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Feb 2009
Police Union Says LAPD Should Mandate Helmets

The union representing LAPD officers today filed a formal grievance over how commanders handled a recent pro-Palestinian demonstration. The union argues commanders jeopardized officer safety by not allowing them to wear helmets. As KPCC's Frank Stoltze reports, department brass has long debated the issue.

Frank Stoltze: Cops look pretty fierce in their helmets and riot gear. Some argue the look is intimidating - and can raise anxiety levels and even provoke confrontations during crowd control. That's why commanders at a recent pro-Palestinian rally decided against ordering officers to use their helmets.

The LAPD argues officers had the option of wearing them. The union says commanders should have mandated helmets, and point to an officer who was hit in the head at the rally with a wooden post as evidence that officer safety was ignored.



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