The Los Angeles City Council chopped $150 million from the police department’s budget, much of it from overtime pay, to take LAPD to a level of staffing not since since 2008, the Los Angeles Times reports. The cuts, prompted by a dire budget outlook and demands for police reform, will help pay for jobs programs and other services for communities of color.
As recently as April, Mayor Eric Garcetti had been pushing for a 7 percent increase to the LAPD budget, a move he no longer favors. The personnel budget would drop the force to 9,757 officers by next summer, well below the 10,000-officer level that had been a longtime priority for city leaders, one that was first reached in 2013. The $150-million cut to the LAPD fell far short of demands from Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles and its allies. Other neighborhood groups questioned whether cuts will increase crime. The city spends roughly $3 billion annually on the LAPD, once pensions and other expenses are included. The council’s vote came one day after the city schools’ police chief, Todd Chamberlain, resigned in the wake of the education board’s decision to cut the school police force by 35 percent, for a savings of $25 million.