Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

March 18, 2020
Law Enforcement News

LA Police And Fire Chiefs Say They’re Prepared To Respond During Coronavirus Outbreak
The chiefs of Los Angeles’ fire and police departments and other emergency management officials assured the City Council Tuesday that they’re prepared to respond in the midst of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. “What we ask for is people to continue to operate as good community members,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said, adding that the LAPD is monitoring instances of violence or people trying to create turmoil — though he said crime statistics are continuing to fall. Moore said LAPD operations will be limited to personnel for essential operations, and there will be signage on doors at the police stations to direct people to officers. Moore said officers will also monitor pickup-and-go locations for food from the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Coronavirus Threatens To Thin The Ranks Of Police And Firefighters On The Front Lines
As the coronavirus outbreak ravaged a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash, it also hit the local fire department hard. No firefighters tested positive for the virus. But nearly a third of the 95-member department had to go into quarantine after coming to the aid of coronavirus patients. Faced with an escalating number of infected people, police and fire departments can quickly become overwhelmed as more first responders are taken out of commission, creating staffing nightmares. Masks and other protective equipment are in short supply worldwide and could potentially run out as first responders care for patients and then need a new set. The toll is starting to be felt in Los Angeles County, with more than 140 confirmed coronavirus cases and more announced each day. Six L.A. firefighters, three L.A. County sheriff’s deputies and several L.A. County firefighters were quarantining themselves at home after assisting coronavirus patients. An LAPD supervisor in the Pacific Division tested positive for the virus but is expected to fully recover.

Man Allegedly Pulled From Vehicle And Shot To Death In Boyle Heights
A man his late 20s was pulled out of his vehicle and shot to death Tuesday in Boyle Heights, police said. Los Angeles Police Department officers headed to Grande Vista Avenue and Seventh Street to investigate an assault with a deadly weapon call just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Officer J. Chaves. Responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene, an LAPD spokesperson said. The suspect, who police say fired multiple shots at the victim, is believed to be a man.

Attacker Sought After Fatally Shooting Woman In Woodland Hills
A shooting at a Woodland Hills residence Thursday left a woman dead and a man critically wounded, and police were looking for the suspect in the crime. Afsaneh Bakhtiari, 59, of Woodland Hills died at the scene of the shooting that occurred about 1 a.m. in the 23100 block of Gainford Street, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department. The man, in his 50s, was taken to a hospital in critical condition, according to the police, who declined to confirm reports from the scene that the victims were a married couple. A description of the shooter was not immediately available. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Trials In L.A. Are On Pause, But Some ‘Essential’ Court Proceedings Will Continue: ‘It’s Unprecedented’
In an unprecedented move, nearly all trials in Los Angeles County will be on hold for at least a month, but a broad swath of services will still be accessible to the public when courthouses reopen Friday, raising concerns about safety measures. In an order filed Tuesday, Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile said several “essential functions” will continue to be processed, including civil and family restraining orders, emergency petitions for temporary conservatorships and guardianships, arraignments, search warrants, preliminary hearings, bail and bond processing, grand jury indictments and criminal jury trials where there is no agreement to delay the case. Brazile’s order appeared to be a compromise between limiting the number of people in courthouses — no jurors or prospective jurors were to report to any of the county courthouses until at least April 16 — while maintaining core functions of the legal system. “This order will allow us to comply with social distancing and to prevent the spread of the virus within our community,” Brazile said in the statement.

Coronavirus Leads Some Southern California Police Stations To Close Doors To Public
Police departments throughout Southern California are making changes to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, including closing their station doors and encouraging online requests for service. While many say they will keep responding in person to crimes in progress, agencies are encouraging those who can report less urgent matters or service requests to do so by phone or online. “So we’re still providing the service. We’re just adapting new ways to do them … and trying to limit unnecessary contact,” said Fullerton police Sgt. Eric Bridges. Starting Tuesday, March 17, the Fullerton Police Department’s front desk was closed. “It will be staffed to take phone calls but not public contact.” Across the region, police agencies are closing their doors and pushing for alternative ways to work with the public — from Corona to Fontana and to the Los Angeles Police Department — all in an effort to slow the spread of the fast-moving COVID-19.

Concerns Over COVID-19 Prompt San Diego Police To Issue Protective Gear, Limit Interactions With The Public
In the face of COVID-19, the San Diego Police Department has shuttered lobbies at all of its stations across the city and made kits with protective gear for patrol officers. Other law enforcement departments across the county took similar actions. Some are trying to limit interactions with the public whenever possible, too. San Diego police officers were advised Monday in a department-wide memo to use the kits — which include a face mask, a pair of gloves and goggles — if they respond to a call that involves a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a symptomatic person, police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said. “Ultimately, each officer has to determine if the situation they are facing dictates use of the equipment,” the lieutenant said. Not enough kits were available to issue to every patrol officer, so the plan was to make the gear available at the start of their shifts on a rotating basis. Takeuchi said there were enough kits for all officers on duty during each patrol shift.

Public Safety News

Fire Breaks Out At Pacoima Homeless Camp
A large fire broke out in a homeless encampment off the 118 Freeway in Pacoima Wednesday morning. The blaze was reported around 6:20 a.m. off the westbound 118 Freeway and San Fernando Road, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. No structures were threatened and there were no immediate reports of injuries, the fire department said. Crews were struggling to get water access to the area due to the fire’s proximity to the freeway. Traffic on the freeway was affected and drivers were advised to avoid the area.

144 Coronavirus Cases In LA County After 50 New Cases Reported Tuesday
Health officials Tuesday announced 50 new cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County, bringing the county's total up to 144. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer reminded the public that the increased number of cases will continue to rise because healthcare workers now have the ability to test more individuals for COVID-19. Ferrer said that the increased number in cases should not be seen as a failure of social distancing measures, such as the closures of bars and gyms. "If you look across the world, it generally takes three to four weeks to see the fruits of our labors," she said. Ferrer said that most of the 50 new cases are still being investigated to determine sources of exposure. Three of the new cases were reported earlier in the day by officials in Long Beach, she said. "If you can stay home and isolate, please do so," Ferrer urged the public.

LA City Officials: Tap Water Still Safe To Drink, Even As Coronavirus Spreads
Those who live in the city of Los Angeles don’t need to stockpile bottled water in the midst of growing fears about the spread of COVID-19, city officials have urged. The L.A. Department of Water and Power reminded residents Thursday that their tap water is safe to drink, even as the coronavirus spreads. “There is no threat to your public drinking water supply and no need to use bottled water,” the department said in a statement. “LADWP’s treatment processes are specifically designed to protect the public from all viruses and harmful bacteria.” L.A. water goes through several treatments before reaching customers’ taps, including filtration, ultraviolet light, and chlorine disinfection, according to the statement.

Fire Crews In Southern California Taking Extra Steps To Limit Coronavirus Spread
Fire crews across Southern California have begun taking special safety precautions in the field during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, meaning some could arrive to emergency calls dressed in masks, gowns, gloves and goggles. Some officials, like those with the Redlands Fire Department, asked residents not to be alarmed if they see firefighters arriving in gear that makes them appear to be working a hazmat situation. “Please know we are doing everything we can to protect you and your loved ones as well as our own,” the department told residents and social media followers. Departments around the Southland have implemented steps to ensure both patients and firefighters limit the spread of coronavirus during medical calls, officials said.

Local Government News

Garcetti Says No Plan to Lockdown City, Announces Small Business Loan Program
Los  Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday "there is no plan to lock down this city," because of the coronavirus outbreak. "We ask all of you to lock down your life as much as possible," Garcetti said. Several Bay Area counties were placed on lockdown earlier this week but Los Angeles hasn't reached the point where it needs to completely shelter in place, Garcetti said.

L.A. Department Heads Outline Plans, Problems During Coronavirus Outbreak
The heads of several key Los Angeles departments updated the City Council today on their plans of operation and problems they’ve incurred since the outbreak of coronavirus. Justin Erbacci, the interim director of Los Angeles World Airports, said there have been some airport employees, including an airport police officer and construction workers, who contracted COVID-19. “We continue to take action in the airports to make sure the airports are clean and safe for guests and employees,” Erbacci said. “We’ve deployed additional hand sanitizers in the airports” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are screening people at the airport who have flown in from China, Iran and Europe, Erbacci said, and there has been a 50% decrease of passengers traveling from those areas. Some airlines have announced a reduction of half their flights, with many international flights being canceled, he said.

L.A. City Councilwoman Calls For Halting Street Vending, Emergency Assistance For Families During Coronavirus Pandemic
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez on Tuesday introduced legislation to address the coronavirus pandemic that includes halting street vending and emergency assistance for families and businesses. Her package also includes economic relief for restaurants and additional hand sanitizing stations at bus stops. The moratorium on street vending calls for the Los Angeles Police Department to enforce the health code in an effort to “reduce the risk of exposure and mitigate the spread of the virus,” according to a news release from the councilwoman, who represents the council’s 7th District that covers areas of the San Fernando Valley. Rodriguez is also calling for creating a financial assistance program through Dec. 31 for residents and businesses in her district. The funds for folks experiencing economic hardships due to the coronavirus can be used to pay bills, buy food and cover other expenses, the councilwoman said.

About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: