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Jury Awards More Than $12 Million to Injured LAPD Recruits

May 06, 2014  | 

A jury Monday awarded more than $12 million to a group of former Los Angeles police recruits who were forced out of the LAPD after suffering injuries in the department's training academy.

The verdict comes as the department struggles to attract sufficient numbers of recruits into its ranks and many young officers have quit over a salary dispute.

"It's justice," Justin Desmond, one of the five plaintiffs in the case, told the Los Angeles Times. "All I ever wanted to do was go back to my job and be a Los Angeles police officer. But they never would let me do it."

The case hinged on a move LAPD officials made in September 2009 to deal with a few recruits who had been recuperating for several months from injuries they received in the academy, said Matthew McNicholas, the attorney representing the group.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/6/2014 4:04 PM

I would think it is only decent to allow injured recruits to recuperate before bringing then back into the Academy. I don't know if this has happened there yet but in the Midwest some recruits have been killed accidentally by other recruits on the firing range. I remember one recruit getting a jam and holding the gun parallel to their body to clear the jam and the gun firing directly into the recruit standing beside her killing him on the spot. That has happened a lot and that was the only instance I know of where a recruit died but many do get accidentally shot that way and some do it to themselves as well. If injury victims are able to come back they should be allowed a second chance.

KevCopAz @ 5/6/2014 5:36 PM

I know that Im a dinosaur, but back in 1980 in Phx. PD academy if you "washed out" from an injury the only thing they "might" do is recycle you, no sick leave, no light duty. IF you recovered enough to re-enter the academy, they "might" have let you. I saw many in my class that were injured, separated and never got any rehab, any sick time, any light duty or any payment, only a "sorry it didn't work out for you" Didn't think much of it then, but Im sure things have changed even here. Now you get light duty, time to heal and if you don't they give you a civilian job if possible. Thats not great but its something. We were soooo young and dumb back then. But, i would put those recruits up against the "new breed" anytime for heart, drive and dedication to being "POLICE", not getting a "job".

TheRookie @ 5/6/2014 7:20 PM

KevCopAz, I know what you mean. Had a Colorado colleague take a position with Tucson and got the same. Injured & told see ya. I heard Albuquerque does the same, too. Hopefully this LA verdict will set precedence.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/6/2014 10:12 PM

If you are hurt through no fault of your own and it is accidental I can't see why they couldn't get a second chance. Most states you have to be commissioned first and your agency sends you through the Academy, but not every state follows that plan. In Florida, anyone off the street can go to a technical or community college and all they have to do is pay for their own training and they get credentials from the State of Florida allowing them to apply anywhere in the state. They are not sponsored by an Agency to go through basic police training. This is completely backwards of my state where you have to be hired and commissioned to be sponsored to an academy and your agency pays for all the training costs. Our recruits are paid a salary the entire time they are in the Academy and then they would go through another 6 mos or so in training with an FTO. Florida uses standardized forms and CAD systems throughout the state so the paperwork in Daytona is the same as the paperwork in Panama City. Not so in other states where each agency has their own forms specific to their own needs. It's interesting the differences there are from state to state.

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