Ben Shofet, graphics editor
Lieutenant Lincoln Hoshino has been a field officer for the last 18 years of his career in the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD). For the past three years, Hoshino has acted as the BHPD’s media relations manager.
Highlights: Overall in the U.S., do you feel that police departments are harsher on racial minorities?
Lieutenant Lincoln Hoshino: Absolutely not. I don’t believe that police departments are harsher on certain racial minorities than others. It’s entirely dependent on the population that they police.
Highlights: Do you believe that the media has an impact on the general population’s perception of the police?
Hoshino: I believe it has tremendous weight with the community and I believe that news media outlets need to have responsible reporting and provide fair and balanced reports on these types of incidents. And I really believe it depends on what news media outlet you watch: whether or not the reporting is fair or balanced, and some of it is and some of it isn’t and I’m sure it’s skewed both ways.
Highlights: Has the BHPD’s relationship with the community changed as a result of these incidents across the nation?
Hoshino: I don’t believe that our relationship with our community has changed whatsoever. We run a clear and transparent department here and certainly the community wouldn’t stand for it and neither would we as a department.
Highlights: Can you explain, from a police officer’s perspective, what it takes to make that judgment call, whether to use force or not in certain situations?
Hoshino: It’s a part of the job, unfortunately, and sometimes we need to use force to take people into custody to do our job. Police officers in the field are reactive. And their reaction is based on what the suspect or the person that they’re dealing with does, when it comes to the use of force.
Highlights: How do you feel about the violent protesters in Baltimore?
Hoshino: Well, I don’t believe that violence is ever the answer to anything and when they speak of these rioters doing what they’re doing, I don’t believe that that’s a very constructive way of solving any problems. It just creates more problems.
Highlights: Have the citizens’ ability to record police on duty at all change the way the BHPD operates?
Hoshino: The role of social media to the police department does not change the way we do things. Everything is transparent. We are probably one of the first police agencies to have in-car videos in our police cars. So our officers are used to having that out there. You know social media is a part of society now and it’s a reality and we handle business the way we do, in a fair and professional manner, and there shouldn’t be any problems.
To read Highlights’ take on police brutality click here: https://beverlyhighlights.com/2015/05/03/beverly-students-opinions-on-police/