L.A. Sheriff’s Department blamed for rise in accidental gunshots by deputies

Matt Hamilton | LA Times
December 16, 2015

officer shooting laThe Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department failed to properly train deputies before equipping them with a new type of handgun, contributing to a dramatic rise in accidental shootings that continues to put officers and the public at risk, the agency’s watchdog said Wednesday.

In addition to singling out inadequate training, a report issued by the department’s inspector general faulted deputies for violating basic firearm safety rules and making mistakes when using a new light attached to the gun, the Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm.

The weapon lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger than the previous department-issued handgun, the Beretta 92F.

In 2014, the second year after the new handgun began replacing the Berettas among sworn deputies, the department saw 19 accidental gunshots in the field, a 500% increase compared with 2012, the report said.

A Times story published in June highlighted the increase in accidental gunshots by deputies since the adoption of the new handgun.

The inspector general found that the department’s eight-hour training course for deputies issued the Smith & Wesson firearm was “insufficient to overcome old habits” learned from using the Beretta.

Read more here: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-los-angeles-sheriff-training-handgun-accidental-discharges-20151216-story.html

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