Sunday, August 5, 2007


Thanks to policeone, where 31 July 07 story can be found.

Basics priorities ignored for Officer's safety in favor of expanding specialized units. Now does this not sound very familiar?
strong>Chicago Officer's chime in on this topic regularly. Very lopsided, expansions of various specialized units prior to officer's safety concerns and working equipment. This could be a Chicago's story, who also happens to have old radios still in circulation and unsafely in use but no one seems to listen or care.

Zine said the department's priorities need to be officer safety -- guns, vests, radios -- and too often the basics are ignored in favor of expanding specialized units.

"The current status of ASTRO radios and mechanisms for in-house repair with minimum parts available and no support from Motorola and cannibalizing existing radios for parts have become a significant challenge," Bratton said in his report.

The department has already begun to replace the LAPD car radios, but there is no money in the city budget for the hand-held radios.

According to Bratton's report, the department had to cannibalize more than 100 radios for parts last year.

At least 80 to 100 are repaired weekly.

During a recent ride-along in North Hollywood, Skobin said he had to lend his radio to a supervisor during a man-with-a-gun call because the sergeant's radio did not work.

"My radio issued at the station didn't work properly either. But it worked well enough to direct officers," Skobin said. "If a supervisor cannot coordinate officers in a man-with-a-gun call, that is not only endangering the officers but the public."

Skobin said he also knows of an officer in South L.A. whose radio failed during a foot pursuit.

When the Police Commission reviews officer shooting incidents weekly, Skobin said officers often say they made a call on the radio but others didn't hear it. He said there are so many that he suspects some are because of faulty radios.

Councilman Dennis Zine, a veteran LAPD officer now working as a reserve, said he experienced a radio failure while working with the fugitive warrant detail in South Los Angeles a few months ago.

"We were on a take-down of a suspect where it was vital to know where all the potential suspects are, when I went to activate the radio and it didn't activate," he said.

Later, Zine said, he learned that the battery connection was defective.