April 20, 2024 4:16 pm

LAPD Receives $9M for Improved Protest Handling Training

The City Council has approved approximately $9 million in funding for police training aimed at refining the LAPD’s response to mass protests, in light of concerns raised by the department’s actions during the George Floyd protests in 2020.

The decision, passed with an 8-3 vote, allocates funds to enhance the LAPD’s approach to using less-lethal force, handling mass arrests, and upholding First Amendment rights.

Council members Nithya Raman, Hugo Soto-Martinez, and Eunisses Hernandez dissented from the vote, while Paul Krekorian, Bob Blumenfield, Heather Hutt, and Curren Price were not present during the decision.

Initially approved as part of the budget process in May 2023, the funding totals $8.8 million. This includes allocations for personnel salaries, overtime, and equipment costs.

The LAPD plans to utilize the funding to develop training programs such as an eight-hour mobile field force course, a four-hour field jail operations course, and incident command training, aiming to enhance officers’ proficiency in responding to civil unrest and utilizing less-lethal devices.

These measures follow a report commissioned by the L.A. City Council that highlighted deficiencies in the LAPD’s response to the 2020 protests. The report, led by a panel of former LAPD commanders, identified issues such as unclear command structures, contradictory orders from undercover officers, and inadequate planning for mass arrests.

The training initiatives seek to mitigate risks associated with public protests and to address past shortcomings, ultimately aiming to enhance the department’s ability to manage large-scale deployments while minimizing harm and legal liabilities.