LAPD brass and other city officials want to move officers out of their desk jobs and back out onto the streets to better serve the people of Los Angeles- which has seen an uptick in crime recently.
According to an audit released this week, the police force could better combat crime if 400 fully-capable officers are released from their office positions, which could be filled by civilian employees.
The report by City Controller Ron Galperin highlighted an issue that has long been a problem for the department– that too many highly-trained officers are sitting in cubicles rather than patrolling the streets.
621 police officers are filling civilian clerical positions because of a shortfall in administrative staff, the LA Times reports. The LAPD employs almost 3,000 civilians. “Increasing their ranks to free up officers would cost the city $53.6 million, less than 4% of the LAPD $1.4-billion budget,” Galperin said.
He’s calling on city officials to put together a multi-year hiring plan that would solve this persistent problem.
Councilman Mitch Englander, who supports the recommendations, said “Put the pencils down and get away from the cubicle and back to the black and white.”
Also endorsing the proposal is Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “Our city continues to be less safe for the residents and our police officers,” he said. Violent crime jumped 20.2% in 2015 compared with the year before; property crime increased 10.7%–the LATimes reports.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has said that Los Angeles is the most “under-policed big city in America.”
This new plan could reportedly save millions in overtime and there seems to be broader consensus for it now– whereas similar calls for change in the past were ignored.
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