How do you rate LAPD Chief Charlie Beck's first year on the job?
Faced with major cuts to the LAPD budget, Chief Charlie Beck has emerged from his first year as running the police force in better shape than some thought
"When you look at the cuts this department has faced, he's done an impressive job," Paul M. Weber, president of the Police Protective League, the union that represents LAPD officers, told The Times' Joel Rubin. "He's somehow been able to keep crime down and the rank-and-file motivated. I think most people assumed that at some point we would have seen something give."
Rubin reports: Spared somewhat compared with other city agencies, the department nonetheless has suffered under a hiring freeze and furloughs that have thinned its civilian administrative staff. The number of police officers on the force stagnated as well, as the City Council downscaled Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's ambitious plan to add 1,000 cops. Perhaps most damaging was the elimination from the budget of roughly $100 million typically set aside to pay detectives and officers for the overtime they routinely work. Without that cash, Beck has been sending several hundred officers home on forced vacations each month to burn overtime hours.
Yet crime continues to decline. And there are few signs of a major drop in officer morale.
What grade would you give Beck for Year 1? Share your views here.
Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck with fellow officers at the Wilshire station. He is a frequent presence at roll-call meetings and works a patrol shift once a month -- actions that are appreciated by the rank-and-file. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / Nov. 21, 2010