The L.A. Police Protective League acknowledges "missteps" by the LAPD during the May 1 melee at MacArthur Park and yesterday proposed more and better training for offices and commanders — as well as for credentialed media. The union for rank-and-file officers also wants to put intelligence-gathering undercover cops in the crowd at major demonstrations, and hands out some blame. LAT, DN plus the whole release is after the jump.
Los Angeles, May 28, 2007The Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League today issued the following statement regarding ways in which the LAPD might improve training and command and control in the wake of the incident in MacArthur Park on May 1st.
“Training is the backbone of good police work. Constant, updated training ensures that officers know not only what to do, but can implement the Department’s policies, procedures and expectations for any given incident. The May 1 incident revealed the downside of the Department's cost-based decision over the past several years to abandon introductory training for new Metropolitan Division (Metro) officers, and to not train all officers for large tactical situations. Moving forward, the LAPD leadership also needs to evaluate the training of command staff to respond to large demonstrations.”
The LAPPL recommends that any command, control and training changes in the wake of the MacArthur Park incident should include the following:
· All new Metropolitan Division (Metro) officers attend “new person school” in their first deployment period assigned to Metro. Class size should be limited to 18 officers, the maximum number that can effectively be trained at one time.
· All Bureau-dedicated officers assigned to the Mobile Field Force (MFF) citywide should attend a Metro-coordinated MFF training class on a quarterly basis. Thereafter, Metro training cadre should conduct random realistic readiness audits of each Bureau MFF.
· A clear use-of-force policy regarding the use of batons in crowd control procedures needs to be reiterated as part of on-the-job training and disseminated to MFF officers during pre-event briefings.
· All Command officers should be required to attend a full day of crowd control management classes on a yearly basis.
· All LAPD officers deployed to a major crowd event should be allowed to carry on their person appropriate safety equipment, including helmet with face shield, batons and protective masks.
· Anytime LAPD officers are deployed to a major incident, undercover officers should be deployed into the crowdhowever, only for intelligence gathering purposes.
· Anytime undercover officers are deployed into the crowd for intelligence gathering purposes, an adequate number of high-ground officers should be utilized.
· Media procedures (consistent with the Crespo settlement) should be communicated to all officers assigned to an event during pre-event briefings.
· In order for media to be credentialed, members of the media should be required to attend a yearly LAPD media training where they will be informed of proper procedures concerning safe areas. The continued goal of the LAPD should be to provide full and safe access to events in the city.
· Officers authorized to use 37 millimeter (less lethal munitions) should receive quarterly or semi-annual training.
· Metro officers should continue to test and evaluate modernized protective equipment for crowd control purposes, to ensure that the Department is using the most effective equipment at all times.
· Officers assigned to reserve resources at a standby staging area during an event should not be re-assigned to non-event duties until after the event has concluded peacefully and the crowd has cleared.
Endorsing and implementing these measures will help to prevent the repetition of the kind of missteps that were made on May 1.