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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said his office has been receiving piles of calls from law enforcement agencies throughout the country, all of whom want to know how the department overcame similar issues in the past.

Back in 1992, in the middle of the Rodney King riots, the city was set ablaze as protesters ran amok in many areas of the city.

In the years moving ahead, court-ordered reforms alongside a commitment to make things better provided the Los Angeles Police Department with a solid foundation to help change its ways.

The reforms were widespread, according to sources, and addressed everything from institutionalized racism to police brutality.  In 2001, the Department of Justice imposed a consent decree, which allowed them to have complete oversight of LAPD operations.

All in all, this turned out to be a good thing; it forced the department to shift toward a more community-based policing model.

Beck said that the past has taught them a lot of lessons about how to do things better; the LAPD has worked hard to learn from its mistakes.

When he first started, for example, the primary hiring model was to bring on white officers that were over a certain height.  Today there is a lot more diversity within the ranks, which has helped the department overcome it's prior hurdles.

It's also more reflective of the community it helps serve, he said.

Although the department was once seen as being an occupying army, the new perspective is that is more of a partner to the community.

Sure, there are still some challenges, as are expected within any law enforcement agencies, but today's hurdles are much smaller than those it faced in the past.

Read the full story here:  LAPD Chief has lessons to share about department's past 'ghosts'