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Tipsheet

Left-Wing Mayor Calls for Hundreds More Police Officers to Curb Violence and Crime

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a city budget proposal this week that calls for hundreds of more police officers to “break the cycle of violence and crime.” 

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The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that Bass’ budget is seeking a 45 percent increase in funding. In the proposal, she called for a Gang Reduction and Youth Development program. And, she proposed a sign-on bonus to recruit new officers (via the The Los Angeles Times):

The mayor is looking to provide newly hired police officers a $15,000 signing bonus, as well as other financial incentives to city employees who find recruits. Police Chief Michel Moore said the LAPD has been sending out inquiries to former officers — and received “some interest” from about 70 people so far.

Bass’ spending plan calls for nearly $1.3 billion for homelessness and housing services, a 9.7% increase over the prior year. The mayor is seeking $250 million for her Inside Safe program, which has been moving people out of large-scale homeless encampments and into motels and hotels.

That figure represents a fivefold increase over the amount approved by the council for Inside Safe early in Bass’ administration. It would include $47 million for the purchase of hotels or motels.

In 2021, the Times reported that city leaders cut funding from the Los Angeles Police Department by $150 million in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd. The money was funneled into programs meant to help communities of color (via The Los Angeles Times): 

The vote by the City Council means some $89 million originally slated to pay for police services will instead flow to antigang initiatives, universal income programs, homeless services, education and jobs initiatives and more.

The council’s action followed a drumbeat of calls from activists and community groups who sought a rethinking of the city’s budget following a tumultuous year of protests over police brutality and a health crisis that laid bare the inequality that plagues the city.

[...]

The council’s cut to the LAPD was one in a series of actions taken by city leaders in response to last year’s protests. The city also began exploring ways of moving key assignments out of the LAPD and into the hands of unarmed civilian city workers.

[...]

The City Council cut the LAPD by $150 million in July, after massive protests following Floyd’s death, pledging to put the proceeds into disenfranchised communities. Council members quickly set aside $60 million, using much of those funds to balance the budget, leaving about $89 million for various programs.
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NBC Los Angeles noted at the time that the defunding led to reduced desk hours at its stations, cut special deployments and stopped staffing teams that cover homelessness issues. And, the department will cut its air support, robbery, and homicide, gang and narcotic units. And, the budget cut reduced the police force’s ranks. 

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