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LAPD moves 350 officers from specialized units to patrol duty in response to budget cuts

February 17, 2010 | 12:37 pm
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a6a47ba6970c-800wi

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday that cuts to the department's overtime would force him to move 350 officers from specialized units to patrol duty around the city

About 170 officers have already been moved from the Metro, Gang and Narcotics units, Beck said at his monthly press availability at Parker Center. An additional 180 will be moved in the coming months as part of a second wave of transfers to fill the ranks.

Beck said the cuts to the specialized units were necessary because for every hour that an officer draws overtime the department must give that same officer 1.5 hours off. That amounts to nearly 8% cut in the workforce.

"We are robbing Peter to pay Paul," Beck said.  

Through Feb. 13, serious crime in Los Angeles this year fell by more than 10%. But when asked whether he would set crime reduction goal for this year, Beck declined.

"I'm reluctant to set one at this point," Beck said. "I don't want to set a goal that is unattainable."

When asked whether the LAPD should stop hiring more officers as some have suggested, Beck said the department was simply trying to keep up with attrition and that further decreases could severely hurt law enforcement activities.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Police Chief Charlie Beck in a file photo. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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