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Nearly 160 LAPD jobs could be cut in City Hall plan, chief says

October 25, 2012 | 11:38 am

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck listens in April as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveils a budget plan at City Hall. Credit: Christina House / For The Times

Nearly 160 civilian Los Angeles Police Department employees could be laid off by Jan. 1 in a plan by City Hall to address its budget deficit, according to an internal department website posting obtained by The Times.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said jobs targeted for elimination under a previous proposal from City Hall are one police administrator III, 10 secretaries, 81 senior clerk typists, 66 clerk typists and a nutritionist.

"I know this is a very stressful time for all and I want to avoid rumors and miscommunication, which can only increase the stress level," Beck wrote in the post. "Therefore, as I did in the spring during budget hearings, I have directed the Office of Administrative Services to keep everyone updated on a weekly basis until there is a resolution."

While department officials would seek to work on "any and all possible solutions and outcomes," a final decision on the layoffs will be made by Dec. 14, Beck wrote.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents 10,000 officers, is waiting to see what the City Council does with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's request but said it was "concerned about how the work will be done because any delays in the 'support function' will definitely affect the ability of officers to respond to law enforcement issues impacting residents and businesses in Los Angeles." 

"For every 100 officers who get pulled from field work to backfill vacant civilian positions, we lose the equivalent of about 30 police cars citywide, which dramatically and detrimentally impacts our ability to respond to calls and keep crime down," the union said in 2010 news release regarding the potential loss of civilian jobs.
"We are receiving daily reports from our officers telling us that they are spending increasing amounts of time in the station performing administrative tasks instead of fighting crime on the streets," it continued.

The union noted that taking those officers off the street "threatens to reverse the LAPD's historic rates of crime reduction in recent years."

Officials said there have been discussions about alternatives to the civilian employee cuts at the LAPD, including deferring raises or pay cuts among the various city unions. If that does not happen, Cmdr. Andy Smith said the impact would be hard for the department to absorb.

"These are folks who are part of our LAPD family," Smith said Thursday. "We all hope the city can find some alternative solution so we don't have to lose these valuable police employees."

Earlier this week, the city's top budget advisor, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, urged the Los Angeles City Council to follow through on more than 200 employee job cuts tabled earlier this year and recommended including 50 city attorneys on the list.

He argued more cost-cutting is necessary, in part, because the city has already dug a $16.6-million budget shortfall four months into its new fiscal year. That gap will grow wider if 209 city jobs are not eliminated by Jan. 1, the budget advisor said Tuesday.

Representatives of City Atty. Carmen Trutanich have issued their own response to Santana’s proposal, which calls for the elimination of 50 lawyer positions. Trutanich senior deputy William Carter sent employees an email Wednesday promising to fight the cuts, which he described as an “outrageous and short-sighted attack” on the office.

“I am confident that, as in the past, we will be successful not only in defending the excellent and critical services provided by our employees, but also in maintaining the integrity of the City Attorney's Office … so that both the city and its residents can be fully protected from crime, the waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars and the corrosive influence of undue politics,” he wrote.


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Photo: LAPD Chief Charlie Beck listens in April as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveils a budget plan at City Hall. Credit: Christina House / For The Times