LA mayor proposes to hire 780 additional police officers and 260 firefighters

By Elizabeth Chou
Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing an $11.8 billion budget for the coming fiscal year, which includes $10.5 million for a climate equity program, an increase of 8, 5% for LAPD operations and funding to hire more firefighters and sanitation workers.

He told reporters at a press conference at City Hall: “We have achieved an incredibly strong economic recovery. It’s good news. Better than good. That’s excellent news. Our finances are in a very different situation than just two years ago, when we faced the most difficult economic moment of our lives.

Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Keith Birmingham)

But Los Angeles City Comptroller Ron Galperin gave a more ominous forecast, saying “rising employment costs, coupled with soaring inflation, could very well put the city into an income crisis.” . He advised that “Los Angeles officials must focus on maintaining the basic services that residents depend on and supporting programs that have proven successful.”

The city estimates its revenue at $7.4 billion, up 6.6% from last year. The mayor is calling for aggressive hiring at the LAPD, which is expected to lose more than 500 officers through attrition. His plan trains and hires 780 officers, to grow the ranks of the LAPD from just under 9,500 to more than 9,700 police officers.

Garcetti is also seeking $7.3 million to implement recommendations from an after-action report that examined the city’s response to the 2020 racial justice protests. The city’s handling of the protests led to action in justice from protesters who suffered brutal treatment by law enforcement.

His total LAPD budget is pegged at $3.2 billion, which includes pensions, health care and other costs.

Facing its own controversies, the Los Angeles Fire Department also got attention in Garcetti’s budget plan, which would fund the training and hiring of 260 firefighters. In response to persistent complaints of harassment at the LAFD, he also proposes an office that would work to improve the department’s work environment, diversity and inclusion.

[RELATED: Roundtable: Predicting the future of police recruitment and retention]

The mayor’s proposed firefighter hiring plan would cost $19.25 million, while diversity and inclusion measures would bring in $647,000.

Several million dollars will also be invested in programs aimed at creating an alternative to traditional policing, including:

  • $37.5 million to expand the city’s gang reduction and youth development (GRYD) program to other neighborhoods.
  • $8 million for CIRCLE, a program on which the city partners with the nonprofit Urban Alchemy to provide emergency response to nonviolent situations involving homeless people.
  • $2 million to expand a program that responds to 911 calls for mental health emergencies with mental health workers instead of police.
  • The budget plan also calls for the hiring of 17 additional maintenance workers and 26 additional sanitation workers to pick up bulky items and illegally dumped waste.

Garcetti said the emergency mental health program will handle 9,000 crisis calls, noting: “We give people (who are suffering) the help they need with this program, taking them either to treatment in the street, or to programs, instead of hospitals. without mental health programs, where they are only returned to the streets.

Addressing widespread problems with homeless encampments, its proposed budget would fund 23 teams known as CARE+, which would handle comprehensive clean-up operations in the encampments, as well as five CARE teams to carry out clean-up. lighter.

About $1.16 billion would also be spent to directly address homelessness, including programs to convert motels into long-term shelters under the Project Homekey program. A smaller budget would go to prevention and home ownership programs.

On climate change, the budget includes $10.5 million to create a $21 million “climate equity fund” in two phases, the result of a new franchise agreement in which SoCalGas will pay purifiers airflow and resident heat attenuation upgrades. The multi-million dollar deal will also fund a jobs program and monitoring of oil rig sites.

Garcetti described his proposals as “setting the stage for the next mayor. I was lucky to inherit this function from great mayors who preceded me and who thought of handing over this relay in a very thoughtful way. We try to do the same here so that our work doesn’t miss a beat.

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