LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A tumbling crime rate in Los Angeles should not be a signal to trim the police department’s budget, city officials said Thursday.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports both the mayor and the chief of police are opposed to any cuts to the LAPD.

After a steady decline over the last 9 years, crime continued to dip in 2011, with violent crime down over 7 percent and gang crime down over 15 percent.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said those numbers prove the city is safer than anytime since 1952.

But despite a police force of over 10,000 officers and marked increases in overtime pay, both Villaraigosa and Chief Charlie Beck warned any reductions would result in a higher crime rate.

“Police matter, cops count, it’s the truth, and it’s proven maybe better than anyplace else by what they experienced in Los Angeles,” said Beck.

Amid expansions to the LAPD, the city has permitted officers to bank more overtime than in the past: by mid-November of 2011, they were owed $78 million in overtime, nearly double the amount in 2009.

Even Beck acknowledged that the department could be facing some political headwinds in the months ahead.

“I’m a realist, I exist in the world around me, and I recognize that the city is not going to be able to fund more police officers,” he said.

Comments (5)
  1. John says:

    “Amid expansions to the LAPD, the city has permitted officers to bank more overtime than in the past: by mid-November of 2011, they were owed $78 million in overtime, nearly double the amount in 2009.”

    They FORCE officers to bank hours. Patrol officers are compensated by “time off” instead of money for working forced overtime. They are not even allowed to decide when they use that time off

  2. Josh says:

    Villaraigosa and Chief Charlie Beck are playing number games, it is all politic to make them look good during the public demand to cut. As far a crime numbers being reported down, it all in the hands of the police, no independent oversight. Believe me in my past dealing with reporting crime I’ve gotten the run around so bad that the police never filled a report. Hines, no crime numbers to report. Criminals and crimes families are so sophisticated now at avoiding detection and of course police are not looking that the true crime figures in Los Angeles are much higher.

  3. angryLA says:

    LAPD does not need more new officers for at least another year. They need to spend that recruiting and academy money on paying back some of the overtime owed to the officers before it explodes into a major FSLA lawsuit and the officers themselves become so demoralized they stop performing to the best of their abilities. The city will find itself shoveling money into the courts and lawyers at the expense of other valuable municipal needs (education, roads, libraries, parks, sanitation etc). Just like everyone else in society, the officers have mouths to feed and a roof they have to try and stay under. The only ones prospering are the cartels and gangs. LA politics are nothing but a bunch of smoke and mirrors, Chief Beck should be ashamed of himself. The mayor? Obviously, that vulture has no shame,


    I don’t believe there has ever been a more worthless individual to hold office as Mayor then Antonio Villaraigosa,

  5. Chris says:

    What they’re doing is not reporting crimes. I know for a fact that a young man was found dead in a Los Angeles hotel. Checked in with a credit card and ID. He was found picked clean. No wallet, no ID, no money of credit card even shoes were taken. LAPD found no signs of foul play and no crime was committed. Good job LA.

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