Skip to main content

LA is setting aside $36 million/year for vacant LAPD positions

Posted on 02/26/2024
vacant cops


What’s Happening?
Last year, City Council passed a budget that allowed LAPD to hire up to 9,493 officers. Since then however, the number of LAPD officers has decreased significantly. By this summer, the city is expected to have about 8,900 officers – about 600 short of the city’s “target.” 
As you may have seen, the city is currently facing a sizable budget deficit, so we wanted to find out how much money we could save since we know those positions will remain unfilled. 
What we found was startling – this “fiscal year,” LA is spending over $36 million on vacant positions we know we can’t fill. That’s enough money to fund seven different city departments combined for an entire year.
Why it Matters
There is no need to set aside funding for positions we know we won’t be able to fill. By doubling down on this spending, we are blinding ourselves to the larger societal problems around policing. 
Across Southern California and the country, we see that fewer and fewer people want to become police officers. This isn’t just because of increased documentation and public consciousness around police brutality in recent years – it’s because the vast majority of police work involves dealing with minor calls and homelessness. 
Rapid response hotlines, mental health/drug treatment services, and unarmed units can help improve our response times and allow us to better serve the community. We need to make real investments in these alternative response programs that can work more efficiently than our current system and save money.

Three More Quick Hits!
1. CicLAvia Melrose –  TOMORROW 2/25
Don’t forget to come by LA’s 50th CicLAvia – this Sunday, 2/25 on Melrose Ave from 9am-3pm! 
We’re so excited to join with the community and show how we can activate public space when we ensure that our streets are safe. Whether you’re walking, biking, skateboarding, or anything else – we hope to see you this Sunday.
2. Strengthening Tenant Anti-Harassment Enforcement
This week, City Council finally gave the greenlight to enforce anti-tenant harassment protections. In 2021, City Council passed a law that was supposed to protect renters in LA from harassment. However, since then we’ve learned that the city essentially hasn’t been enforcing that law at all because of a lack of resources. But thanks to Measure ULA, we now have some funding set aside for this effort. 
We know that there’s already a huge backlog of cases, so the need for this funding is huge – over 10,000 complaints have been filed against abusive landlords since this law took effect. 
3. Celebrating James Hong’s 95th Birthday
On Thursday, we joined legendary actor James Hong on his 95th birthday as he put his handprints and footprints into the cement at the TCL Chinese Theatre. 
In his early career, Hong co-founded the East West Players – the first Asian-American theater organization, and the longest continuously running minority theater in the United States. Throughout his career, he’s accumulated over 700 credits, while steadfastly promoting Asian-American representation in film and fighting against stereotypical tropes about Asians. 
We were honored to officially declare his 95th Birthday, February 22, 2024, as James Hong Day in the City of Los Angeles.