1,000 LAPD Civilian Jobs Cut, but Does That Mean 1,000 Fewer Officers on L.A.'s Streets?
The union that represents LAPD officers are blowing the whistle on what they are calling a myth in the city budget cuts. From their blog:
... it is a myth that the LAPD has been exempt from the city’s budget cuts. The impact of officers being taken off the streets because of overtime concerns, and filling in for furloughed civilians or vacant civilian jobs, are very real. City officials need to carefully consider the impact of budget cuts and realize the consequences to public safety of any actions that increase police response time and decrease patrols in our city. These widespread cuts, in combination with forced time off, are resulting in significantly reduced police deployments throughout the city that threaten to create a public safety crisis this summer.
There are 3,958 civilian positions, but only 3,000 of them are filled. By July 1st, the new fiscal year, another hundred could be slashed, shifting the responsibility to sworn officers, according to the L.A. Police Protective League. That means more officers instead of civilians will be working 911 call centers, processing warrants, data entry work for booking suspects, writing grants and doing statistical crime analysis.
"For every 100 officers who are pulled from field work to backfill vacant civilian positions, it is the equivalent of removing about 30 police cars citywide," the LAPPL's blog noted.
[For the Record: An earlier version of this post say 1,000 officers would be cut from the streets. The LAPPL believes 1,000 officers won't be pulled from the streets, but rather, not all vacant civilian posts wil be filled. Although the homicide rate has increased, all other crimes, violent and property, have decreased this year.]