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Safety First? Budget Cuts Mean No More New Cops for LAPD
By Kevin Mathews/Special to LAist
Last night, LA City Council approved a hiring freeze for the LAPD over the next three months. The freeze is designed to help decrease the city’s budget deficit by saving the city more than $4 million in the coming fifteen months, reports LA Now.
The decision faced some initial opposition from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who promised during his campaign to keep the police force above 10,000 officers. Within three months, the number of officers would fall to 9,890, well below the amount that Police Chief Charlie Beck says is required to maintain a safe city. The City Council compromised by agreeing to approve April’s recruiting class, which is currently undergoing training.
On the other hand, the police union supports the hiring freeze. Since furlough days seem inevitable with an increased staff and reduced budget, the union hopes to preserve the wages of the existing workforce. City officials believe that the move will have public support as well after citizens voted to shrink pension benefits for police earlier this month.