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After officer's death, bar at L.A. Police Academy to be closed on 'payday Wednesdays'

The bar at the Los Angeles Police Academy will be shut down on paydays, officials said today, after an officer who had been drinking there was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Officer Kenneth Aragon was killed Dec. 3 after drinking earlier in the day at the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club with other officers on “payday Wednesday." Up to now, the bar had been open on those days LAPD officers received their bimonthly paychecks.

"It's the responsible thing to do," said LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon, a five-year member of the board that oversees the revolver and athletic club.

The closures are intended to avoid a repeat of the circumstances that led to Aragon's death and will begin next month when an independent food and beverage operator assumes management of the banquet room.

LAPD Cmdr. David Doan told The Times last week that Aragon’s blood-alcohol level was “well over” the legal limit.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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Comments () | Archives (38)

Why is there a bar at the Police Academy in the first place? Evidently there wasn't enough oversight to cut the officer before he consumed an unsafe amount. Some proportion of officers are sure to arrive and leave on motorcycles offering zero protection in the event of a crash. And what are the chances of an officer actually being cited for DUI or DWI? There is no safety net in place and little possibility that there ever will be one.

it sad when the people who are supposed to stop drunk drivers and the ones doing it. i though cops were supposed to use good judgement its that bad that they have to close the bar cuz they cant use good judgement. i was hit my a drunk driver and it changed my life and the things that i enjoyed b4. its just a shame

The responsible thing would be to close the bar permanently.

Why is there a bar in or near a City-owned facility anyway?

Is it OK for police officers (or any other City employee) to get drunk and drive home--as long as it's not payday?

What if that unfortunate officer had crashed into and killed a civilian? Who would be liable? How many more millions is LAPD going to cost the taxpayers in stupid litigation?

I'm not a cop, and it doesn't affect me one way or the other, but why not leave the bar open and just not serve alcohol? That way they have a place to go, instead of gathering at another off-site bar that does serve alcohol.

Whats new? It's a tragedy to hear that someone died. But,for people to think officers don't drink and drive is completely silly!

And what is a bar doing at the LAPD Academy ???

"...Aragon’s blood-alcohol level was “well over” the legal limit."

I'm sorry, but an officer should know NOT to be operating a motorcycle or vehicle after drinking that much, do you think? No sympathy there.

Why in the world is there a bar in the Police Academy?

And these are the people who want to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries?

Yes, please, LAPD -- clean up your own act first.

The Nanny State is here.

This sickens me! Why can’t they go to a regular bar like everyone else? Why is there a bar at the academy anyways? All I can say is practice what you preach!!! I guess this is just another way for them to think they (police officers) are superior to everyone else.

""It's the responsible thing to do," said LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon...."

Uhhhh, Pat? The responsible thing to do was to not serve this guy any liquor after he became unable to ride/drive. The Los Angeles Police Academy and the server of the liquor are soley responsible for this man's death. It is still a "Do as we say not as we do" mentallity with any police force..... SHAME on you LAPD Deputy Chief Pat Gannon and those who SHOULD and could have prevented this tragedy from happening.

Why is there even a bar at a police accademy?!? Muchless a Revolver club. For one: aren't Police supposed to set an example. I don't think getting your paycheck and heading directly to the bar is being a good mentor. Two: Guns and Alcohol? I thought there were already laws about this. And three: Only closing the bar on payday? Do officers not have money the rest of the time? Kind of seems logical this could happen anytime, anyday of the year. Oh... and lets not forget about the officer's buddies that were most likely drinking with him and then let him leave in the state he was in. I thought these guys were trained to recognize such behavior. Oh, wait... this is the LAPD we're are talking about. One of the most corrupt organizations in the country. After all, they have a bar at their accademy... what the hell for.

Why is there a bar at the academy? Sounds like a really stupid "fix" to me. They'll just find another local bar to drink at!

Well now I've heard it all....the police department sells liquor to one of it's own. He drinks too much alcohol and then dies on a motorcycle....May he rest in peace but i'm just thinking.....Is the best that the department can do is stop selling liquor on paydays?..What about the other days where some officers still have money to spend?...How about teaching your officers to abide by the same laws that they enforce?....I watch people in my family that are officers do the same thing at their homes and I ask the same question....How can you enforce something that you yourself are breaking once you get behind the wheel....No one should be above the law and this just proves that once again L.A.P.D believes that they are.....How many lives do we have to lose before they decide that before you can leave the building that you have to take a breathe test?......Curious minds wants to know....

See y'all at the Shortstop! Take it easy on the hipsters.

Will the police set up a sobriety checkpoint outside the Police Academy to catch their own? I didn't think so.

OK, I feel bad for the cop's family...but seriously...are you kidding me that the Police Academy has it's own bar and doesn't watch out for drunk cops taking to the road? This is no better than the old Welfare Wednesday, where the drunks all partied because they got their welfare check. This is sort of unbelievable in my view.

Why does the police academy have a bar at all?

Overreacting to an unfortunate incident.

How many times have the police set up a SOBRIETY CHECK POINT just outside "This" bar?

Who owns this bar? Where do the profits go? Is this bar ON city property? What happened to holding bartenders responsible for drunk driving? Are the police investigating this angle?


The property at the police academy is privately owned. That is why there is a bar, and a restaurant at the facility.

The police academy is a private facility owned by the Police Revolver and Athletic Club. The Club leases parts of the facility for police activities. The bar/lounge area is privately owned and belongs to the athletic club. The restaurant and lounge are properly licensed by Beverage Control. The officer in question left the lounge and was involved in one party traffic collision hours later. That does not excuse his behaviour but he could have been drinking at many of the bars near Atwater Village where he crashed.

I am pretty sure the City of Los Angeles and their police department do not own a bar, and do not have a license to serve alcohol. There is a private club, that officers belong to, that runs a store, a cafe, and a bar up at the old academy near Dodger Stadium. Will they close down the credit union up there too, since it is also started up by a group of officers too? Why is it when officers act like everyone, people are surprised? Plus the officer left the bar almost two hours before he crashed, just a few miles away. Since the bar was opened on the 1920's, I guess they have been doing something wrong for 90 years? Sure are a lot of lies running around that the media is printing and people are parroting. Changes are needed but not more lies.

It is my understanding that the police academy is not owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. It is owned by LAPRAAC (Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club), which was formed in the 1930s to build camaraderie among police officers working for peanuts in a City run by corrupt politicians. In fact, the officers themselves built most of what you see when you go to the academy. All the stone was hand laid by police officers. It belongs to them. Since it is a club, by law you are allowed to have an ABC license on the premises. Even though it is still a police academy, new recruits receive about 95% of their training at newer facilities. They spend very little time there, except for some orientation when they start, and at graduation. Most of those who are present at the pay day wednesdays are veteran officers who also happen to be adults free to do as they choose when they are not working. Was it a bad move to drink and drive? Obviously, yes. Is it a good idea to shut it down, or regulate it more? Probably. But, let's not rush to judgement thinking that all police are getting loaded at "the academy" and act like it's something shocking to the conscious. Lastly, I personally know at least 10 officers who have been arrested for DUI.

I was hit by a cop on a motorcycle over 15 years ago, he was quickly put into an ambulance but I know I smelled alcohol on his breath. The officers wrote a report (tainted it) making me the one at fault and had the nerve to give me three citations. They misquoted witnesses. I took them took court. Funny thing is all of a sudden there were 7 cops in the courtroom that day that were ready to lie and say that they were there, until they saw that I was represented by an attorney, don't think that they wanted to be found guilty of perjury for their friend (the motorcycle cop). Well, I won. Even the witnesses testified that the cop who wrote the report tainted their testimony. The only witness in the courtroom who reported seeing whatever the reporting officer wanted him to see was on heroin that night and was offered $20 by the cops if he said what they wanted him to say, the judge threw him out of the courtroom. The other witness was scared out of town, he had warrants out for his arrest. The lengths some people will go through. Wow! I agree with the guy who posted "so is it ok for them to drink on non-pay days"?...

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