LAPD Officers’ Union Lists 28 Calls for Service That Someone Else Can Handle

The union representing L.A.’s cops has suggested unarmed responders deal with public urination, panhandling, non-violent mental health situations and many other calls, some of which have ended in fatalities

As calls grow to defund police departments and reallocate money to better resources, the union representing LAPD officers has decided to play along, as it emerged this week with a list of over two dozen emergency calls to which it would no longer like to respond.

With contract negotiations coming up, the Los Angeles Police Protective League said Tuesday that it’s totally fine with offloading calls such as public urination, panhandling, and non-violent mental health situations to other public departments or non-profit agencies. Freeing officers of the responsibility of responding to such complaints, the union says, will lead to more manpower and resources for the department to devote to dealing with violent crime and investigations.

“Police officers are sent to too many calls that are better suited for unarmed service providers,” said Craig Lally, the union’s president, in a statement.

While campaigning, Mayor Karen Bass promised to set up a public safety office that would operate outside the LAPD. The City Council has been “looking” in past months to sink $1 million into an Office of Unarmed Response and Safety, the LA Times.

In its proposal, the officers’ union writes that “certain types of calls for service may not necessitate an armed response.” For the cops of L.A., this would mean no more cleaning out encampments, responding to noise complaints, breaking up loud parties, making welfare checks, or handling quality-of-life concerns, like reports of illegal fireworks. The union’s proposal would ultimately need the city’s Executive Committee’s approval, which is composed of Bass and four city council members.

Paul Krekorian, an Executive Committee member, has said through his representative that the proposal would get his “utmost consideration.”

Advocacy groups have long pushed for armed police to stop responding to traffic enforcement and mental health calls, among many other community needs, saying that too many of those encounters end with a counterproductive or sometimes fatal outcome.

Those criticisms were brought up again in January when Keenan Anderson, a 31-year-old teacher visiting from Washington D.C., was involved in an auto collision in Venice. Anderson then ran into the road, where a motorcycle cop found him in an agitated state. He soon fled, but was detained by more officers, who tried to pin him down in the street; he was then Tased for 30 straight seconds as he struggled.  He later went into cardiac arrest and died at the hospital in LAPD custody.. His estate has now filed a $50 million claim for damages against the city. The proposed changes come as the police department continues to experience difficulties in staffing. The City Council voted to cut hiring in 2020, according to the Times, bringing the number of sworn officers down to under 10,000. In February, the LAPD made a pitch to rehire retired officers.

Here’s a look at the calls the union is proposing to be nixed from officers’ purview: 

  1. Non-criminal and/or non-violent homeless and quality of life-related calls;2. Non-criminal mental health calls;
  2. Non-violent juvenile disturbance or juveniles beyond parental control calls; (won’t go to school);
  3. Calls to schools unless the school administration is initiating a call for an emergency police response or making a mandatory reporting notification;
  4. Public Health Order violations;
  5. Non-violent calls for service at City parks;
  6. Under the influence calls (alcohol and/or drugs) where there is no other crime in progress;
  7. Welfare Check
  8. Non-Fatal Vehicle Accidents
  9. Non-DUI/Non-Criminal; Property damage only (including City property), Verbal disputes involving non-injury traffic collisions, refusing to share ID at traffic collisions;
  1. Parking violations;
  2. Driveway tow;
  3. Abandoned vehicles;
  4. Person dumping trash;
  5. Vicious and dangerous dog complaints where no attack is in progress;
  6. Loud noise, loud music, or anonymous “party” calls that have no victim;
  7. Landlord/Tenant Disputes;
  8. Loitering/Trespassing With No Indication Of Danger;
  9. Code 30 Alarm Response (except 211 silent alarm);
  10. Syringe Disposal;
  11. DOT Stand-By;
  12. Homeless Encampment Clean-Ups, unless officers are requested or prescheduled;
  13. Panhandling;
  14. Illegal Vending;
  15. Illegal Gambling;
  16. Fireworks;
  17. Defecating/Urinating In Public;
  18. Drinking in Public;
  19. Possible dead body, where no indication of foul play

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