LAPD uses germ-zapping machine to fight infection

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Pulsing 67 times per second -- and intense enough to rip apart bacteria -- a UVC light machine is the latest tool to help police officers fight infection.

In the Los Angeles Police Department substation next to Skid Row, at least two officers recently suffered from salmonella typhi-related symptoms.

It's here where the Lightstrike is being deployed first.

"This facility is the first police facility in the world that has brought this highly technical and expensive device, I might say, into the workplace to provide for another layer of safety," said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.

The Lightstrike is often used within hospitals and other government facilities. It cleans and decontaminates highly touched surfaces that are breeding grounds for bacterial infections by using the powerful UVC light.

"UVC is filtered mostly through our earth's ozone layer, so there's not a lot of it present among us. Therefore bugs like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and Candida auris, VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci), CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), haven't built up a resistance to this UVC light," said Xenex Account Executive Leah Hansen.

The Lightstrike is one of two machines helping clean one of the dirtiest buildings in Los Angeles. Healthy Sole is another. It sanitizes footwear via ultraviolet light as officers re-enter the building. Custodial staff are also working seven days a week to help the LAPD fight disease.

"When you look at an episode of MRSA exposure or a bacterial infection, not just the medical cost but the emotional cost that comes with those episodes, these devices pay for themselves five and tenfold," said Moore.
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