LOS ANGELES (KTLA) – The union representing officers of the Los Angeles Police Department has released a list of calls for service that it believes can be handled by responders who are unarmed.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League released a list of 28 potential calls that could warrant an alternate response from unarmed officers or service providers, rather than the typical armed police response.
Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said police officers are often sent to respond to too many calls that would be better suited for unarmed service providers.
The union said it’s been working collaboratively with the City of Los Angeles to develop the list and is set to formally announce the proposals on Wednesday.
The list in its entirety can be found below:
1. Non-criminal and/or non-violent homeless and quality of life-related calls
2. Non-criminal mental health calls
3. Non-violent juvenile disturbance or juveniles beyond parental control calls; (won’t go to school)
4. Calls to schools unless the school administration is initiating a call for an emergency police response or making a mandatory reporting notification
5. Public health order violations
6. Non-violent calls for service at City parks
7. Under the influence calls (alcohol and/or drugs) where there is no other crime in progress
8. Welfare check – WELCK
• Courtesy request from doctors/hospitals
9. Non-fatal vehicle accidents
• Non-DUI/non-criminal: property damage only (including City property), verbal disputes involving non-injury traffic collisions, refusing to share ID at traffic collisions
10. Parking violations
11. Driveway tow
12. Abandoned vehicles
13. Person dumping trash
14. Vicious and dangerous dog complaints where no attack is in progress
15. Calls for service for loud noise, loud music, or ‘party’ calls that are anonymous or have no victim
16. Landlord/tenant disputes
17. Loitering/trespassing with no indication of danger
18. Code 30 Alarm Response (except 211 silent alarm)
19. Syringe disposal
20. DOT stand-by
21. Homeless encampment clean-ups, unless officers are requested or prescheduled
23. Illegal vending
24. Illegal gambling
26. Defecating/urinating in public
27. Drinking in public
28. Suspicious circumstances-possible dead body, where no indication of foul play
Union reps said the establishment of an unarmed response protocol will help with the Police Department’s “chronic understaffing” and allow police to focus on responding to emergencies. The union also said these changes could ease concerns from the general public regarding armed officers responding to any and all calls for service.
The decision to trim back armed responses by sworn officers is an alternative policing approach that has been deployed in other major cities to varying levels in the wake of wide-scale civil unrest caused by deadly police slayings of civilians.
In 2020, after weeks of demonstrations over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced that non-criminal calls would be handled by “trained, unarmed professionals,” rather than armed police officers. That program was said to be modeled after a similar program that’s already been established in Eugene, Oregon.
In Virginia, armed officers have responded less frequently to low-risk mental health emergencies, in favor of “community care teams” made up of police and mental health professionals, according to NPR.
Vice president of the union in Los Angeles, Jeretta Sandoz, said now was the time to “roll up our sleeves” and start implementing an alternative model for police response.
“We are prepared to enter into an expedited dialogue to take action,” Sandoz said in a news release, adding that it is time to “end the debate” regarding the topic.
The union has agreed to stop providing a sworn police response to the complaints included in the list, and said it will work with the city and the police department to develop protocols if an armed response becomes necessary after the first unarmed response has already been deployed.
Lally said it was important that the initial list of calls be “robust.”
It wasn’t immediately clear when armed officers would stop responding to these calls, or which unarmed responders would be sent to the calls moving forward.