Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing a small increase in funding for the city’s police department for the next fiscal year, disappointing advocates who have called for the agency’s defunding.
Garcetti’s proposed $ 11.2 billion budget allocates $ 1.76 billion to the LAPD, up from the $ 1.71 billion approved by the council in July. The mayor’s plan, which covers the fiscal year beginning July 1, would continue to provide a force of approximately 9,750 sworn police officers.
However, the number of ministry officials is now lower due to retirements and resignations. The LAPD is expected to have 9,489 agents on June 30.
Garcetti’s budget proposal, released on Tuesday, comes nearly a year after widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Polls have shown that the public supports measures which hijack certain functions of the police. At the same time, the city is grappling with an increase in killings and shootings.
An aide to Garcetti said in a briefing Tuesday morning that the decision to keep the LAPD budget roughly the same was in part a response to the rise in crime. Hours later, Garcetti said the city must continue to hire officers to track retirements.
The mayor also pointed out that he is comparing his draft LAPD budget with what he budgeted last year for the department: $ 1.85 billion. In July, the mayor and city council cut $ 150 million from the department, bringing it down to about $ 1.71 billion after the protests against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Craig Lally, president of the union representing grassroots police officers, offered a mixed criticism on Tuesday of the mayor’s proposed spending for the police. Garcetti’s proposal, he said, fails to address the “significant damage” caused by last year’s budget cuts.
However, said Lally, the proposal “makes investments to start adding return officers to patrol our streets. We hope that the city council is also committed to rebuilding the department.
Homicides in the city have increased 27.6% so far this year, compared to the same period in 2020. The number of gunshot victims is up nearly 80%, according to LAPD figures which cover the period until April 10.
Albert Corado, an activist who has been calling for the dismantling of the LAPD for nearly three years, said he was “angry but not surprised” by Garcetti’s spending plan for the police.
Given the massive protests against police brutality last year, the mayor should have reduced the number of officers by at least 1,000, said Corado, who is running for a city council seat representing an area ranging from Echo Park in Hollywood.
Cindy Cleghorn, who sits on the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, said she wanted more police patrols in her neighborhood. Cleghorn said she remembers the years when gang members threatened people in the middle of the day in her neighborhood – and worried those days would return.
“We have good officers here,” she said. “They just need more support.”
Garcetti unveiled much of his spending plan – which he called a “justice budget” – Monday night at the Griffith Observatory. The proposals for social justice and inequity include a guaranteed basic income plan of $ 24 million and an investment of almost $ 1 billion in homelessness.
The mayor’s budget also increases spending for gang response officers and allocates money to peace and healing centers.
The spending plan, which requires city council approval, relies heavily on the $ 1.35 billion federal bailout money provided to the city, according to the mayor’s office.