LAPD's 'protection details' end after Dorner's remains identified
Los Angeles Police Department personnel who were protecting fellow officers allegedly threatened by Christopher Jordan Dorner are being sent back to their normal duties, Chief Charlie Beck said Thursday afternoon.
The LAPD had assigned the "protection details" to the homes of more than 50 officers and their families after they were allegedly named as targets in a manifesto that authorities say Dorner had posted on his Facebook page.
"We've taken away the protection details," Beck told The Times. He spoke shortly after authorities said they had positively identified the charred remains found in a mountain cabin Tuesday as being the body of Dorner.
The 24-hour protection details taxed LAPD resources. The city has not released financial figures on the cost of the operation.
Becks said the ordeal in which Dorner is suspected of killing four people, including two lawmen, took a mental toll on people who were allegedly targeted.
"We are very concerned about the mental well-being of some of people being protected and their families," he said, adding that the department would provide counseling services.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dpeartment announced that it had made the identification using dental records during an autopsy.
The announcement brings a formal end to the massive law enforcement dragnet that ended in a fiery shootout in the snow-covered San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear. Dorner died Tuesday at the end of a hours-long gun battle as flames engulfed the cabin where he and officers exchanged hundreds of rounds. As the gunfight raged, one San Bernardino County deputy was killed and another was seriously wounded.
SWAT officers who had taken up positions in the heavily forested area decided to fire highly flammable "hot gas" canisters as a last resort after other efforts to persuade Dorner to surrender failed, according to law enforcement sources.
Officers made the decision to deploy the gas projectiles, which sparked the blaze, as the sun was setting and authorities worried about dealing with the volatile situation in the darkness, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Dorner had continued to fire on officers, and they feared more deputies would be hurt or killed, they added.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said deputies did not purposely burn down the cabin. He said they deployed the CS canisters after they were left with no other options.
"I can tell you it was not on purpose," he said. "We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out."
McMahon praised the deputies involved in the firefight. "It was like a war zone, and our deputies continued to go in the area .... Our deputies are true heroes."
Dorner, an ex-LAPD officer embittered by his firing in 2009, is suspected of killing the daughter of a retired LAPD captain, her fiance and two law officers during a nine-day rampage that began in Irvine, according to law enforcement authorities.
The news that Dorner' remains had been identified brought a collective feeling of relief to residents in the area where he had been hiding out.
Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte said he was relieved that the manhunt was over. The area was "freed of the sense of being a community that is not safe because there is a cop-killer hiding in our little mountain town."
Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, center, pictured with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Irvine, Calif., Mayor Steven Choi at a recent news conference, has announced that the department is ending its "protection details" now that Christopher Dorner's body has been positively identified. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press