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Occupy L.A.: Police Chief Charlie Beck is relieved, satisfied

November 30, 2011 |  1:21 am

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck took in the scene of hundreds of his officers lining the City Hall lawn early Wednesday with a look of clear satisfaction and relief on his face.

"That was the hardest part," he said of the rush of officers into the park.

"That first contact, you learn if your officers are going to break ranks and if people are going to get physical," he said. "It went as well as we could have expected."

LIVE VIDEO: Occupy L.A.

In a matter of minutes, officers poured out of City Hall and rushed in from the east and west. They established control of the park, essentially dividing it into several smaller sections.

It was a deft tactic, one that was a stark departure from old LAPD crowd-control techniques, Beck said.

In years past, a single skirmish line would have tried to sweep through the park, pushing people out, he said.

PHOTOS: Occupy L.A.

This new approach prevented protesters from joining together in a single group and allowed police to clear the park piece by piece.

RELATED:

LAPD traps hundreds of protesters in camp

Confrontation occurs on Broadway at 1st Street

Some protesters prepare for tear gas, others leave

 -- Joel Rubin

Photo: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck watches officers assemble Tuesday before they boarded buses at Dodger Stadium.

Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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