From the Contra Cosa Times

CANOGA PARK – In an abrupt reversal, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday appeared to back a plan to freeze hiring at the Police Academy at least throughout the rest of this year.

Villaraigosa had previously denounced the idea of a freeze at the Los Angeles Police Department, adamant that the size of the force be maintained at 10,000 officers.

But in a news conference Monday at LAPD’s Topanga Station in Canoga Park, Villaraigosa sided with the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, which has recommended not hiring cadets in November and December to help reduce the LAPD’s record $129 million budget deficit.

“I care more about results than process,” Villaraigosa said. “I will support any proposal that maintains the police force at its current level. But I will oppose any measure that puts our police department in jeopardy and goes back on the promise that we made to the people of this city to make public safety the No. 1 priority.”

In endorsing the hiring freeze, the committee has noted that the pace of retirements and resignations at the LAPD has been slower than expected, and the Police Academy already has about 1,000 prospective applicants in its candidate pool.

Speaking ahead of a City Council vote on police hiring that was scheduled for today but could be delayed, the mayor said his administration’s progress in fighting crime could be set back with force reduction.

“This is progress we can’t take for granted,” Villaraigosa
Advertisement
Quantcast
said, citing the city’s best per-capita crime rates since 1954. “Crime in Los Angeles is at a record low because our police force is at a record high.”

Villaraigosa said he could accept a slower rate of hiring for the Los Angeles Police Department in the face of the city’s projected $400 million budget shortfall.

“What I can’t accept is our going one officer lower” than the current staff of about 10,000 sworn officers, the mayor said.

Villaraigosa won support from neighborhood councils five years ago to impose a trash collection fee to pay for expanding the LAPD. The mayor said Monday he hopes that solving the budget crisis by trimming other services would allow the LAPD expansion to resume eventually.

He said he is “optimistic we can avoid a fight.”

Villaraigosa appeared with Councilman Dennis Zine, council president Eric Garcetti, LAPD brass and community leaders at the Topanga Station, itself a monument to the force’s growth by more than 800 officers citywide in the past four years.

The station’s opening in January is credited for many of the 316 officers added in the San Fernando Valley in the past three years.

Michel Moore, the LAPD’s deputy chief for the San Fernando Valley, said a decrease of 10 percent in violent crime in the Valley means there have been 488 fewer violent crime victims in the past year than in the previous 12 months.

In addition to proposing the cancellation of two months of academy classes, Zine suggests using officers restricted to light duty – because of injuries and other reasons – to perform LAPD civilian jobs unfilled because of budget cuts.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
One Response to “L.A. mayor reverses stand on hiring cops”
  1. encuestas remuneradas internet online …

    [...]Twin Towers Correctional Facility – Los Angeles County Jail » L.A. mayor reverses stand on hiring cops[...]…

  2.  
Leave a Reply