In the last three years, the Los Angeles Police Department has been involved in more than 1,250 collisions. Those accidents – many of which have the appearance of resulting from the action of officers, cost the city about $24 million in legal payouts. That’s why the LAPD is currently looking for ways to reduce the number of collisions.

Part of the approach to reduce collisions is to change how the department responds immediately after an accident. Currently, accidents are investigated like misconduct, but the city is considering raising the stakes. One of the proposals being considered would treat serious accidents involving police officers similarly to officer-involved shootings. In those scenarios, specially trained detectives would work the case and gather evidence.

Another tool that the LAPD currently uses is a point system – similar to those in place for civilian drivers. If a police officer accumulates 5 points in two years, they lose their driving privileges for six months.

The LAPD is trying to reduce its legal exposure on all fronts after 1,900 lawsuits cost the city a combined $138 million since 2002.

From the Los Angeles Times:

At any given moment in Los Angeles, scores of police cars are out on the streets — either rushing to calls for help or prowling around in search of trouble.

Despite the training cops receive in how to speed safely through traffic, they are an accident-prone bunch. Police were involved in traffic accidents more than 1,250 times in the last three years — an average of about one a day.

Read the full article here.