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

December 28, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Chief Michel Moore Seeks A Second Five-Year Term
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced Tuesday his interest in returning for a second five-year term, citing a desire to improve public safety and trust “utilizing the best practices of 21st century policing.” Whether Moore, 62, is retained is up to the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, whose five members were appointed by former Mayor Eric Garcetti. In a letter to the commission, Moore wrote that he wanted to continue building on work around “use of force, enhanced training and expanded transparency and accountability.” Such reforms were carried out against the backdrop of “uncharted territory encompassing the combination of a historic pandemic, severe staffing reductions, a resurgence of homicides and gun-related crimes and civil unrest,” he wrote. “While much has been accomplished, there remains more work to be done. It is my strong desire to continue leading this Department as it strives to reduce the incidence of violent crime, while working in partnership with the community and City family,” the letter read. Moore added that he wants to complete the modernization of the department's aging computer infrastructure, as well as oversee security preparations for the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympic Games. Los Angeles Times

Police Searching For Driver Who Hit And Killed Innocent Woman During Hyde Park Street Takeover
A grieving family is hoping someone will come forward with information after their loved one was fatally struck during a street takeover in Hyde Park on Christmas night - and the driver responsible has yet to be found. The woman, who was identified by family members as Elyzza Guajaca, was killed when a driver performing "donuts" near the intersection of Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard hit her while she was walking by, according to police. She was rushed to the hospital where she later died. Guajaca's brother spoke with Eyewitness News and confirmed his sister's death though he kindly asked for privacy. He created a GoFundMe to help his family. The GoFundMe describes Guajaca as "a beautiful sister who loved big." Police said the driver responsible took off on foot. A description of him or her was not immediately released. ABC 7

Reward Offered In Christmas Eve Hit-and-Run That Killed Mom Dropping Off Toys At Shelter
A Los Angeles woman killed on Christmas Eve by a hit-and-run driver while dropping off toys at a shelter was described by her niece as a selfless person. Trina Newman-Townsend was a community activist who “lived a li fe of humanitarian aid and social justice,” Maryann Payne-Benjamin told The Times. The GoFundMe page that Payne-Benjamin organized to raise money for her aunt's funeral said Newman-Townsend was devoted to “family, friends, foster children, or basically anyone that was in need.” The 62-year-old was crossing South Broadway near 88th Street on Sa turday afternoon, heading toward her parked car, when she was struck by a blue midsize sedan. The front passenger area of the car sustained “significant damage” in the collision, police said, and the driver fled. Newman-Townsend was pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department. There's a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the driver's identification, arrest and conviction, “or resolution by civil compromise” in this case. The reward is offered through Los Angeles' Hit-and-Run Reward Program Trust Fund established by the City Council in 2015. Los Angeles Times

South LA Pedestrian Hit And Killed By 2 Vehicles: LAPD
A man was killed after he was hit by two hit-and-run drivers in South Los Angeles, officials said. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department said the victim was walking outside a crosswalk around 10 p.m. Monday at the intersection of 50th and Alameda streets in South LA's Central-Alameda neighborhood when he was struck by the first vehicle. While the pedestrian was on the pavement, he was struck by a second vehicle. Authorities said neither driver stopped to help. At this stage of the investigation, descriptions of the suspects' vehicles are not available. The name of the victim has not been released. However, LAPD investigators believe he may have been an unsheltered resident. Anyone with information is asked to contact the LAPD. FOX 11

Authorities Seek Public's Help In Locating ID Theft Suspect
Authorities Tuesday sought the public's help locating a woman suspected of grand theft and identity theft. Andrea Jean Serrao, 44, was described by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department as being 5-feet-5-inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes and was last known to live in Long Beach. Sheriff's officials did not release specifics regarding the nature of her alleged crimes. Anyone with information regarding Serrao's whereabouts was encouraged to contact the LASD Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau Cyber Financial Crimes Team at 562-347-2674. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 800-222-8477. MyNewsLA

Enough Fentanyl Seized In California In 2022 To Kill All Of North America Twice
Law enforcement seized a staggering 28,765 pounds of fentanyl in California this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said Friday — enough to kill the entire population of North America twice. Seizures of the deadly opioid in California increased by nearly sixfold in 2022, illustrating the drug's alarming rise throughout the state as everyone from lawmakers to police agencies to local schools ramp up efforts to crack down. “The opioid crisis has touched every part of California, and our nation, this year,” Newsom said in a news release, announcing the seizures that were made by local and state law enforcement agencies with the assistance of the California National Guard. “As we mourn the many lives lost, California is working harder than ever to fight this crisis and protect people from these dangerous drugs to ensure our communities are kept safe in the first place.” Bay Area prosecutors say that the statewide surge in illicit fentanyl sales is also playing out locally. Mercury News

New Law Hopes To Prevent Fentanyl And Drug Overdose Deaths On California College Campuses A new law that takes effect Jan. 1, 2023 aims to reduce opioid-related overdoses and deaths at public colleges and universities in California. The Campus Opioid Safety Act Senate Bill 367 requires the California Department of Public Health to provide updated life-saving education and federally approved opioid overdose reversal medication – like Naloxone - at no cost. They say warning students and faculty could save lives. The CDPH highlights data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which shows nearly half or 46% of overdose deaths nationwide in 2021 could have been prevented with a bystander getting involved. According to the CDPH, when taken recreationally and without a doctor's recommendation, or when mixed with other drugs to increase its potency, fentanyl can often lead to fatal overdose. As 2022 comes to an end, the Drug Enforcement Administration is announcing the seizure of over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder this calendar year. NBC 4

New California Law Hopes To Limit Deaths From Street Takeovers, Reckless Drivers
Despite the rain, the candles flickered Tuesday at the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue in Hyde Park where 24-year-old Elyzza Guajaca lost her life. Police sayid Guajaca was killed and others were struck by a driver doing donuts at an illegal street takeover Christmas Night. To Carin Koeppel, "It's just devastating. I mean there is such an epidemic of reckless driving, street racing and takeovers." Koeppel knows the pain the family of Elyzza Guajaca is feeling. Her 16-year-old son Ryan was killed by a reckless driver in 2020. Ever since, she and her family have worked with legislators to create a new California law that goes into effect after the new year. "Ryan's Law essentially gives prosecutors and judges more power to be able to charge drivers who drive recklessly," said Koeppel. "They can now be charged with a felony."  FOX 11

Jaywalking To Be Decriminalized Starting Jan. 1
As of January 1, jaywalking will be decriminalized in California thanks to a new law signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. For nearly a century, the Golden State has had one of the strictest jaywalking laws in the nation, with many pedestrians being placed under arrest and fined for the infraction, sometimes worth up to $200. Now, Assembly Bill 2147, or the "Freedom to Walk" act, is designed to give pedestrians more flexibility while exhibiting careful judgment when crossing streets, as long as there's no immediate danger and the pedestrian isn't creating a hazard. The bill will prohibit officers from "stopping a pedestrian for specified traffic infractions unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of collision with a moving vehicle or other device moving exclusively by human power." CBS 2

After A Long Night Of Rescues, New York Deputies Reach Child Trapped In A Car
All night long, deputies with the Erie County Sheriff's Office were out in the blizzard, searching for motorists stranded in their vehicles. The worst conditions they faced were around Clarence and Grand Island, said Undersheriff William Cooley, which he called "our ground zero." Like most anyone who was hardy enough to attempt to drive, the deputies, even in their four-wheel drive patrol vehicles, were getting stuck. Saturday morning, the Sheriff's Office had seven of their vehicles out of service. But people were getting stranded all over northern and eastern Erie County, Cooley said. Overnight, some motorists who got stuck on Walden Avenue in Alden sought shelter at the Erie County Correctional Facility and spent the night in the unsecured areas. The jails prepared in advance for the storm, Cooley said. "We had good supplies, food, provisions and medicine," he said. The Buffalo News

Public Safety News

LA Logs Nearly 7,000 New COVID Cases Over Holiday Weekend
Los Angeles County reported nearly 7,000 new COVID-19 infections over the holiday weekend and Tuesday, along with 39 more virus-related deaths. The county Department of Public Health logged 3,257 infections on Saturday, 1,932 Sunday, 1,137 Monday and 668 Tuesday. The new cases gave the county an official total from throughout the pandemic of 3,622,250. Daily official case numbers are believed to be an undercount of actual infections, since many people rely on at-home tests without reporting the results, and many others don't test at all. The 39 new deaths reported from the four-day period lifted the county's cumulative death toll to 34,599. The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 14.5% as of Tuesday, up from 11.3% a week ago. MyNewsLA

Rain Falls Across Southern California, Prompts Warnings Against Ocean Swimming
With rain falling across the Southland, Los Angeles County health officials Tuesday issued their standard warning for people to avoid entering ocean water near discharging storm drains or rivers due to possible bacterial infection. The county Department of Public Health issued an ocean water quality rain advisory that will be in effect until at least 4:30 p.m. Friday. With more rain in the forecast this week, the advisory could be extended. Health officials noted that stormwater runoff that reaches the ocean can carry bacteria, chemicals, debris trash and other health hazards. People who come in contact with impacted water in the ocean could become ill, health officials said. Information on beach conditions is available online or by calling 800-525-5662. CBS 2

Omicron Boosters For The Youngest Children Are Here. Will They Make A Difference?
Updated COVID-19 booster shots are now available for the youngest children in California, a welcome development for officials hoping to augment vaccine coverage and head off a viral resurgence this winter. Availability and uptake, however, are two different things. And given the meager vaccination rate among youngsters under 5, as well as modest overall demand for the new bivalent doses, it remains to be seen whether this latest expansion of eligibility will significantly increase the number of shots given. A constraint at the outset is that most children in this age range have yet to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at all. “We're always concerned with lower vaccination rates among children,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, “in particular because, as we've seen, some children will still get severe illness.” Los Angeles Times


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: