Los Angeles Police Commission Makes Key Policy Decisions at First Meeting of the New Year

January 7, 2003

"Los Angeles Police Commission Makes Key Policy Decisions at First Meeting of the New Year"
Los Angeles: Today, at a meeting marking its first of the New Year, the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, headed by its President, Rick Caruso, issued a series of key policymaking decisions, setting the tone for the way the Department will conduct its affairs in the future.
In their first order of business, the Board of Police Commissioners adopted the Department’s recommended changes to the pursuit policy.
On June 1, 2002, a young child was tragically killed as she stood on the sidewalk with her mother in Central Area. Her death occurred when a suspect, being pursued by Department officers, collided with a vehicle, causing that vehicle to strike a tri-light signal pole, which fell onto the child. In light of this incident, the Commission directed the Department to analyze its pursuit policy and provide recommendations for changes. In response to the commission’s directions, the Department submitted a revised policy to the commission with a recommendation for adoption. The revised policy will prohibit officers from becoming involved in pursuits when the only reason for the initial contact is an infraction. The policy still requires that officers continually assess whether to continue to pursue or terminate a pursuit, based on numerous factors such as speed, weather conditions and weighing the immediacy of apprehension of the law violator against the danger to officers and others.
Also, the Commission addressed the issue of dispatching police units to alarm calls at locations within the City. On April 9, 2002, The Board of Police Commissioners held a discussion, based on a report prepared by the Commission Investigation Division, regarding the negative impact of officers responding to burglary alarms, which turn out to be false. Studies have shown that 92% of all alarm calls turn out to be false and responding to them consumes a large amount of Department resources. In fact, the report concluded that responding to false burglary alarms accounts for nearly 15% of the Department’s current radio call workload and inhibits response to emergency calls for service as well as involvement in police/community problem solving.
Today, the Board of Police Commissioners approved a policy allowing for the dispatch of police units only to Verified Burglary Alarm cases. A verified burglary alarm is an alarm that is activated in conjunction with information that substantiates the occurrence of a burglary or attempt burglary. It should be noted that alarm activations at firearms businesses or other locations monitored by the Department, will be handled as a verified alarm activation.
Finally, as expected, the Police Commission approved the much-anticipated posting of the Motor Vehicle and Pedestrian Stop Data onto the Department’s website in accordance with the federal Consent Decree. The Consent Decree was approved by the Court on June 15, 2001.
This press release was prepared by Lieutenant Horace Frank, Officer in Charge, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.