Los Angeles city, police union reach tentative labor deal

A tentative agreement was announced Tuesday between the city and the union representing Los Angeles Police Department officers, sergeants, detectives and lieutenants, with the mayor's office insisting the deal would improve recruitment and retention efforts through increased starting salaries and incentives.

"My number-one job is to keep Angelenos safe," Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement announcing the agreement. "Like many major cities across America, our police department is enduring a hiring and retention crisis, so we are taking critical action. In April, I proposed a budget to address concerns within the Los Angeles Police Department and to provide investments to hire more police officers, expedite the hiring process, and improve retention. Today's contract is consistent with those goals."

According to the mayor's office, staffing at LAPD has declined by more than 1,000 officers since the beginning of 2020, and the agency is expected to lose hundreds more in the coming year due to retirements and resignations.

Furthermore, since 2017, LAPD has lost more than 430 officers in their first year and a half of duty, and a significant number leave for other agencies before serving for 10 years, according to the mayor's office.

According to Bass' office, the proposed contract would increase the starting base salary by 11%, with 3% increases in base salary annually each year of the contract. The proposal also includes "retention pay incentives" aimed at keeping officers in the LAPD "for the long term."

The contract also improves health, life and dental insurance benefits, according to the mayor's office.

The contract is subject to approval by union members.

Officials from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, said negotiations were respectful, as both parties recognized the importance of retention and recruitment of officers.

"We believe this tentative agreement will put the LAPD on the right path toward retaining our experienced officers and supervisors and recruiting qualified cadets to enter our academy," Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz, vice president of the LAPPL, said in a statement. "Our rank-and-file deserve these increases and improvements as we work toward restoring staffing after losing over 1,000 officers."