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Los Angeles: New traffic measure replaces police officers with unarmed civilians

For 90 days, a study will be carried out that will compile the cost and logistics of the change. Civilians will "respond to certain traffic issues and investigate accidents" with the goal of "limiting fines in poorer communities."

Policía de Los Ángeles.

(Wikimedia Commons


In the city of Los Angeles, a new traffic law method is beginning to be implemented that will replacing police officers with teams of unarmed civilians.

Los Angeles City Council members voted 13-0 to test a new proposal that directs transportation staff to conduct a 90-day study to compile reports on the cost and logistics of "creating unarmed civilian teams to respond to certain traffic issues and investigate accidents; limiting fines in poorer communities; and ending the use of stops for minor infractions such as having expired tags or air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror."

Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson defended the proposal, saying, "I think the city of Los Angeles can lead the nation" in these types of reforms.

Police reform

The new measure is part of the city's broader effort to reform police standards and methods. It all started in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, when some activists declared that traffic stops and arrests had "denigrated generations of black and brown citizens" due to alleged differences in treatment based on race.

However, leaving the city without officers can be risky. Data from the Los Angeles Police Department reveals that its roads have become some of the deadliest and most dangerous in the country, with recorded traffic deaths reaching a record 336 last year. More than half were pedestrians hit by cars that were speeding.