New proposal suggests cutting 951 LAPD officers amid city's budget deficit

A new budget proposal suggests cutting 1,800 city jobs, including 951 sworn police officers from LAPD.

A Financial Status Report showed a more than $600 million revenue shortfall that is expected to grow in the coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the tax base.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti addressed the possibility of layoffs saying he wants it to be the last option and is pushing for federal assistance.

"It is my hope though that in the next two weeks, we can have a slither of good news from Washington that can avert those layoffs and so that we can deal with other ways to close the budget," said Garcetti.

LAPD Officer Robert Harris, a director on the Board of the Los Angeles Police Protective League shared his thoughts about the proposal.

"I think it's appalling and disappointing to see that what city council has done to propose such mass layoffs, simply to pad their political slush funds and I think it puts the communities that we serve in jeopardy, especially in light of the surge of violent crime that has been happening throughout the city," said Harris.

Harris talked about the cuts the Los Angeles Police Department is already facing.

"We lost $150 million that had some very real impacts to the department, some tangible things that you can point to, of which we're losing 250 officers. Chief [Michel Moore] has already looked throughout the department and has been reassigning officers from critical assignments and specialized units back to patrol because we simply don't have the manpower to do that," said Harris.

Harris said cutting more than 900 officers would lead to increased response times for emergency calls, longer delays to investigate cases and fewer officers to patrol the streets.

In a press conference Wednesday, Chief Moore also spoke about the potential cuts saying it would be "devastating to the safety of the city." Moore did acknowledge the city's financial crisis as well.

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FOX 11 spoke to two residents who said they are concerned about safety as well.

"[Cutting 951 LAPD officers] It's something I wouldn't agree with because I think we need the safety of the officers on the street for our protection so I hope they don't do that and they can find some kind of solution," said Dorothy Young, who is a nurse and an Angeleno.

Neither LAPD nor the LAPPL know which neighborhoods would be impacted by the potential cuts at this time.

"We would need to sit down with Chief Moore and realistically just look at the organization itself. He's had a very difficult time trying to meet the additional cuts that the city wanted on top of the $150 million and he is trying to accomplish the same missions, the same objectives of providing service to the city with less pieces on the game board. It takes decades to come back from a layoff like that of 1,000 officers. It will take years to come back from the 250 officers that we're losing this year already, and as we look down the road at the Olympics coming, this is just poor leadership all the way around when it comes to this proposal," said Harris.

Los Angeles voters did approve Measure J, also known as "Reimagine LA County" which requires funds to be diverted from prisons and policing to social services in communities. 

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