LA to donate surplus LAPD ballistic helmets, vests to Ukraine

The Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday approved the donation of surplus ballistic helmets and vests from the Los Angeles Police Department to a foundation that will deliver the equipment to Ukraine for its army to use in its defense against Russia.

The 526 helmets and 378 vests will be donated to the First-In Fire Foundation, which will be responsible for the shipment and delivery to Ukraine. The department said the items are prepared in pallets and ready for immediate shipping.

"The equipment has no value to the LAPD," the department's chief Michel Moore said in a letter to the commission. He added that Mayor Eric Garcetti "is aware of this donation and fully supports the transfer of the equipment to aid the Ukrainian people."

The commission unanimously passed the motion without a discussion.

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The city has sought ways to aid Ukraine amid Russia's invasion. Russia has been accused of "apparent war crimes" against Ukrainian civilians by Human Rights Watch, and President Joe Biden on Monday called Russian killings of civilians in Bucha a "war crime."

The Los Angeles City Council on March 25 voted to initiate the process to adopt Kyiv as a Los Angeles sister city, which would allow L.A. to send Kyiv retired goods such as ambulances and fire trucks.

The motion, presented by Councilman Joe Buscaino, acknowledges that it is "literally the last thing on the minds of the leaders of Kyiv" -- but it calls for initiating the sister city process now as a sign of support for the Ukrainian capital amid Russia's invasion.

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