Following the DUI death earlier this month of a police veteran who had been drinking on payday at a bar at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park, officials announced that the watering hole would be closed for the traditional “payday Wednesdays” festivities there.
Retired Deputy Chief George Beck, former director of the nonprofit police club that runs the bar, told KNX 1070 Newsradio this week that next year the venue will be closed every other Wednesday, corresponding with cops' paydays, and that the organization, the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club, will hand over operation of the bar to a third party to shield it and the police department from liability.
“We've had one accident,” said Beck, father of Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck. “We don't want another.”
Officer Kenneth Aragon, 47, crashed his motorcycle Dec. 3 on Fletcher Drive, not far from the academy, about 90 minutes after he left the bar. The 19-year veteran's blood-alcohol level was “well over” the legal limit, an LAPD official said. But, given the time lapse between his presence at the police club venue and the accident, it wasn't clear if Aragon went over the limit while on academy grounds or while he was possibly at another bar.