CSLEA was recently made aware of the following incidents occurring at Metropolitan State Hospital as described by the Department of State Hospitals:
- On March 9, 2015, an HPO conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was observed driving recklessly at high speeds on South Circle Drive on hospital grounds. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle had been taken from another individual. Two males were arrested for taking or operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. The two males were booked into custody at LA County Sheriff’s Norwalk station.
- On March 28, 2015, a former employee, who has had some documented mental problems, returned to Metro and stopped at the gate, identified himself to the officer, and said he was going to visit an employee at Metro. This former employee had been previously arrested for trespassing at Metro. The officer called for backup on the radio and officers responded. As officers approached, the former employee backed out of the property onto the street and started to leave. The officers stopped him to ascertain the reason for being on the property. They asked for and received permission to search his vehicle. They found several “high-capacity” magazines for a handgun, some marijuana, and a tortoise in the trunk. He was arrested for trespassing and possession of the magazines, and transported to LASD and booked.
These are the types of incidents that our officers employed by the Department of State Hospitals and Developmental Services face on a daily basis while unarmed. As evidenced by these occurrences, our officers continue to enforce the law with management’s knowledge and consent within facilities which are open to the public which includes former, disgruntled employees. It was only on April 29, 2014 that a former employee (believed to be the same former employee cited above in the March 28 incident) made threats that he would kill Metro staff. These threats caused the temporary installation of a checkpoint on the entry road into the Metro facility which was staffed by unarmed Metro HPOs. Fortunately, the checkpoint was disassembled the same day after CSLEA was notified and conferred with management.
With these incidents seemingly multiplying, CSLEA will continue to aggressively pursue the safest working environments possible for its officers. At the same time, officers are encouraged to share their concerns with CSLEA by contacting staff counsel, Ryan Navarre (firstname.lastname@example.org – 916/447-5262) and David De La Riva (email@example.com – 714/894-4411).