I hope this message finds you well. Sadly, I begin this message in an all too familiar fashion…recognizing the death of a fallen brother taken from us too soon. On September 6, 2014, we were visited by tragedy yet again causing us to mourn the loss of Police II Erick Alcaraz, Serial No. 41284. Erick was killed in an off duty traffic collision in the city of Torrance, leaving behind his mother and father. Erick completed his probationary assignment at Southwest Area and wheeled to West Los Angeles Area, set to begin DP#10, September 7, 2014. His life was tragically cut short before he could begin patrolling the streets of WLA. At only 24 years of age, Erick had already been in uniform most of his adult life - first in the United States Marine Corps and then as a Los Angeles Police Officer. He served our Country, our Department and the City of Los Angeles with honor. Erick had a promising career and was known as solid cop, a good friend and a very respectful man. He was taken from us too soon, but we will never forget Erick. I ask that we keep his loved ones, classmates and his LAPD family in your thoughts and prayers.
Civilian Appreciation Month
During the month of October, we celebrate and honor our 3,000 talented civilian colleagues who keep the LAPD operating each and every day. Our civilian personnel bring spirit and dedication to the job and are an integral part of the LAPD. Civilians add value to our Department’s character. I truly appreciate their commitment to our Department’s core values and getting the job done. Their jobs are vital to the day-to-day functions of the Department and to the City of Los Angeles.
In my nearly 40 years as a member of the LAPD, I am honored to have worked with an outstanding group of dedicated and hard working professionals. At every assignment, I have always depended on the skills and talent of our civilian staff. It has become an annual tradition for the sworn members of the Department to contribute to, plan, and host appreciation lunches for our civilian colleagues. This is a great way to say thank you for all they do and encourages a positive relationship between sworn and civilian employees. Events will be held throughout the month at our Area stations.
Command staff and I understand the trials and hardships civilians have experienced over the past few years, and we will never forget their sacrifices. It is very important we recognize that our civilian brothers and sisters have a wealth of institutional knowledge. Please take time from your day to offer your personal appreciation to the civilian employees at your station or office for their work and what they do. It is because of each and every one of you and the exceptional work you do every day that makes this Department the finest police agency in the world. Please accept my most sincere “thank you” and know how proud I am of you.
LAPD Has Big Plans for Little Libraries
Through the hard work and dedication of our officers and in partnership with A Chance for Children Foundation, our Department and has opened 14 Little Free Libraries inside of our LAPD stations. Painted boxes filled with books are popping up in LAPD stations with signs that read, “Take a Book, Leave a Book." These “Little Free Libraries” are helping to promote literacy while fostering positive interaction between our youth and police officers.
As I visit our stations throughout the City, I see how these unconventional libraries have become a safe gathering place for kids of all ages. Our Cadets are serving as stewards of the libraries to help teach important life skills, ownership of a project, and the importance of community. This is a tremendous and creative outreach effort and could not be done without the support and book donations from officers and the community. I would like to thank our officers and Cadets for their commitment to this project and I look forward to seeing Little Free Libraries in every station throughout the City.
Officer First Aid Kits ~ Tourniquets
Recently, many of you have inquired about how to receive training on the use of tourniquets and its distribution. We are fortunate to have received funding from the Los Angeles Police Foundation for 8,000 new Officer First Aid Kits (OFAKs). The tourniquets are part of the new kits and are not being issued as a stand-alone item.
We have a training procedure in place that must be completed before you will be issued an OFAKS. To facilitate the training there are at least 70 Training Coordinators who have completed a two-day Train-the-Trainer course and who can certify you with a skills test once you complete the on-line POST course. Currently, there are 2600 OFAKs already in the field and an additional 380 students certified to carry an OFAK who have not yet received their kits. We are awaiting delivery of the next batch of OFAKs. These officers will receive their kits from their Training Coordinators as soon as they arrive. These kits are NOT held in storage and once we receive the next shipment they will be distributed as quickly as possible.
We know these kits can and have saved lives. Recent incidents where trained officers applied the tourniquet proved their value and most likely saved an officer's life. I cannot express how extremely fortunate we are to have these lifesaving kits. Knowing how valuable these Officer First Aid Kits are, please take advantage of this training. If you have questions about how to take the on-line course and practical skills test, your respective Training Coordinator can help guide you through the process.
Thank you for all you do and stay safe out there,