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Despite cuts in police budgets, L.A. homicide rate keeps falling

December 27, 2010 |  7:58 am

TalkbackEarlier this year, there was concern that spending cuts made at the Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. County Sheriff's Department would hurt the agencies' crime-fighting efforts. But according to the Los Angeles Times' Joel Rubin and Robert Faturechi ("Killing in L.A. drops to 1967 levels"), the city of Los Angeles is set to record fewer than 300 killings for the first time in four decades.

Countywide, homicides have dropped significantly since 2007 -- the first year of the recession, which prompted the spending cuts:

Law enforcement officials say they worry that depleted resources and staffing shortages brought on by the fiscal crisis could erode their gains. The LAPD has had no money to pay officers for overtime. In lieu of being paid cash, officers have had to take compensatory time off from work. The plan has had the effect of cutting the force by the equivalent of about 500 officers. In the Sheriff's Department, deputies had to neglect regular assignments for several hours each month in order to carry out routine patrols and low-level administrative tasks. The reshuffling allowed the cash-strapped department to significantly cut overtime but drew grumblings from within the ranks.

Why do you think the number of killings continues to go down? Share your views here.