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2015 Officer Traffic Safety Finalist
In 2013, the Los Angeles (CA) Police Department's Commanding Officer of the Central Traffic Division, Captain Ann Young, was reflecting on the approaching 25th anniversary of the fatal traffic crash between two department cruisers that claimed the lives of three officers and injured one other at the intersection of 5th and Wall. Recognizing the constant need to improve seatbelt usage, Captain Young formed a committee with a goal to produce a video to both train officers and raise awareness of the importance of belt usage by officers. The committee reached out to the surviving officer, families of the fallen officers, and enlisted the community’s help to develop a script, identify actors, and conducting video interviews.
The final video was viewed by the families of the involved officers and senior staff on December 10, 2013. In an effort to promote officer safety department-wide, the Chief of Police mandated that every officer view the video. In 2014, officers viewed the video during roll call and new recruits viewed it during academy classes.
Analyzing traffic crash data, the department was able to calculate the rate of improvement in seatbelt usage during the period the video was rolled out. In three of the four bureaus, seatbelt usage increased, however, belt usage in the fourth bureau remained flat.
Department-wide, between the first quarter and the fourth quarter of 2014, seatbelt usage increased from approximately 84% to 89%, an increase of roughly 6%. The South Bureau experienced the highest increase, with first quarter usage at 76% and fourth quarter usage rising to 86%, an increase of roughly 13%.