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Hire New LAPD Officers or Status Quo Safe Enough?

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Photo by Jamie Engber via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Are dropping crime rates proof of the need to hire more LAPD officers or is it time to maintain the status quo? Police Chief Charlie Beck is clashing with the police union over new LAPD hires, according to the LA Times.Union leaders would like to halt the hiring of new LAPD officers and instead use that budget to fill open civilian jobs.

Beck disagrees, citing his department's ability to "balance safety and finances" and that recent drops in crime rates over the past several years prove as much.

The police union argues that civilian jobs continue to be filled by LAPD officers and that money would be better spent restoring overtime pay for officers once the civilian positions are filled.