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Jan 2011
An act of betrayal that stands alone

We were as surprised and outraged as everyone else by the revelation that the Los Angeles School Police Department officer’s story of being shot by an unknown assailant may have been a hoax. Stenroos’ story triggered a sizeable manhunt and caused heartache and chaos for a great deal of people.

The LAPD’s response to the alleged shooting was swift, comprehensive and thorough. But as usual, detractors jumped on the chance to malign the force. Over 300 officers were deployed, a wide area was blocked off, and entreaties to the public were made for help in catching the suspect. This was a police department’s response to a threat whose nature, skill and motivations were still unknown. Cynical observers, however, assessed the response as unbalanced and overzealous. They attributed the show of force to the fact that it was a law enforcement officer who’d been shot, and suggested that officers would’ve been less responsive to an attack on a civilian. While we understand how it may have appeared this way, it was absolutely not the case.

Law enforcement officers are the community’s protectors; they symbolize public safety. Police officers are the ones who courageously respond when armed assailants attack, when disputes turn violent and whenever the public’s safety is threatened. In short, they are the ones who put their lives on the line to stop criminals from harming and killing. Therefore, when an assailant makes a direct and brazen attack on a member of this protective force, law enforcement must respond quickly and aggressively. Because a willingness to kill a law enforcement officer presents the ultimate danger to society. If a suspect is willing to shoot a trained, uniformed and armed police officer at point blank, what is he willing to do to the average person on the street?

The actions of Jeffrey Stenroos were a betrayal to the people of Los Angeles and the men and women of law enforcement. If proven to be a hoax, he wasted the already stretched resources of the LAPD. There is no question about the harm caused by such actions, and we are confident that the law will deal with him appropriately.

The alleged fabrications of an individual should not detract from the commitment and dedication of the men and women of the LAPD or the law enforcement community at large.

The LAPPL does not represent Los Angeles School police officers. LA School police officers are represented by the Los Angeles School Police Association. The LASPA website is



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