LAPD Rolls Out Enhanced Training Focused on Public Trust, Use of Force

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Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck addressed LAPD officers during a training session held Monday at deToledo High School in West Hills. The training is focused on building public trust and de-escalating situations where officers might otherwise use force. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department rolled out enhanced training for its officers this week focused on interacting with the mentally ill, building public trust and reducing tensions in potentially violent encounters.

Speaking outside one of the training sessions Monday in West Hills, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the discussions centered on many of the issues that have arisen amid the ongoing national conversation about policing. Police departments across the country have been criticized during the last year after a string of high-profile officer killings of unarmed black men.

Beck acknowledged last summer’s police shooting of Ezell Ford, a mentally ill black man, in South L.A. also was an impetus for the training, calling that fatal shooting “an important incident in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department.”

The sessions will cover topics including what constitutes a legitimate use of force and the importance of fair, equal treatment by officers when interacting with the public, Beck said.

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