Mayor proposes hiring 780 more cops

first_imgThe money for the new hires will come from the $127 million generated from monthly trash fees, which jumped from $11 to $18 last year and to $28 by 2010. No new taxes will be requested in the $6.7 billion spending plan, which is scheduled for release on April 20, he said. Villaraigosa had hoped to hire 650 officers this year, but an aggressive recruitment effort will result in 750 new hires by June 30, he said. Hiring 780 more next year would bring the LAPD up to 9,780 officers by June 2008. We did this despite the naysayers and the critics who said it couldn t be done, Villaraigosa said, adding that he believes the LAPD will have 10,349 officers by 2010 _ 349 above his long-stated goal. We will still be under-policed, but he will be putting more officers on the street, Villaraigosa said. With the LAPD topping its hiring goal for this year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said today he will boost next year s target to 780 officers in an effort to surpass the 10,000 mark by 2010. Previewing the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, Villaraigosa predicted the Los Angeles Police Department will gain about 300 officers, with the rest filling vacancies created by retirements or attrition. The officers will be used to staff new stations proposed for the Northwest San Fernando Valley and Mid-city areas and to beef up patrols citywide. Our police department has made remarkable progress over the past five years under the leadership of Chief Bill Bratton, Villaraigosa said at a news conference at the LAPD s training academy in Westchester. Violent crime is down and Los Angeles residents are safer than they have been in 50 years. But we need to do more. Putting more officers on the street is my top priority, so we are going to push the envelope further. Bratton, the former chief of the Boston and New York police departments, has long complained that Los Angeles has fewer officers than any other major city. The LAPD has never had more than 9,737 a level it reached in 1997 and now has 9,432. The LAPD s hiring effort has been bolstered by a number of incentives, including $1,000 bonuses for those who refer recruits to the agency. The City Council is considering program that would offer signing bonuses of $5,000 to recruits and up to $10,000 for experienced officers who transfer to the LAPD. In order to put more officers on patrol while recruits are being trained, Villaraigosa said he hopes to increase the amount of money available to the LAPD for overtime. Budget director Sally Choi said details of the budget are still being finalized. The LAPD s current budget is $1.3 million the most of any city department with $76 million earmarked for overtime pay. Much of the overtime budget is now used to pay officers for court appearances and for special details. City Councilmen Dennis Zine, himself a retired LAPD sergeant, and Bill Rosendahl joined Villaraigosa at the news conference to support his plans. This mayor has followed through on his word, Rosendahl said. I was worried last year when we imposed the trash fee on residents that the money would be used as we said it would. This mayor made sure we used the money as we promised, for more police. Zine said the mayor s program reflected public demand. I know this mayor won t rest until we are the safest big city in the nation, Zine said. [160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Continue reading