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On Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Commission approved a proposal for a $213 million increase in budget for the Los Angeles Police Department, starting next year. The plan will build on all staffing levels within the department, including salary, overtime costs, existing technology and replacement of vehicles.
The 12% request came to commission attention after LAPD Chief Michel Moore sent a letter with the proposal on Nov. 18.
The added funding comes one year after the City Council cut $150 million from the LAPD after the murder of George Floyd and rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to KTLA, Moore hopes to add 94 new positions to the force as well as a restoration in vacant civilian positions due to a city separation incentive program.
Moore connects the rise in violent crimes, shootings and homicides in L.A. to the under-deployment in the department largely due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, he believes that the funding will, “go to the long-term safety of the city by a police department that is sufficiently funded and staffed.”
However, the county has split opinions on the funding. Some support the police funding, while other activists oppose the budget sign-off in favor of the “redirection” of funds to social services.
On Monday morning, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network Pete White spoke out on the proposal during a news conference outside of department headquarters.
“The answer to every social problem continues to be more police. Instead of housing, we get more police,” White said. “Instead of services, we get more police. Instead of a Marshall Plan to fully resource our communities, we get more police. Instead of a plan to address the housing crisis, we continue to see millions of dollars going towards an already bloated police budget.”
With the commission vote in favor, the proposal now sits with L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti who has final approval on the proposal. The City Council must approve or deny the budget by June 1, 2022, to go into full effect on July 1, 2022 in the case of an affirmative vote.
LOCAL CAMPUS IMPACT
College campuses in Southern California plan to make significant changes to the policing practices in wake of increased protests on police violence.
According to the University of California’s president Michael V. Drake, the UC systems are implementing independent accountability boards, mandating public disclosure on law enforcement data, a dashboard displaying campus crime data and increasing mental health and social services professional roles.
However, student activists are not on board. According to CapRadio, more UC students and employees demand the removal of campus police entirely, rather than spending more money on police efforts.
According to The Crime Report, some student activists believe that the plan to reject the protester’s call for police abolishment is not enough and the redirecting of funds should go to “alternative safety approaches.”