LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — LightStrike, a germ-fighting robot, reported Friday for its first day of duty with the Los Angeles Police Department.
The deployment of the robot at the department’s Central Division Station, a facility the state deemed unsanitary, comes the month after officers fell ill and state officials levied fines against the department for rodent infestations and other unsanitary conditions. The officers at this location are responsible for skid row and other parts of downtown.
Along with LightStrike, which uses high-intensity light to kill germs in rooms, the department also installed a device called HealthySole that uses ultraviolet rays to kill germs on shoes.
“The cleanliness and safety of this facility has always been a challenge and a concern of LAPD,” Police Chief Michael Moore said. “This facility is the first police facility in the world that brought this highly-technical and expensive device, I might say, into the workplace to provide another layer of safety.”
The problems facing this facility were highlighted in late May when an officer was infected with salmonella typhi — which typically comes from infected food or water — while at least two other people were sent home experiencing similar symptoms.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the LAPD was fined more than $5,000 by the state Department of Industrial Relations last month for failing to tell employees how typhus fever is transmitted, what the symptoms are and how to prevent it. The state also faulted the department for not having an extermination program in place to control populations of rats, fleas, roaches, gnats, mosquitoes or grasshoppers — all of which were present at the station during a November inspection, the Times reported.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)