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Los Angeles would lose nearly 1,000 police jobs under budget proposal

A new budget proposal in Los Angeles issued Friday would cut more than 1,800 city jobs — including 951 police jobs — amid a $600 million budget shortfall, according to a report.

The cuts would also come amid spiking numbers for homicides and shootings, the city’s police chief says.

The city already cut $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget in July and by next June staffing will be at its lowest level in 12 years, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It is my hope we will do everything we can to avoid layoffs,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters last week before the proposal was announced. “So, I know it’s kind of sexy to lead with the worst. But I hope that’s at the very bottom of our list.”

He said he’s hoping for federal assistance, according to FOX 11 in Los Angeles.

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Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore speaks during a news conference outside LAPD headquarters, Aug. 26, 2020. (Associated Press)

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The budget crisis has gotten worse in the last few months as the city has fallen short on revenue from hotel taxes, parking fines, etc., during the coronavirus pandemic.

The LAPD in a statement posted to Twitter said the city’s fiscal challenges will require a “shared sacrifice,” but said the cutbacks would be “crippling” to the department after the previous layoffs just a few months earlier.

More than 500 personnel were laid off last summer because of the slash to the department’s budget, the statement said.

“These envisioned staffing reductions would devastate our ability to provide basic public safety, requiring the closure of local stations and jails, the reduction and elimination of services and ultimately it would jeopardize the reforms gained and achieved in public safety over the last two decades,” LAPD Chief Michael Moore said in a statement.

He said he couldn’t support further reductions to the department and that in this time of “turmoil and crisis” the government’s top priority should be “maintaining public safety.”

“To protect and serve. It’s what the residents of this great city want, expect and deserve,” he added.

Robert Harris, an LAPD officer and director on the Board of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told FOX 11, “I think it’s appalling and disappointing to see that what city council has done to propose such mass layoffs, simply to pad their political slush funds and I think it puts the communities that we serve in jeopardy, especially in light of the surge of violent crime that has been happening throughout the city.”

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So far this year, homicides in the city have risen by 28% and there have been 40% more shooting victims compared to 2019, Moore said, according to The Times.

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