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Police commission approves 8,000 trauma aid kits for LAPD officers

Law EnforcementCrime, Law and JusticeFirst Aid

The Los Angeles police commission approved 8,000 first-aid trauma kits for officers that could be used to treat their own or others' gunshot wounds in active-shooter situations.

“Somewhere, someday a police officer is going to be saved” by one of these kits, said Cmdr. Rick Webb. “This is a big deal.”

The trauma kits are modeled after military-style kits used in combat and are smaller than bulky ones officers currently keep in their cars, Webb said. The City Council will have to sign off on the kits before they can be distributed to police.

The kits would cost $350,000 and training for officers to use them would cost an additional $100,000, officials said. All the costs would be covered by donations and grants, police said.

The department began examining the type of first-aid treatment available to its officers in live-shooter situations after gunmen in Mumbai, India, conducted a coordinated attack against two hotels and other sites in 2008, Webb said.

Department brass began considering what they would have available in a similar situation, Webb said.

The trauma kits should act as an incentive for the thousands of officers who need refresher training on first aid and CPR, Webb said.

An audit by the Office of the Inspector General in October found the department was not offering required refresher training on first aid and CPR once officers left the academy, unless they were part of the department’s specialized metropolitan division.

The city’s SWAT officers and paramedics have been using trauma kits for years, officials said. But because of the lack of refresher training for street-level cops, “the expectation should not be there in the public” that officers will use their trauma kits on a shooting victim, said Cmdr. Bill Murphy.

Officers will begin using the kits in six to eight weeks with all 8,000 of them expected in the field by the summer of 2015, Murphy said.

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Twitter: @josephserna

Joseph.serna@latimes.com

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