COMPSTAT Citywide Profile
Investigation and Oversight of Officer-Involved Shootings LAPD

LAPD Autism Training

The Los Angeles Police Department prides itself on being the leader in best practices as it relates to working with those who have special needs.  Specific training has been developed and is provided by our Mental Evaluation Section of Detective Support Division.

Specific to Autism training, in September of 2007 the LAPD began working with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Autism Society of America on developing specific training on Dealing with Autistic people for first responders.  As a result of these efforts a one hour training course was developed for patrol officers on dealing with an Autistic person.  And in April of 2008, we announced at a news conference, our partnership with the Los Angeles Chapter of the Autism Society of America.

One of the instructors is from the Autism Society and one is from Mental Evaluation Section of Detective Support Division.  An individual who has been diagnosed with Autism is also part of the Training Cadre.  The training focuses on raising awareness of officers to help them better understand Autism Spectrum Disorders and learn how to deal with an Autistic person in a field situation.

The training has been given on a periodic basis starting in May of 2007.  Over 2,500 members of the Department have received the stand alone one hour class.  The class is provided to those commands that have extensive dealings with the mentally ill, such as Central Area’s Safer Cities, Metro, Jail Division, Communication Division and several patrol divisions around the City.  The class is also part of police officer Academy training, the Crisis Intervention Technique Course, Watch Commanders School, Supervisors School and Senior Lead Officer School.   Officers are also required to take an E-Learning course on Autism. 

The LAPD is a leader in the Public Safety Community on this type of training.  The LAPD is the only Police Agency offering this type of training.  This one hour course has been provided to the following agencies:  General Services Police Department; Beverly Hills Police Department; Redondo Beach Police Department; Pomona Police Department; and the Hawthorne Police Department.

The Autism Community has also asked the LAPD to assist in reviewing a film entitled, "How to Get Arrested."  This will assist in making it easier for the Autism community to understand the process.   The LAPD has also been asked to speak at an upcoming Autism Conference on this subject.


About time. Why is done after a person gunned down?

"The LAPD is a leader in the Public Safety Community on this type of training." Give me a break, the LAPD is the only department who's officers need this training due to it's hiring standards being the lowest of all PD's in the State. The truth of the matter is the LAPD is always in the news for bad shootings, stealing narcotics from the evidence room, punching suspects, pistol whipping victims while off duty in Whittier & planting evidence. POST should mandate I.Q. tests as part of the hiring process for LAPD candidates.

Obviously, "Citizen" did not read the entire article. Even the LA Times (known for being less than favorable toward the LAPD) recognizes that the Police have been training officers in how to interact with persons with mental or learning disbilities long before this shooting.

Also, I sincerely doubt that the Officers go around randomly shooting people with no reason or cause. I wasn't there when it happened and I'm certain that "Citizen" wasn't there either. It is highly unfair to judge the Officers' actions from the Monday morning quarterback's sofa. I personally believe that the Officers must have either felt their lives or the lives of persons were threatened before they pulled the trigger.

Mr. Perez - I agree with you, but maybe they did not have to shoot him in the head to kill him immediately, especially when they were so unsure of what he was actually doing. If a normal person did that, they would be unquestionably locked up.

Kelly Stone, stop watching police shows on TV. Officers are taught to aim for center body mass, which is the biggest target. Based on the individual officer's level of training and expertise in firearm handling (yes, a gun is a tool and requires constant training, which some officers choose only to do the minimum required), the actual bullet impact location can be up, down, sideways, or a miss altogether.

Remember that the officers are moving, their hands are moving yet in a different plane, and the suspect is also moving. An aim to the center of the body can result in a bullet impacting the head.

These ignorant comments about officers needing to aim for an arm or a leg don't add to the debate, only make cliches and fantasy a part of the discussion, which they shouldn't be.

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