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L.A. County sheriff's investigators must devote more time to patrols, administrative tasks. Make sense?

October 2, 2010 |  8:32 am

Most of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's sworn personnel are being told to put aside their regular duties and devote several hours a month filling in on routine patrols and low-level administrative tasks, according to a report by The Times' Robert Faturechi.

TalkBackLAThe new requirement is part of the cash-strapped department's effort to eliminate overtime and shed $128 million from its budget. It has drawn grumbles from many in the agency, but for station-level detectives, it seems to be having a significant effect on law enforcement.

Before budget cuts, there were just over 6,000 open cases assigned to station detectives, according to department records. By the end of August, that number swelled to 10,400. Sheriff's officials are linking that increase to the overtime curtailment program, dubbed Cadre of Administrative Reserve Personnel, or CARP.

"Station investigators are fulfilling their CARP obligations and, as a result, have less time available to investigate and close cases," Sheriff Lee Baca said in a recent report to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. "It is expected that backlogs of open investigations will dramatically increase."

In the video above, Faturechi talks about the toll the cuts in the department have taken. What do you think? Share your view below.