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Criminal Justice

LAPD Wants Landlords To Help It With Recruiting

LAPD headquarters is seen to the right with the words Los Angeles Police Department on the wall, and another building is seen in the background.
LAPD headquarters
(Chava Sanchez
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The LAPD is having trouble filling its ranks. Now it’s asking local landlords to help.

Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission on Tuesday that he’s putting together a proposal that would ask landlords to partially subsidize apartments for police recruits for two years as they go through their training and get started with the department.

The LAPD said it will also ask local businesses, foundations and individuals to chip in to a fund that would help pay rent for new hires.

Last month, Moore told the commission that the department is not on track to hit its staffing goal of 740 new officers by the end of June. On Tuesday, he said LAPD recruiters often hear from potential recruits that the high cost of housing is “a barrier and an impediment” to their joining the force.

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The department had 10,100 officers before the pandemic, and Moore said that number has fallen to 9,390.

The Los Angeles Business Journal first reported on the housing plan on Monday, and Police Commission member Steve Soboroff said there’s already been “an enormous response” from landlords who say they want to rent to new officers or help them pay their rent.

The paper said L.A. developer Geoffrey Palmer, who owns more than 15,000 Southern California apartment units according to his company’s website, is interested in participating in the program.

LAPD recruits are paid an annualized salary of nearly $71,000 during their six-month academy training. That rises to nearly $75,000 during their subsequent 12-month period as a trainee. The salary grows to $80,000 once they complete the training period.

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Emily Elena Dugdale covers smaller police departments around Southern California, school safety officers, jails and prisons, and juvenile justice issues. She also covers the LAPD and the L.A. Sheriff’s Department.