Tactical Alert Called Tuesday Night Due to Lack of Officers? – UPDATED

On Tuesday night, a tactical alert was called for both the Central and South Bureaus of the LAPD.
It lasted for a little over an hour—from 7:45 pm until 9 pm.

A tactical alert in and of itself isn’t terribly unusual at all.

Generally speaking, one is called whenever a whole lot of police are needed in an area or areas—if there is, say, a crowd forming unexpectedly at a demonstration. Or if some kind of large police action is suddenly needed for any reason.

For example, most recently, a tac alert was called after the LAUSD officer was shot last week outside El Camino High School.

It means that those officers due to go off duty have to stay on until the tactical alert has been called off. It also usually means that only the high priority radio calls are answered.

What made Tuesday’s tactical alert different was that it was called “due to the radio call load. In other words, there were a lot of 911 calls within a given period and not enough uniformed police on the streets to handle them.

This is unusual according to the officers I spoke with when I asked around.

“Maybe I’ve just missed it, but I’ve never seen that reason used before,” said one watch commander from South Bureau.

So here’s the question: Does this tactical alert suggest that, due to budget cuts, LAPD officers are stretched too thin on some nights in some areas of town and thus we may see more of these tactical alerts based sheerly around the numbers?

Two people I spoke with said they thought the radio traffic tac alert provided one more illustration of why it was a lousy idea for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich to shut down his branch offices, thus forcing LAPD deputies in the valley and in the harbor area to waste critical time driving downtown every time they need to file a case with the CA’s office.

Their point was: if we don’t have enough police on the street some nights as it is, suddenly making piles of cops do unnecessary driving across town would seem to be a less than workable plan from a cost/benefit perspective.

UPDATE: Dennis Romero at the LA Weekly, picked up the ball I tossed out with this post Tuesday morning and ran it still further down the field. Go and read what he has to say.


  • Thanks a lot Celeste for posting this. What people don’t realize is because LAPD had a $100 million budget cut we are down 574 police officers every month because there is no overtime. 154 police officers working civilian jobs because city council has a civilian hiring freeze, and next month 90 police officers will go to work the jails. The Mayor is being deceitful just like the trash fee hike and telling people to expand LAPD. NO STOP HIRING LAPD. WE have the officers already we just need them to get back on the streets. The Mayor is exaggerating the figures on the stats on crime reduction saying its because of his idea to expand LAPD. The Mayor voted twice as a councilman not to hire LAPD. We’re behind because of votes he made back then. Don’t believe what he’s saying. Get OT back and get those cops on the streets

  • It’s not a surprise to find that Carmen Trutanich is a party to the OT crisis – have you looked into the amount of OT his personal security detail racks up driving him around to fundraisers and other non-essential private engagements? Perhaps the City Controller could be encouraged to investigate this abuse of public funds for private and political purposes, and present Trutnaich with a bill?

    Beyond that, Trutanich is working hand in hand with LAPD to make the reality of the budget cuts as bad as it can possibly be in order to bully the Council into restoring some funding for his own office – he will throw LAPD under the bus as soon as he’s taken care of business.

    Of course Trutanich has a “divide and conquer” plan. A couple of weeks ago, Trutanich told a small gathering of contributors that part of his plan for the DA’s Office (when he takes over) is to appoint a certain high ranking LAPD Officer as his Chief of the DA’s Bureau of Investigation. Trutainich named the name, and there were witnesses who heard it and were as horrified as I was that Trutanich was making pay to play deals behind the scenes.

    Trutanich had a frighteningly McCarthy-esque vison of law enforcement, way to the hard right and not far short a totalitarian police state.

  • Celeste, I’d like to share a couple of experience’s involving the LE community that I have had during the last couple of trying weeks my family and I have endured.
    My wife and I lost our son on Jan 14 after he battled pneumonia (first it was the flu, be careful everyone!), for a week in ICU. He was a beautiful man and greatly loved, as evidenced by the hundreds of visitors from every walk of life and race that visited him in ICU during his last week of life. The tears and hugs from these friends and relatives kept us going during these awful weeks and has humbled me by the love shown.
    He just didn’t make it despite the battle that the doctors and staff waged 24 hours a day.
    After our sons death I had no choice but to do a “turn and burn” drive to my home in NM to pick up checks, clothing, and bills that had to be paid. I took my sons pride and joy, his pick up truck, and after spending the night at home I headed back to LA early in the AM, all the while continuing to shed the gallons of bitter, salty, tears that fell during this ordeal.
    Coming across I 40 between Needles and Barstow I was passed by two San Berdoo County Sheriff squad cars but thought nothing of it as I continued down the road. But at that desolate rest area near Essex Ca. I noticed the same two SB patrol cars suddenly come up the on ramp and they tailed me for a short while before they hit the red lights and pulled me over.
    The police officer came up to my window and told me that they had run a make on the license plate and it came up that the registration hadn’t been paid on the due date of September but that there was a red 2011 sticker on the plate. Hmmm! I pulled out the registration from the glove box and sure enough it was delinquent. Oh shit! Out in the middle of nowhere and sure to be towed and screwed over! The police officer asked me how it was going (he probably noticed my red eyes), and I told him that I was returning to LA in my son’s truck, for his rosary and funeral. The cop took my license and returned to his vehicle where he (seen from my rear view mirror), carried on an animated conversation with the other cop for a short while. The officer then walked back to the window and handed me my license, he said to me “ my condolences about your son, go ahead and take off but be careful around the CHP up ahead”.
    He started to walk away and I stopped him, “Thank you for your humanity officer and God Bless you”, a miracle I thought as I drove on into LA.
    That night as I consoled my wife, both of us crying together until exhaustion took over, she woke me up suddenly, it was eleven or midnight and she mumbled something about someone being there to take our sons truck. I walked into the backyard and saw two guys putting a slim Jim down the pick up window and waving a paper at me yelling that they were repossessing the truck by order of the lien holder (The Glendale Schools Credit Union and he only owed a few more payments!). I took a look at the paper and it had my sons name on it, that he was deceased, and it also stated that he owed no money (the truck payment was taken out of his check), I asked what the hell was going on as my son had just died two days before and he wasn’t behind in his payments.
    Just a formality I was told, just cooperate, let them take the truck and I could contact the Glendale Schools Credit Union in the morning.
    I moved towards the truck to get my wallet and jacket when one of the repo men moved in front of me and blocked my path. “Ok MFer I said! this is just the therapy I need right now”, as I put up my dukes and moved toward the door. He moved out of the way just in time but a giant loud discussion ensued while the matter was discussed further.
    Up the driveway suddenly came two LAPD officers who were immediately confronted by the two-repo men who loudly stated their mission and legal right to take the truck.
    While the Anglo officer quieted me down by telling me that these guys were just doing their job I noticed the Chicano officer pacing back and forth with a look of consternation on his face.
    Suddenly he said to me “Hey come here, do you want them to take your sons truck?” Hell no I replied. He then said loudly to the repo men “Hey come over here, you guys aren’t taking this truck anywhere tonight, You trespassed into this mans yard and that won’t fly”.
    The repo men started flashing the paperwork around and yelling like lawyers in court but the officer just stared at them and started rocking his head back and forth like he was ready to lump their heads, they got the message and took off pronto still protesting.
    I was in shock, being backed up by the LAPD as righteously as Moses at the burning bush!
    As they left I shook their hands and thanked them and God blessed them as profoundly as I could.
    I called the watch commander at Northeast Division and told her about the humanity that officer Ramirez and his partner had displayed (sorry but I can’t recall the other officers name), they humbled me by their display of compassion and I will never forget it.
    The watch commander told me that the repo company had been on the phone complaining like hell but that the whining had fallen on deaf ears. She told me that if they came back I should call 911 and report a prowler.
    God Bless Them All!
    By the way, Father Greg Boyle did the funeral mass for my son last Saturday at Dolores Mission Church and the overflow crowd of mourners and myself have never been witness to such a beautiful service.
    God Bless Them All!

  • DQ, I’m so, so devastated to hear about your son. My heart is broken in your behalf. You and your family will be in my prayers and thoughts, and those of a great many others, as SureFire has already shown.

  • Sorry for the loss of your son. Keep your faith and the Lord will give you strength. Its wonderful stories like this the media needs to report more often. LAPD Officers everyday perform acts of kindness and heroism that rarely make the media. They love to exaggerate and report the negatives. However, I’ve noticed local newspapers have lost 1,000’s and are down because people are tired of negative stories. 11 Police Officers have been killed in the line of duty in 24 hours this week. Where is the media coverage on that? These are men who gave their lives to save and protect people. Do they not qualify for a media story??? Very sad indeed

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. There is no pain like that of losing a child. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Don Q I have seen you on many blogs that I frequent in the past years. I first saw you on Wally’s blog INTHEHAT as well as BITH, LA EASTSIDE and here at WLA. I have some times enjoyed your stories of yesteryear and other times disagreed heatedly with some of your opinions. We threw some internet chingasos a few times over at Wally’s.
    With all that said… I have always had bit of respect for you. I was floored when I read your recent comment. I offer my deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss. I know you are in for some tough times in the future. My prayers go out to you.

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