The Los Angeles Police Department will get extra resources to make sure its officers are safe and supported following the killings of three law enforcement officers and the wounding of three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The mayor’s announcement came as the union for LAPD officers demanded an end to “platitudes” and increased “action” to protect police.
The additional resources will include increasing helicopter patrols, assigning officers from the elite Metropolitan Division to back up responding patrol officers and adding additional people to help screen 911 calls, Garcetti announced.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck joined in support of the increased resources, and Beck sent a video to officers explaining the new policies, according to published reports.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the three Baton Rouge officers who were killed this morning …,” Garcetti said Sunday. “This violence against police officers undermines our democracy. Our collective voice must rise up to condemn this latest shooting in what is unfortunately becoming a horrifying trend,” Garcetti said.
“The city of Los Angeles is committed to building and deepening relationships. We will not be deterred from our mission to protect our communities, support our police officers, and strengthen constitutional policing in our city,” Garcetti continued. “We will continue that work with an open door in our neighborhoods, in City Hall, and in our police stations.”
Garcetti also said, “Too many days recently, our hearts are aching as a result of unthinkable violence in our country, but we cannot turn away from our mission to protect and serve. God bless the fallen officers and their families and we will not be deterred.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported there were “no specific or credible threats received by law enforcement for the Greater Los Angeles area,” in connection with the killings in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, issued a statement calling for “the civic leaders of our nation to replace platitudes and rhetorical support for law enforcement with action.”
“Our police officers deserve your strongest support and undivided attention,” the statement said. “Now that 10 law enforcement officers have been murdered in 10 days, what will you to keep our communities safe?”
The statement also criticized what it described as “anti-police activists, a veiled reference to groups like Black Lives Matter.
“To the anti police activists, whose apparent sole focus is to lay blame for all the ills of society on those who wear a law enforcement uniform, save your statement of ‘condolence’ to the families of these slain officers unless it is accompanied by the same level of outrage and contempt exhibited after recent officer involved shootings,” the LAPPL stated. “Anything less would be hypocritical.
“In just over one week’s time, this nation has seen its law enforcement officers targeted, hunted and murdered again. We cannot keep our neighborhoods safe if the men and women we ask to protect our communities face ambush around any potential street corner. These officers paid the ultimate sacrifice for simply doing their job.”
In response to the murders today in Lousiana, Orange County Under Sheriff Don Barnes told the Orange County Register, “Our hearts go out to the Baton Rouge Police Department. It’s unfortunate that only one day after the last police officer is put to rest in Dallas, we’re in mourning again for three officers killed in the line of duty. It’s a tragedy.”
Barnes, a 28-year-veteran of the OCSD, said the department issued warnings last week after the Dallas shootings to its personnel, telling them to operate in a “heightened sense of awareness.”
“We have reinforced with our personnel the need to be vigilant and to be aware of our surroundings,” Barnes told the Register. “But we have to couple that with our responsibility to the public. The threat has changed, no only do we have targeted attacks at law enforcement, but we’re dealing with worldwide terror incidents that hit close to home.”
Barnes said that after today’s murders, the OCSD along with other municipal agencies began an evaluation of the situation to determine if there were threats directed toward Orange County.
“All indications at this point are that it is an isolated (incident) to Baton Rouge,” Barnes told the newspaper. “Orange County law enforcement with the municipal agencies will remain diligent to protect the public.”
And today, in a published letter to the OC Register, written after the Dallas murders of police officers but before today’s shootings, OCSD Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said, “While Orange County includes some of the safest neighborhoods in the country, we must remember that we are not immune to the unrest spreading across the nation… we have all watched the issue bubble up from our television screens and smartphones. We have collectively mourned the lives that have been lost.”
Hutchens went on to thank the people of Orange County for the way they have responded to local law enforcement in the wake of these tragedies.
“You have cared for us greatly over the last week by bringing food to our stations, stopping our deputies and officers to say, thank you, anonymously picking up our tabs at lunch and sending an endless barrage of support through emails and social media. It has been these gestures …that have encouraged our personnel to continue to accept the inherent risk that always has come with this profession.”
Hutchens also said that moving forward from these tragedies will only come through “our shared responsibility to ensure an incident of this magnitude doesn’t happen in Orange County. It is only through partnerships and continued, honest conversation that we will gain a mutual respect and understanding for one another.”
–City News Service
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