Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Playing with guns

People ask me all the time, day in and day out, what the LAPD faces on a daily basis. Here's a small taste of what the average beat cop runs into.

Police shot and killed three suspects Monday, bringing to four the number of men fatally shot in the last 48 hours in Los Angeles County, authorities said.

Three of the dead were shot fatally after they allegedly pointed weapons at police. The fourth man was a suspected robber who was shot by an off-duty police officer in Silver Lake.

A fifth man who police said pointed a gun at officers was shot and hospitalized.

"Violence toward police is escalating," Sheriff's Capt. Ray Peavy said. "These shootings are a reflection of that violence."

Observers said the high number of shootings by police was rare. Both Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies and Los Angeles Police Department officers were involved.

I have to head to crime scenes all the time. Last week when I headed to one, uniformed officers had to shadow me and the newbie I was training because non-uniformed officers and investigators are being shot at on a regular basis. This is getting out of control. As I've said many times over, law enforcement agencies all across the nation need more feet on the ground, but the extremely difficult hiring process which takes 12 to 15 months (that's just the testing before they get into the academy), combined with the lack of budgeting for recruits makes it near to impossible. And why is this? We've got people like Maxine Waters who dislike law enforcement, and take the side of the criminals whenever possible. This leads to actions such as officers who have to "talk" a criminal into the radio car, and the inability to draw their weapons unless a bullet flies within an inch of their head.

This is getting out of control.

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