LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Security and safety questions are at the forefront following a shooting earlier this week at the LAPD’s West Traffic Division.
Monday night’s gunfight between two officers and 29-year-old suspect Daniel Christopher Yealu was the first time in recent memory a gunman walked into a Los Angeles station and started shooting, according to veteran officers.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said the seven-year veteran desk officer who was hit three times and was not wearing a bulletproof vest is lucky to be alive.
“An amazing story of survival,” he said.
Councilman Bernard Parks said one important lesson is clear after the incident.
“When something happens that critical, you have to go back and reassess,” he said. “In my judgment, if you’re in uniform, you should have your vest on.”
LAPD policy states that every officer should be wearing a bullet-resistant vest while in the field. Sources told KCAL9’s Randy Paige that officers working at the front desk in stations across the city will likely be required to wear them.
Asked if authorities should place bullet-resistant barriers between desk officers and the public, Parks said, “I don’t think any of us want to go into a city building and feel like you are being treated as a non-resident. I think what you’ve been trying to do over the last 30 or 40 years is to welcome the public and say it is your police department and your station.”
Asked if the LAPD should conduct a security review, Beck said, “Active shooters, which is what this is, have great access to many, many places in our society where a lot of people and targets are available. I just thank God that we had two Los Angeles police officers who were willing to put their lives on the line to stop this attack.”