With the city reeling from its worst financial crisis in decades, the
LAPD has stopped paying officers overtime wages, except in rare
situations. In lieu of cash, officials have implemented a strict policy
of forcing officers to take time off when they accrue large amounts of
Because of demanding work schedules that routinely
require them to investigate a case into the night or through the
weekend, homicide detectives have been among the first officers to be
sent home in significant numbers.
The drain on homicide squads has hampered investigations, several
detectives and top department officials said in interviews. Detectives
said their investigations are frequently put on hold while they take
days off, delaying witness interviews and other potentially important
And, in the crucial first hours after a killing, several
supervisors said they now dispatch fewer detectives to the crime scene.
Times staff writer Joel Rubin, who covers the LAPD, reports on how the budget cuts are affecting homicide investigations. In the video above, he assesses the situation.