission,″ said Dennis Zine, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.

The officers’ union has long expressed unhappiness with Williams, the city’s first black police chief, since he replaced Chief Daryl F. Gates in 1992, saying he is an outsider and was slow to defend the department after it was called sloppy and corrupt during the O.J. Simpson trial.

The Police Commission also investigated charges that Williams accepted free hotel rooms and other perks on a Las Vegas vacation, and once asked a subordinate to solicit free theme park tickets. Williams denied the charge about the tickets and said he took free services in Las Vegas that were routinely offered to gamblers.

Supporters say the former Philadelphia police chief, brought in after the Rodney King beating and subsequent 1992 riots, has reduced crime and established a better relationship between officers and residents.

To keep his job, Williams must get the backing of a majority of the five-member Police Commission, or if the commission turns him down, 10 of 15 City Council members.

It has been reported that Williams was offered the No. 2 job in the office of federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey.

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