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For now, L.A. council agrees to maintain size of LAPD despite budget shortfall

The Los Angeles City Council agreed today to maintain the Los Angeles police force at 9,963 officers this year, but members said they would assess the city’s ability to maintain that size of the force on a monthly basis.

With the council trying to close a $405-million budget shortfall this year, Council President Eric Garcetti said the city would proceed with new police academy classes only “as we can afford them.”

Each month, the LAPD, city personnel officials and top budget analysts will be required to submit reports to the council detailing attrition rates, retirements and the number of recruits scheduled to enter the academy.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pledged in 2005 to add 1,000 officers to the police force for a total of 10,181. The council’s action, he said in a statement today, will allow the Police Department to “maintain the current deployment levels that have allowed our city to reach historic crime reductions.”

-- Maeve Reston at L.A. City Hall

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