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

April 22, 2020
Law Enforcement News

New Jersey Cops Save Fellow Officer After His Heart Stops From COVID-19 Complications
A police officer in Essex County diagnosed with coronavirus was taken by ambulance Tuesday morning to a local hospital after his heart stopped beating, authorities said. Glen Ridge Police Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts, 45, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was recovering at home when he was stricken, the police department said in a statement. “Glen Ridge officers responded to his aid and began life-saving measures along with our volunteer ambulance corps,” the statement said. “They were able to successfully transport him to Mountainside Hospital where he is receiving treatment,” police said. Roberts is one of several Glen Ridge police officers who have contracted the virus and are recovering at home, police said.

Georgia Officer Killed By Suspected DUI Driver Identified
His was the voice other officers wanted to hear when they needed help. Officer Christopher Eric Ewing was a hard worker, recently honored for saving someone’s life, according to the Smyrna Police Department. On Tuesday, Officer Ewing, an Air Force veteran, was remembered for his dedication to service. Ewing was killed in the line of duty when he was hit by a suspected drunk driver late Monday, according to police. Ewing was the first metro Atlanta officer killed this year in the line of duty. “As chief, I can tell you this hits home and it hurts,” Smyrna Police Chief Joseph Bennett said. “We are asking that you keep Officer Ewing’s family and his Smyrna police family in your thoughts and prayers as we try to cope with our loss.” Ewing, 34, was married and had three daughters, according to the police department.

LAPD Chief Seeks To Make Budget Cuts While Keeping Department Staffed
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that the department will continue to hire sworn officers as needed, although its civilian workforce could be affected due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We need to work within our budget, and we will, but make no mistake, in the next 12 months, we're going to hire 500 law enforcement officers to be members of this organization,'' Moore said. "The 'help wanted' ad is out, and we're hopeful people are going to come to us." LAPD attrition rates are about 4% per year, and the chief said new hires must be made to keep public safety services at their current levels. The police department has about 10,000 sworn officers. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced in his State of the City address Sunday that about 15,000 civilian workers throughout the city will need to take 26 days of furlough in the next fiscal year, beginning July 1, in order to help the city cut costs amid the crisis. Moore told the Board of Police Commissioners he is reviewing the mayor's proposed budget, which was released on Monday, but said he was appreciative the mayor said cutting public safety positions is not an option.

LAPD Will End Controversial Program That Aimed To Predict Where Crimes Would Occur
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced Tuesday that, in light of financial constraints caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the department would stop using a controversial program that predicts where property crimes could occur throughout the city. Critics say the predictive-policing program, called Pred-Pol, has led to heavier policing of minority neighborhoods. Moore has said in the past that he disagrees with the view that the program unfairly targets Latino and black neighborhoods. “That is a hard decision,” Moore said during a Police Commission meeting conducted remotely by Zoom. “It’s a strategy we used, but the cost projections of hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on that right now versus finding that money and directing that money to other more central activities is what I have to do.” Moore said he believed the underlying principles behind Pred-Pol were valid and that he’d be looking at other systems that crime analysts have to identify where crime is occurring.

Truck Driver Shot, Then Crashes In Reseda
A driver was taken to a trauma center late Monday night after he was shot, then crashed his pick-up truck into several other vehicles in Reseda. Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to the 6600 block of Chimineas Avenue at around 10:15 p.m. after a report of a crash. When they arrived, they found the pick-up and other smashed vehicles. The truck driver was still inside, suffering from a gunshot wound to his abdomen, said Detective John Dunlop. The injured man was taken to a hospital. Dunlop did not know the man’s condition, but said he was alive when he was taken to the trauma center, and scheduled to undergo surgery. Detectives were still piecing together information about the shooting Tuesday — no suspect was identified, and police were trying to determine where the shooting took place on Chimineas, or somewhere else.

Girl, 6, Missing From San Pedro For 10 Months
Southland residents Tuesday were urged to be on the lookout for a 6-year-old girl who has been missing from San Pedro for 10 months and who may be in the Los Angeles area with her mother. Talia Jones has been missing since June 17, 2019, and may be in the company of her mother, Melinda Davis, said Patti Davis of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “Her mother has been charged in a felony warrant,” Davis said. Jones is black, and has brown hair and eyes. When she went missing she was 3-feet-8 inches tall, weighed 45 pounds, and had a large gap in her two front teeth. Davis, 43, is black, 5-feet-1 inch tall, weighs 120 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 800-THE-LOST, or the Los Angeles Police Department at 213-928-8223.

LA City Attorney Alleges Company Made False Claims About Test Kits
The City Attorney's Office filed court papers Tuesday alleging a Santa Monica-based company offered at-home test kits for coronavirus that were not approved by the federal government and also made false claims about their effectiveness to induce more purchases. The still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against RootMD Inc. seeks a court order directing the company to stop its allegedly false advertising regarding the effectiveness of the kits, plus $2,500 in civil penalties for each alleged violation of the state Business and Professions Code. "In this public health emergency, consumers require and under California law are entitled to accurate, reliable, and truthful information about COVID-19, including its testing,'' the suit states.

Coronavirus Leads To ‘Alarming’ Drop In Child Abuse Reports; L.A. County Sheriff Plans Checks
On a typical day, up to 1,000 calls and reports of suspected child abuse and neglect flood into the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and Department of Children and Family Services. Eagle-eyed teachers, doctors, dentists, counselors, coaches — an army of mandated reporters across California — along with security guards, janitors and observant parents typically fill the hotline with reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. Those calls, investigators say, often save lives. But since the outbreak of the coronavirus has shuttered schools, curtailed medical visits and largely hidden the lives of children behind closed doors, the reports of suspected abuse have dropped by as much as 50%. The drop began almost immediately after California began its stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “We usually have a lot of eyes and ears out there making sure children are safe. But right now we don’t know what is happening behind closed doors,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva said Monday in an interview.

While You're Stuck At Home, One Group Has Been Busy: Car Thieves
Fewer Americans are driving right now -- and that means more cars are sitting idle in driveways and parking garages. And while we're tucked away in our homes, more of them are being stolen. Police in some major cities across the US are reporting upticks in car thefts since the start of the pandemic in mid-March, even while many other crimes have dipped in those same cities. New York Police Department data shows that reports of car thefts jumped 53% in the last 28 days -- from 303 over the same period in 2019 to 464 during the pandemic. Reports of other crimes, including rape and robbery, dropped during this time. In Seattle, police said the department received 300 auto theft reports in the last month, a 24% spike from the same time last year. CNN reached out to the NYPD and Seattle Police Department for comment on the disparity and is waiting to hear back. And while overall crime in Los Angeles is down, car thefts are up: The Los Angeles Police Department received 1,390 reports of stolen cars from March 15 to April 11 -- an 11.3% jump from just one month earlier, when 1,249 cars were stolen.

Public Safety News

Person Found Dead In Ashes Of Rubbish Fire In Downtown Los Angeles
A person was found dead Wednesday morning after firefighters extinguished a trash fire in downtown Los Angeles. Crews responded to the 2200 block of Eighth Street, near the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, about 1:10 a.m. and quickly extinguished a large trash fire, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Once the flames were out “a lifeless person beyond medical help” was found, Prange said. The age, gender and name of the victim were not disclosed. Investigations into the person’s death and the cause of the fire were underway.

Preliminary 3.7 Earthquake Strikes Near Inglewood, California
A preliminary 3.7 earthquake struck Wednesday in the View Park-Windsor Hills area just north of Inglewood. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake was reported at 12:03 a.m. Wednesday less than a mile south of unincorporated View Park-Windsor Hills, California. It was recorded at a depth of about 7 miles. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. While there are many variables involved, geologists say damage does not usually occur until the earthquake magnitude reaches somewhere above 4 or 5. USGS provides information about earthquakes by state and preparedness information, including helpful information for those in California.

Local Government News

LA Councilman Opens Mobile Program To Connect With Seniors During Pandemic
Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu announced a program on Tuesday that will connect volunteers with homebound older residents to help them cope through the coronavirus pandemic. Ryu's office is seeking volunteers interested in taking part in the Senior Outreach Program that will put them in touch with seniors in the Fourth Council District through an app managed by Mon Ami. “We will only get through this crisis by working together and finding creative ways to help our most vulnerable,” Ryu said. “Our seniors are vulnerable not just to COVID-19, but to social isolation and difficulty getting their basic needs. Through our Senior Outreach Program, we are calling seniors across Council District Four directly and connecting them with volunteers who can pick up a prescription, buy groceries, or check in with a friendly conversation.”

Your Guide To LA City Council’s Wednesday Emergency Meeting On Coronavirus Response
The Los Angeles City Council will be back in session Wednesday, April 22, to take up a proposed renters relief program, legislation aimed at prohibiting evictions during the COVID-19 crisis and other matters. The agenda for the meeting, to be held via teleconferencing, includes other items related to the city’s response to the public-health crisis. Regular meetings have been canceled as physical-distancing measures were put into place amid the coronavirus pandemic. As with two previous meetings in March, the 15-member council will use the teleconferencing application Zoom to patch in members. After initial problems with pranksters “bombing” the meeting with porn and partisan political messages, the city has worked to prevent such interruptions. Residents will be given time to offer live public comment. They can participate by calling (669) 900-6833, and dialing the meeting ID 459 499 150 and pressing #.

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: