A proposed $384 annual budget increase to the Los Angeles Police Department from Mayor Karen Bass passed in a 12-3 vote recently. The plan negotiated with the Los Angeles Police Protective League would make the total LAPD budget above $3.6 billion by the end of 2027. According to Bass, the package would help combat the decline in police staffing.
The agreement was sent to the council’s three-member personnel committee headed by Councilmember Tim McOsker. Osker once represented the LAPD union for several years as an attorney and registered lobbyist. That panel recently met, and the city council approved the LAPD contract.
In a statement, Bass said the contract would help to address what she called a crisis over LAPD hiring and retention. According to city budget figures, of the 986 police officers who left the department since mid-2017, 82% were with the department for 10 years or less.
However, the proposed agreement has sparked controversy. Los Angeles Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez criticized the contract as financially irresponsible and advocated reallocating funds from the LAPD to other services. Fellow Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez also voiced skepticism about the impact of salary increases on attracting new officers, considering the need to address the LAPD’s public image problems. Both Hernandez and Soto-Martinez, alongside Nithya Raman, were the only city council members to vote no.
Bass’ package comes at a time when violent crime in LA is down compared to the same period last year. Homicides dropped by 24%, and robberies have decreased by 13%, according to figures reported by the LAPD.