By 2008, Latinos made up 42percent of all sworn officers, up from 33 percent in 1999. The proportion of white officers fell from 47 percent to 37 percent.
The percentage of black officers dropped from 14 percent to 12 percent in that time, but the distribution of black officers has shifted toward longer years of service. They now account for 22 percent of officers with more than 10 years of service and more than 20 percent of the LAPD's captains.
"I think when you change the racial and ethnic face of the department ... what happens is you end up with a department that is not only reflective of an ethnically diverse city, but also one that is a lot more in tune with the ethnic population of a city like L.A.," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable.
"I think that makes a huge difference in terms of how officers approach policing and how the community, especially in South L.A., sees and interacts with the police."
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said he believes progress has been made and he'd like to "take his hat off to Chief Bratton" for improving the department's neighborhood policing and putting blacks in leadership positions.