LAPD Introduced Germ-Fighting Robot at Central Station

Hygiene concept. Man is showing dirty hands with many viruses and germs.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - It doesn't fight crime, but Los Angeles police unveiled a robot today at the Central Station that will take on another foe -- germs.

At the station where an employee last month contracted the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore introduced ``Light Strike,'' a robot designed to eliminate germs from an entire room.

``The cleanliness and safety of this facility has always been a challenge and a concern of LAPD, as well as the Department of General Services, which is the provider for all of our custodial services as well as the maintenance of this building, and the operational status of it,'' Moore said.

That difficulty was highlighted in late May when an officer was infected with salmonella typhi, while at least two other people were sent home experiencing similar symptoms.

The issues led to Friday's introduction of ``Light Strike,'' which is used in hospitals across the country. Also introduced at the Central Station, which is located at 251 E. Sixth St., near Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, was ``Healthy Soles,'' a shoe sanitizer.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the LAPD was fined $5,425 by the state Department of Industrial Relations last month for failing to train employees about how typhus fever is transmitted, the symptoms of the illness or measures that can be taken to prevent it. The state also faulted the agency for not having an extermination program to control rats, fleas, roaches, gnats, mosquitoes or grasshoppers -- all of which were found at the station during a November inspection, The Times reported.

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