Villaraigosa Agrees to Police Hiring Freeze


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa does a turnaround on his firm stance that L.A. needs more cops pronto and agrees to a cost-conscious hiring freeze for at least the rest of the year.

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From the Daily News's account:

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."

Ron Kaye is disgusted with what he sees as the city, once again, just evading making hard budget decisions re: LAPD, and other matters:

We are now well into the second quarter of the city's financial year and spending still exceeds revenue by more than $400 million....the money troubles that started with the housing bubble bursting more than two years ago and became a crisis more than a year ago with the collapse of Wall Street is now on track to become a catastrophe as the hole in the city budget gets deeper by the day...

Yet, the nation's highest paid municipal officials, lavished with endless perks and servile staff, flip and flop, waffle and debate, conspire in back rooms or palaces of fine dining and drinking, and continue to do nothing.....

Item No. 7 on the City Council agenda is supposed to deal with the tricky issue of how to reduce LAPD spending by $129 million this year. That was supposed to take place over 12 months so it's now the equivalent of $160 million on an annualized basis and it will reach the $200 million mark by January.

Actually, it will be more than $200 million because the mayor and Council plan to put off making a hard decision on LAPD funding, as they have all the other hard decisions on city spending, until mid-January when they return from their lavish vacations to faraway places.

Past City of Angles blogging on crime rates and LAPD.

The image associated with this post was taken by Flickr user Thomas Hawk. It was used under user Creative Commons license.

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