Acknowledging major problems with the quality of its investigations into traffic collisions involving officers, the Los Angeles Police Department announced new rules intended to improve the thoroughness and credibility of the inquiries, reports the Los Angeles Times. The times had examined the human and financial toll of officer-involved accidents. The Times found that police caused about 1,250 crashes over the last three years — an average of about one a day.
Most were minor, but some resulted in life-threatening injuries or were the result of the officer violating traffic laws. In at least two incidents, the driver of another car was killed. Under the new policy, any time an officer is involved in a traffic accident in which someone is killed or injured badly enough to require hospitalization, a team of detectives and officers trained in crash reconstruction will go to the scene immediately. The team will preserve skid marks and other physical evidence needed to reconstruct the crash and will interview witnesses and compel the officers involved to give their account of what happened.