1 Mar 13

This from a friend, recently retired from many years of respected service with the LAPD:

“Yesterday was the 16th anniversary of our now-famous ‘North Hollywood Bank of America Shootout.’

Along with millions of other viewers, I watched the review on TV from my sofa at home.

Two days after the event, I personally went to the location and walked the entire shooting scene(s) myself.

Analysis/investigation revealed that, among other things:

1) The average engagement distance was fifty yards
2) More than one officer fired his pistol to slide-lock, several times.
3) Neither issued pistol, nor shotgun, ammunition was effective against body armor worn by both suspects

It took this massive incident, this near-disaster, to finally move top LAPD leadership at the time to affect actual positive changes, changes that were already twenty years overdue!

In the aftermath, we ‘suddenly’ got our ‘Urban Police Rifle Program’ (now called the ‘Police Rifle Program’) going. Stubborn resistance at the highest levels of the Department and of City Government, firmly in place for years, curiously/instantly, melted away!

After our 1992 Riots (in which I was directly involved), I was interviewed by attorneys who were part of an after-action Department Task Force. They asked me what of our standard equipment needed updating. Without hesitation, I responded that we needed military rifles in every beat-car, with an ample supply of magazines for each.

They were incredulous, as I articulated my reasons. My suggestion was not acted upon at the time. Curiously, those exact-same reasons, articulated by the department itself five years later, were used to justify the rifles we currently have in our beat-cars!

Of course, no one in top-management, nor in City politics, every admitted they had been wrong, much less apologized for having been wrong, and, strange as it seems, none ever said ‘Thank-you’ to any of us trainers who has been pushing for these changes for years.

Yes, disasters do sometimes precipitate positive change, scant consolation to those brave souls who were injured and died before and during said disaster!”


“From the cowardice that is terrified of the truth,
From the lethargy that is content with only part of the truth,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Oh God of Truth,
Deliver us”