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Bratton Says Taxes Should Lower if Police Hiring Freeze Happens

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Some L.A. City Councilmembers are considering freezing the police department's budget in light of the economy and a downtrend in the city's crime statistics. Specifically, it would affect the goal of hiring 10,000 officers, a Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa campaign promise that is nearing completion. Proponents of the hiring freeze say it doesn't make sense to hire officers and then furlough them.

But outgoing Chief William Bratton said yesterday at a Los Angeles Magazine event and interview that such a freeze is not such a good idea. And if that should happen, the city "should refund part of the trash fee hike it promoted for funding police," according to LA Observed's Kevin Roderick, who attended the event.

He also thinks L.A.'s political system is "unfortunate" where the balance of power between the Mayor and City Council is much different than in New York City, where the Mayor holds more power. He's frustrated that he has "to go through about five city council committees to hire anybody." Not only that, he believes politicians out here hold grudges, which holds things back.