Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey on Thursday announced a new program that seeks to improve investigations of industrial accidents and environmental crimes.
The new unit, consisting of more than a dozen members, will send investigators to the sites of accidents, immediately upon notification by first responders. The District Attorney’s office has signed agreements with several local enforcement agencies and has asked first responders to provide notification when they are at locations involving deaths, injuries and threats to the environment.
Lacey said the goal is to gather information that would help her office build stronger cases against potential violations of workplace and environmental safety laws.
“The LA County’s DA office is fully committed to the rigorous enforcement of these laws and regulations,” Lacey said. “Businesses that do not ensure worker and community safety will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
A pilot of the program has been running for the past few months, and the unit has already begun investigating possible infractions.
“We have gone out to four incidents, and they have been very helpful in assessing the situation and making us more confident in whatever decision we come to in those cases,” said Hoon Chun, assistant head deputy of the consumer protection division.
Chun said he could not share more information about the incidents, as the cases are pending.