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 27, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Number Of Coronavirus Infected LAPD Officers Grows To 15
An additional six employees of the Los Angeles Police Department have tested positive for the novel coronavirus this week, bringing the number of cases within the agency up to 15 as of Thursday, March 26. Two of the latest cases of COVID-19 among LAPD staff were detected between Tuesday and Thursday, said Jessica Kellogg, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department. At least one was a civilian employee, but most were sworn members of the department. All 15 patients, as well as two others who work for the Los Angeles Fire Department, were placed under quarantine after exhibiting symptoms, Kellogg said. They were all in isolation in their homes and recovering as of Thursday afternoon. Details regarding where they had been stationed were not immediately available. “I haven’t received any negative reports,” said Kellogg. She declined to go into further detail, citing privacy concerns. 

Facing ‘New Era’, LAPD Working To Protect Homeless, Officers From COVID-19
As Southern California grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles police are working to address the needs of the city’s homeless population while finding ways to prevent their own from bringing the virus home to their loved ones. In an interview Thursday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said officers have been deployed to shelters citywide to ensure the safety of those currently experiencing homelessness. The plan is to have two LAPD officers at each shelter, along with officers supporting homeless outreach and mental health workers in the transportation of homeless people from various encampments across the city, Moore said. And while officers are well trained on protocols to safeguard themselves when dealing with unsanitary and dangerous conditions – including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) – Moore says the LAPD is adapting to what he called a “new era”. “This is a new era, not only for LAPD and for this region, but for the world with this pandemic,” he said. “And it’s an invisible type threat that is and has many unknowns.”

A New Beat For Police: Enforcing Social Distance
In New York City, they've started dismantling basketball hoops to prevent people from gathering in parks and playing. In Lakewood, New Jersey, police broke up a wedding being held in violation of a ban on large gatherings. And in Austin, Texas, officers are encouraging people to call a hotline to snitch on violators of the city's orders for people to stay home. Police departments are taking a lead role in enforcing social distancing guidelines that health officials say are critical to containing COVID-19. Along with park rangers, fire inspectors and other public servants, officers more accustomed to chasing suspects and solving crimes are spending these troubled days cajoling people to stay at least 6 feet apart. “We’re used to crowds, we’re used to lines, we’re used to being close together,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a briefing this week. “No more.”

Authorities Seek Public Help To Find Man Who Went Missing Near LAX Terminal 4
Authorities Thursday put out a call for public help to find a 40-year-old mentally disabled and diabetic Filipino citizen who went missing after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport nearly two weeks ago. Jaime Cagas Pagalan, 40, landed at LAX about 7:30 a.m. on March 13 and was last seen near Terminal 4, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Pagalan traveled unaccompanied from the Phillipines to San Francisco on an American Airlines flight, then took a connecting flight to Los Angeles, according to family friend Nick Benigno. He has been living in both the Philippines and the United States on a green card, Benigno said. Benigno said the airline was supposed to assist Pagalan from point A to point B, but American Airlines spokesman Curtis Blessing told City News Service, “We didn’t have a request on file for special assistance for that individual.”

Suspected DUI Driver Taken Into Custody After Pursuit Ends Near LAX
A suspected DUI driver was taken into custody after leading officers on a chase through Los Angeles. The pursuit began in Carson Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m. and ended at 4:15 p.m. on the 105 freeway near La Cienega Boulevard. Two sheriff's department cruisers were following the driver close behind, with the pursuit moving at relatively slow speed. The suspect is described as man driving a dark-colored van. SkyFOX overhead captured the suspect throwing peace signs out the car while driving. Law enforcement deployed spike strips which caused two of the tires to deflate. The suspect then got onto the 105 freeway and drove on four rims westbound on the Century (105) Freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard. The pursuit came to an end after the suspect crashed his car into a guardrail on the freeway. 

Search Underway For Inmate Who Walked Away From Halfway House
A felon serving a three-year sentence walked away without authorization Thursday from a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation re-entry program facility in Los Angeles. Officials realized about 6:30 p.m. that Jaron Brown, 35, had left the Male Community Reentry Program facility and an emergency search was conducted, local law enforcement agencies were notified and agents from the CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety were called in to locate and apprehend Brown, according to CDCR’s Terry Thornton. Brown, who was serving a three-year sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon, is black, 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds with brown eyes, brown hair and a goatee, Thornton said. Brown was transferred to the halfway house from Wasco State Prison on Feb. 11, and was expected to be released on probation in September.

Man Missing For Three Days After Telling Family He Was Headed To Mt. Baldy
A 72-year-old man who told his family he was going hiking Monday at Mt. Baldy has been missing ever since. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s health in locating Kwang Sun Kim, who last contacted his family at 8 a.m. Monday. A Los Angeles County resident, Kim is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. He has brown eyes and short black hair. Anyone with information about Kim’s whereabouts is asked to contact Det. T. Abraham at the LASD Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to report anonymously may call (800)-222-TIPS (8477).

L.A. Parking Restrictions Relaxed: What Is And Isn’t Being Enforced During City’s ‘Safer At Home’ Order
Los Angeles officials have relaxed a number of parking enforcement regulations through mid-April as the city deals with an ongoing public health emergency spurred by the novel coronavirus. The policies are aimed at helping Angelenos comply with the city and county’s “safer at home” order to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a Los Angeles Department of Transportation news release. The measures impact everything from residential street sweeping and gridlock zone parking restrictions to overnight parking and expired vehicle registrations. What isn’t temporarily being enforced: From March 16 through April 19, LADOT will not issue parking tickets for the following: residential street sweeping; rush-hour parking restrictions and non-metered time limits in commercial zones. The agency is also allowing an extended grace period for drop-offs and pick-ups. Additionally, abandoned and oversize vehicles won’t be ticketed or towed, and overnight parking restrictions won’t be enforced.

SoCal Strip Club Violates Emergency Order To Close, Checks Patron’s Temperature At Door
A strip club in the City of Industry has been brazenly violating strict orders to shut down and has instead remained in business while checking patron’s temperature at the door before they’re allowed in. A viewer tipped FOX 11 off that Bliss Showgirls in Industry was staying open for business despite state and county emergency order to close down as a nonessential business amidst the coronavirus pandemic. “We’ve received complaints on particular businesses that have not been adhering to social distancing, chief among them have been gun shops, night clubs, bars, and strip clubs, so we’ve fanned out and we’re making sure these businesses are complying,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. But as of this week, Bliss had not been complying. FOX 11 sent an undercover crew to the club on Friday and Saturday night, where our cameras captured patrons flocking to the business and a packed parking lot. The club has publicly stated they will not close.

Public Safety News

City Of LA Working With Local Manufacturers To Create Protective Gear For Essential Workers During Pandemic
Help is on the way for those in need of face masks due to a shortage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new partnership between the city and local manufactures to help produce five million non-medical masks. According to Garcetti, the goal of L.A. Protects is to create masks and protective gear which can be used by essential workers in grocery stores, non-medical staff in hospitals and medical patients. He says dozens of local manufactures and businesses have reached out to him and asked to help. Businesses in the fashion and garment industry are encouraged to sign up and help reach the goal of five million masks. “The masks that will be produced through this partnership are not N95 medical grade masks, but they are designed to meet the needs of other Angelenos on the front lines. From grocery clerks, non-medical staff in hospitals and others who are providing those essential services that we need to get through this,” Mayor Garcetti said during a press conference Thursday.

USNS Mercy Expected To Arrive In Los Angeles Friday To Help Hospitals During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy is on its way to Los Angeles to provide relief to the area's busy hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship departed Naval Station San Diego on Monday and is expected to arrive sometime Friday at the Port of Los Angeles. The ship will provide an extra 1,000 beds to help alleviate the shortage in Southland hospital space. The ship and its staff will not treat patients with the coronavirus but will offer a broad range of medical and surgical support, with the exceptions of obstetrics and pediatrics, said Real Adm. Timothy Weber, the commander of the Naval Medical Corps Pacific and director of the Medical Service Corps. The ship will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients admitted to shore-based hospitals and will provide a full spectrum of medical care including general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults.

L.A. County’s Coronavirus Cases Top 1,200 Amid Increase In Testing Capacity; 9 New Deaths Reported
Los Angeles County's novel coronavirus cases spiked to 1,216 Thursday as the nation's most populous county stepped up its testing for the respiratory illness that has killed 21 people countywide. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 421 new COVID-19 cases and nine coronavirus-related deaths in a news conference Thursday. One of the previously reported deaths is no longer being counted since the person is from another county, officials said. “Reporting these deaths are the absolute worst part of our day at DPH, but it can’t compare to the profound loss that is experienced by the family and friends of people who have passed," the department's director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. The cases reported Thursday are more than three times the 138 cases reported the day before. Ferrer said the surge in new cases mainly comes from a "huge" increase in testing capacity and from labs catching up on a backlog of tests. About 4,000 people were tested for the coronavirus or received the results of their tests on Wednesday alone, according to Ferrer.

How 1,000 People With Coronavirus In L.A. County Can Turn Into 1 Million In A Few Weeks
Los Angeles County on Thursday saw a spike in both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. Officials have expected the number of cases to increase as more testing became available, and that is occurring. The question is: How much longer will the case numbers explode so dramatically? Many of those now listed as being infected got sick before social distancing rules were imposed across California, so it’s still not fully clear how much the restrictions might slow the spread. The hope is that confined movements eventually will make a difference. Health officials on Thursday stressed how important social distancing is. “If there are 1,000 people who are positive and each one of those people infects two other people ... within a few weeks, there could be a million people infected in L.A. County,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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: