LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The union which represents Los Angeles Police Department officers has started a billboard campaign to draw attention to the budget cuts and proposed staffing reductions which have been brought on as a result of both the police brutality protests and the coronavirus pandemic.
The L.A. Police Protective League announced Thursday that it has installed billboard across the city “demanding a plan from city leaders to keep L.A. safe.”
In July, the L.A. City Council voted to cut the LAPD budget by $150 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The cuts followed the George Floyd protests over police brutality which forced cities across the country to reevaluate their policing procedures. The city council also voted unanimously to replace police officers with unarmed crisis response teams for nonviolent emergency calls.
Then, in early December, in response to an estimated $600 million budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the L.A. city administrative officer released a budget report which recommended cutting 1,679 positions from the LAPD, including 951 police officers and 728 civilian positions.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore did not mince words when commenting on the steep staffing cut proposal.
“Those types of cuts are beyond devastation,” Moore told CBSLA on Dec. 5. “It would destroy public safety in this city.”
The LAPPL echoed Moore’s concerns, alleging that such cuts will lead to a spike in crime, especially in minority communities.
“In 2019, seventy percent of the 30,000 violent crime victims in our city were either Black or Hispanic, and politicians want to cut hundreds of officers,” LAPPL President Craig Lally said in a statement. “Who will protect these residents and seek justice for the victims and their families?”