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 19, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Georgia Deputy Killed In Crash While Responding To Burglary
A Georgia sheriff’s deputy was killed early Wednesday when he crashed into a wall and was thrown from his patrol vehicle. Bibb County Deputy Kenterrous Taylor, 27, was responding to a burglary call at the time of the crash, according to the Bibb sheriff’s office. He wrecked about 1:30 a.m. near the intersection of Forsyth Road and Rivoli Drive. Authorities said Taylor struck a wall after losing control of his vehicle. The impact caused the cruiser to overturn, and Taylor was ejected, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The wreck remains under investigation. 

Texas Deputy Killed In Collision
A Travis County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a collision on RM 2244 early Wednesday, the sheriff’s office said. Senior Deputy Christopher Korzilius was driving an unmarked sheriff’s office vehicle, a Ford Escape, when his vehicle collided with another and rolled off the road, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. Austin-Travis County EMS medics responded around 6:50 a.m. to the 7700 block of RM 2244, which is near One World Theatre, west of Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360) near Weston Lane. Korzilius’ vehicle rolled over onto its roof, and he was pinned inside, medics said. The senior deputy was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

For Law Enforcement, A Shift In Focus And More Street Patrols Amid Coronavirus Fears
Los Angeles police Detective Brent Hopkins spends most of his days tracking down thieves who steal cars. It involves following up on leads, talking to victims and watching security camera footage. He and the other auto crimes detectives in his division have dozens of cases to investigate — burglars smashing into cars and stealing items, or taking off with the vehicle altogether. But this week, he’ll trade in his suit for his old uniform, along with many of his co-workers. The last time he wore his regularly was nine years ago as a patrol officer. “Thankfully it still fits,” he said. “Pulling that on, and sitting in a black-and-white again is going to be a very different feeling.” In the Los Angeles Police Department, hundreds of detectives are starting to deploy across the city as the department re-assigns them to help respond to public fear in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Arrests By LAPD And Sheriff’s Department Drop Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Los Angeles County’s two largest law enforcement agencies made significantly fewer arrests in recent weeks, reflecting the changing realities of policing amid the coronavirus outbreak. The Los Angeles Police Department made 14% fewer arrests during the first 15 days of March compared with the same period last year, according to the department. The LAPD recorded 2,944 arrests during that time, compared with 3,406 the previous year. The decline mirrors what has been happening at the the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced earlier this week that arrests by his deputies have plummeted from a daily average of 300 to 60. Arrest figures may continue to decline as the agencies adapt. As the response to the coronavirus outbreak intensified this week, both departments ordered officers to cite and release people as much as possible while still arresting violent offenders.

Dozens Of L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Employees Asked To Self-Quarantine Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Several dozen Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees — both deputies and civilian staff — were asked to self-quarantine in the last week after potentially being exposed to the novel coronavirus spreading in Southern California communities. The potential exposures occurred all over the sheriff’s department territory — officials confirmed deputies from its stations in Calabasas, Santa Clarita and Walnut were asked to stay home while they waited out the potential incubation period for the virus, about two weeks. At least one other deputy working the sheriff’s Transit Services Division — which patrols Metro’s light rail lines in all areas, except in the cities of L.A. and Long Beach — also was possibly exposed to the coronavirus. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Monday his department wasn’t straining yet, with few employees calling in sick at that time, even as he ordered more LASD detectives to help patrol the region’s grocery stores, malls and wholesale markets. But a quarantine crunch could be coming for Southern California’s law enforcement agencies soon.

L.A. County Urges Consumers To Report Price Gouging
Los Angeles County officials urged residents Wednesday to report price gouging — defined as more than a 10% increase — amid the coronavirus pandemic and said investigators have been checking and documenting pricing on essential goods. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas filed a motion to strengthen consumer protections and urged the public to be wary of scams designed to exploit their fears. It’ not immediately clear when the motion would be heard, as the Board of Supervisors has canceled its March 24 meeting “out of an abundance of caution.” “It is imperative that the county take all reasonable and necessary steps to protect consumers from price gouging during this emergency,” Ridley-Thomas said. Scams and gouging should be reported to the county’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, which Ridley-Thomas said would coordinate enforcement with the district attorney and attorney general.

Police Locate Missing Los Angeles Man Last Seen In Indio
A missing 26-year-old Los Angeles man with an underlying medical condition who was last seen in Indio was found safe Wednesday by Indio police. Indio police did not specify where or when Brian Topolinski was found. Topolinski’s disappearance had been considered by law enforcement as a critical missing person’s case. He suffers from an unspecified medical condition and was believed to not be taking any medications. Before his disappearance Topolinski had visited an Applebee’s restaurant in Indio, where he left behind his wallet and cellphone, according to police. Topolinski was released from the Indio jail on March 11 about 1 a.m., police said. The Indio Police Department did not reveal why he had been incarcerated. 

Public Safety News

Firefighters Knock Down Blaze Inside Downtown L.A. Building
A fire at a one-story commercial building in downtown Los Angeles was knocked down in 23 minutes by 41 firefighters Wednesday evening and an Los Angeles Fire Department arson unit was sent to the scene. The blaze inside the building at 436 S. Colyton St., between Alameda Street and Santa Fe Avenue, was reported at 6:36 p.m., said Margaret Stewart, an LAFD public information officer. The fire burned the building’s contents and part of the roof, Stewart continued. No injuries were reported.

190 Coronavirus Cases In LA County, With Increase Of 96 Cases In The Last 48 Hours
Public Health officials on Wednesday announced 46 new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, bringing the county's total up to 190 confirmed cases. On Tuesday, the county announced 50 new cases, meaning 96 new cases were reported in the last 48 hours. All confirmed cases are being isolated and their close contacts are being monitored. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said that they cannot stop the spread of the virus, so all the steps that are being taken, such as closing bars and other public establishments, are in order to help slow the spread. Ferrer reminded the public once again that the increased number of cases will continue to rise because healthcare workers now have the ability to test more individuals for COVID-19.

L.A. County Health Officials Say It’s Safe To Walk, Hike And Bike Outside Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Is it safe to walk, run, hike and bike outside? Is it recommended? Yes, say L.A. County Public Health officials. In fact, “take a walk” and “go for a hike” are at the top of the L.A. County Public Health Department’s “safe-to-do” list as the region’s fight against the coronavirus continues. And, a spokesman said, “Biking and running are great as long as not in a group where there is close contact.” But authorities have grown increasingly restrictive about other outdoor activities. Public Health officials caution parents against taking their children to playgrounds. And as measures to fight the virus multiply, many outdoor venues have closed.

As Coronavirus Spreads, California Puts National Guard On Alert And Asks Navy For Help
With coronavirus cases and deaths rising in California, state officials are racing to prepare hospitals for more patients while also tapping other resources including the National Guard and the U.S. Navy for a hospital boat. California has seen the number of confirmed cases continue to rise: at least 836 cases and 17 deaths as of Wednesday, compared with 157 cases and three deaths the week before. Nearly 12,000 people in the state are self-monitoring for symptoms. Gov. Gavin Newsom has put the California National Guard on “alert” as more and more counties order residents to stay in their homes and the hoarding of cleaning supplies, toilet paper and other essential goods continues to strip market shelves. Newsom’s order falls short of activating California’s National Guard force of roughly 22,000, and he emphasized that that the state often relies on the Guard’s assistance in times of disaster and crisis, especially in response to wildfires and earthquakes.

Local Government News

L.A. To Add 6,000 Shelter Beds For Homeless Angelenos In Hopes Of Slowing Virus’ Spread
Los Angeles will convert 42 of its recreation centers into temporary shelters for homeless residents, providing 6,000 new beds in an effort aimed at slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday. The city is looking in the initiative’s first phase to open 1,600 shelter beds at 13 recreation centers by Monday, with beds provided by the American Red Cross, Garcetti said. The initiative comes as an array of city buildings — libraries, aquatic centers, cultural facilities and even City Hall — remain closed to the public, part of the city’s effort to reduce the number of new infections. It would more than double the number of shelter beds available in Los Angeles, said Alex Comisar, a Garcetti spokesman. Garcetti said the move to repurpose dozens of recreation centers is needed because homeless residents are at greater risk during the pandemic.

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: