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Hooray for the LAPD

NCJ Number
The Journal Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: Summer 2002 Pages: 19-26
R. K. Campbell
Date Published
8 pages
This article discusses a police incident involving the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in California.
A police officer stopped a suspicious vehicle, found a cache of weapons and arrested two men for felony weapons and conspiracy. The case was plea-bargained by the prosecutor’s office to misdemeanor counts. One of the men returned to the police department after serving 71 days in jail with an order signed by a judge to return almost all the weapons seized. A few months later, both men, heavily armed and armored with bulletproof vests, entered a bank and held it up. Using good tactics, the LAPD waited until the pair exited the bank, avoiding a possible hostage situation. In the subsequent firefight, the LAPD was outgunned but stood their ground and forced the bank robbers to take a defensive position. One of the robbers was killed by police gunfire; the other took cover behind a vehicle. SWAT officers used the proven tactic of firing under the vehicle, killing the second bank robber. No officers were killed. Implementation of training, stressing the use of cover, and quick aid by teams armed with rifles made a difference. Penalties for use of firearms and vests in crimes should be more severe and more effective. The suspects in this case were suspected of other robberies, including one in which a guard was killed. Rifles have more energy and penetration than any handgun and fires more accurately. Every patrol car should be equipped with rifles. The LAPD authorized .45 caliber pistols for duty use soon after this gunfight.


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