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Feb 2009
Ad Knocks LAPD Brass on Helmet Safety

First, there was a City Council motion. Then a civil lawsuit. Now, the Los Angeles Police Protective League has taken to the airwaves to knock LAPD management for telling officers not to immediately don their safety helmets last month at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Westwood.

The union argues in the ad that the "no-helmet policy" puts "everyone at risk" and that "if officers can't protect themselves, they can't protect you or your family."

Chief William J. Bratton told Patt Morrison during the Ask the Chief segment on her KPCC radio show Feb. 18 that the LAPD takes "great care" in protecting officers.

But when and where to use safety gear is -- and should be -- made on a case by case basis, Bratton says.

Case in point: Bratton asked, what about all the officers who end up with head injuries in car crashes? Should they be required to wear helmets "all the time in their police cars?"

So too with mounted police, who wear soft helmets but could be injured falling from their horses. And what about cops who want relief from the heat in the San Fernando Valley on triple-digit temperature days?

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Police block pro-Palestinian demonstrators in front of the Federal Building in Los Angeles on Jan. 10, 2008. Credit: Jewel Samad / AFP




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