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Is a LAPD Hiring Freeze on the Way?

Photo by Open Air Control Testing Ground via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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After a lower-than-expected attrition rate, it looks like LAPD will be unexpectedly beefing up its ranks by 22 more officers than planned for, according to the LA Times. Even with those extra numbers on the force, the goal of 9,963 sworn officers is still slightly lower than Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's goal of 10,000 officers.

Still, a budget panel of city councilmembers yesterday voted for a full-out freeze in LAPD hiring. Normally, the extra officers wouldn't be such a big deal, but considering L.A.'s $222 million deficit, every penny counts. "If you keep hiring police officers, you have to lay off other folks," said Councilmember Bernard Parks, who is the former Chief of Police.

Chief Charlie Beck said a freeze could mean 90 less officers by the end of June and another 230 over the next fiscal year, which begins in July. Considering how officers are taking over for laid off or furloughed civilians and overtime cuts mean fewer solved cases, is this a good idea?