To get an idea of what kind of crimes have been committed during the past 50 years in the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) local patrol area, one might want to talk with Marlene Greenfield.
Greenfield is the “principal clerk police III” (records manager) at the LAPD Pacific Community Police Station, 12312 Culver Blvd., Del Rey area, where she is in charge of handling all of the police reports that come through the Pacific Area.
On Sunday, May 1st, Greenfield celebrated her 55th anniversary with the City of Los Angeles. She has been an employee of the LAPD since December 1951.
As the most senior civilian employee of the LAPD, Greenfield has seen many different generations of officers pass through the department.
“I’ve seen a lot of captains and chiefs come and go,” said Greenfield, a Los Angeles native and a Sherman Oaks resident.
“I’ve met and worked with a lot of nice people and I’ve seen a lot of people go up the line that deserved it.”
Although Greenfield was proud of her 55th anniversary as a city employee, she said the major milestone nearly slipped her mind until the Pacific Area staff gave her a surprise party.
“I was really surprised,” she said. “It was the first time they were able to fool me.”
Greenfield actually fooled many people by staying with the police department for more than half a century — a feat that has surprised even herself.
“I was one of those people who said they’d never be here ten years,” Greenfield said.
As records manager for the LAPD Pacific Area, Greenfield is in charge of a current staff of seven employees who handle all police reports that come through the station and ensure that police detectives and officers get a copy.
Another main responsibility for the records manager is record retention, in which old police records are kept in storage and may be researched.
Greenfield is also responsible for retaining supplies for the police station, including stationery, printer toner and paper, which she said is one of the most challenging aspects of her job.
She began her lengthy career with the LAPD as an intermediate clerk typist at City Hall.
Greenfield transferred to the former LAPD Venice Division in December 1967, when she became a principal clerk police records employee.
She worked at the former LAPD Venice Division on Venice Boulevard until the LAPD moved to the current Pacific Area station in 1974. In July 1984, Greenfield took over her current position of “Principal clerk police III.”
Before beginning her extensive civilian experience with the LAPD, Greenfield started her career with the city 55 years ago as a clerk-typist in the city street maintenance division.
When she became an employee of the LAPD, Greenfield said she was drawn to the position because she originally wanted to become a policewoman.
Greenfield and her staff have to sort through at least 50 to 100 police reports daily at the Pacific Community Police Station, she says.
The records unit handles reports related to homicides, burglaries, robberies, injuries and vehicle incidents.
After handling decades worth of police reports, Greenfield has read about all types of crimes, but the incidents that stand out most are the ones related to children and “anything involving any of our officers,” she said.
The staff of the Pacific Area police records unit has a “good rapport” with the police detectives and officers and they work well together, she said.
“It’s one happy family in this building,” she said.
Pacific Area Detective Charles Worthen, who has worked many years with Greenfield, said she provides a great deal of knowledge, intelligence and expertise to the department.
“The input she gives based on her experience really helps everybody,” he said. “She helps a tremendous amount of people with her wisdom.”
Greenfield’s role is essential to the department because police reports are the “foundation” and she ensures that the information in the police reports is correct before they are passed on, he said.
“That’s what her gift is,” Worthen said.
After spending more than 50 years of her life around police work, Greenfield said the part of her job she enjoys the most is “the different people I come into contact with” inside and outside of the Pacific Area station.
Greenfield is also involved in community and volunteer services, including the Los Angeles Marathon, the Jimmy Stewart Relay Races and the LAPD Baker-to-Vegas run.
She is also responsible for many charity contribution collections at Pacific Area, such as the American Cancer Society “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” program.
While Greenfield acknowledges that she will most likely work at the Pacific Area a “short time longer,” she said she will still continue to help out even when she leaves the longtime job.
“I don’t know that I want to give it all up,” she said.