HomeCity NewsGlendale Police Recruit Recovering From Whittier Crash

Glendale Police Recruit Recovering From Whittier Crash

First published in the Nov. 19 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

By Andres de Ocampo
Glendale News-Press

A Glendale Police Department recruit is recovering from minor injury after an SUV motorist slammed into 75 law enforcement recruits during their morning run in South Whittier on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The incident resulted in 25 injuries to the law enforcement recruits from Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department and various local agencies, including Pasadena and Glendale. Out of the 25 injuries sustained, five were critical, four were moderate and 16 were minor — the Glendale recruit is one of the 25 who suffered a minor injury.
GPD’s Sgt. Victor Jackson said the injured recruit was brought to a hospital to be checked but was released shortly after the crash incident and back to the academy. Acting Police Chief Andrew Jenks went to visit the recruit as he was being released from the hospital.
“The senseless attack on our academy recruits was horrific. To target a group of defenseless young men and women who are at the very beginning of their careers of service is an attack on all of us,” Jenks said about the recruits who are in their eighth week of their 22-week training program.
“When I heard about the incident on Wednesday, members of my staff and I immediately responded to Whittier in support of our recruits, and our officer who is assigned to the academy as a drill instructor,” he added. “[On Thursday morning,] I again met with our Glendale employees assigned to the academy and made sure they were aware of our support and providing them with every resource available. We will continue to monitor and support their progress.”
Jenks is “fully confident and supportive of the ongoing investigation by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol,” he said.
“We are currently focusing our efforts on supporting our employees and their families,” he said. “In addition to our own recruits, our thoughts and prayers go out to the recovering recruits, their staff and their families.”
GPD has a total of three recruits in the sheriff’s STARS Explorer Academy law enforcement training center in Whittier and other recruits in multiple sheriff’s department training classes.
A 22-year-old motorist from Diamond Bar was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder of peace officers and held on bail for $22 million at the Norwalk Sheriff’s Department station, following the Wednesday morning incident.
As of Thursday night, the suspect was released from custody, but the Sheriff’s Department plans on a re-arrest.
According to a City News Service report, Deputy Miguel Meza said the suspect was released in part because the department is still collecting evidence from the scene, which includes ongoing interviews and video surveillance.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, District 5, said in a statement she was “shocked to hear that a driver plowed into a group of young sheriff’s academy cadets during their morning training run.
“These individuals represent the future of law enforcement; they have incredible courage and my utmost respect for wanting to serve their communities. … I’m tracking this incident closely,” Barger said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement, “Our hearts are with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits injured this morning while training to serve their communities. Jennifer and I send our best wishes for their recovery and stand with their loved ones and colleagues at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department during this difficult time.”

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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