LAPD says there are no specific intelligence threats but still ready to pre-deploy officers
By Sam Catanzaro
As the trial against Derek Chauvin– the police officer charged with killing George Floyd–began in Minneapolis last week, the LAPD says it has identified Century City and Westwood as potential targets for looting and vandalism in the event of unrest, despite having no specific intelligence threats.
Last week, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) West Los Angeles Area Captain Jonathan Tom notified residents and business owners the department is preparing for different reactions to the trial.
According to Tom, the West Los Angeles division does not have any specific intelligence regarding potential unrest in the area, but has pre-identified locations that are likely to be targets of looting, vandalism and protests.
“We do not know when the trial will conclude, but we do know that there are some in the community that are concerned about the potential for civil unrest,” Tom wrote in a letter. “My purpose in communicating with you is to let you know that West Los Angeles Area (WLA) and the Department are diligently preparing for different reactions to the trial. That being said, we fervently hope for a peaceful reaction to the outcome of the trial.”
In a phone call with Century City-Westwood News, Tom said that the Westside locations are Westfield Century City, Westwood Village, Palisades Village and Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard corridors.
“If it becomes necessary, we will pre-deploy officers to those locations,” Tom said.
In addition, Tom noted that the Department is conducting tabletop exercises to evaluate its preparedness.
In the phone call, Tom stressed that there is no indication of any unrest at the present time but, but that the LAPD is still preparing for the possibility in the same way they did ahead of Election Day and Inauguration Day.
While budget cuts has led to an overall reduction of LAPD officers citywide, Tom says the number of patrol officers on the Westside has increased.
“While we have had a reduction in overall Department personnel, the Chief of Police has directed more resources to be allocated to patrol divisions. As a result, you may have noticed more black and white patrol vehicles driving around your neighborhoods. In my time at West LA, we have never had so many officers in patrol as we do now,” Tom wrote.