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News Release

Friday, September 6, 2002

Media Relations

LAPD Officers Recognized by City Council


WHAT: LAPD Hazmat Officers to Receive Recognition

WHEN: Tuesday, September 10, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Los Angeles City Council Chamber
200 North Spring Street, Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Following the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hazardous Materials/Environmental Crimes Unit (Hazmat/ECU) responded to over 1500 unknown powder or substance requests for service. In responding to these incidents, an inordinate amount of time was expended, in attempting to determine the threat level, if any, at each incident. None of the calls for service were found to be real a biological threat. It was during one of these calls, that one the officers from the six-member unit felt there had to be a more efficient and effective way to determine what if any, threat existed.

One month later, with help from the University of Irvine School of Environmental Health and Mcbain Instruments in Chatsworth, the LAPD’s Hazmat/ECU developed the Rapid Threat Analysis Kit (RTAK). RTAK is designed to help technical responders quickly assess the nature of a suspicious/unknown substance as either being harmless, or a potential threat, by using analytical instrument and chemical indicators in the field.

On Wednesday, September 4, 2002, during the 13th Annual Continuing Challenge Hazmat Workshop-Conference, the LAPD Hazmat/ECU was awarded the Innovation and Technology Award for developing the RTAK.

On Tuesday, September 10, 2002, during the regular City Council meeting, the Los Angeles City Council will honor the Department’s Hazmat/ECU for their commitment to duty and innovation, as we move forward in our efforts to making the City safe.

For further information, contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586. This media advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee.