Those looking for an exciting career in law enforcement may want to scratch the LAPD off their list.
With the Los Angeles Police Department facing an $80 million funding shortfall, two City Council committees tentatively agreed Monday to cancel the Police Academy's January class -- over the protests of Chief Charlie Beck.
If the Public Safety and Personnel committees finalize the decision next Monday, it would be the third consecutive month of a hiring freeze on cadets.
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Meanwhile, Beck plans to work with representatives of the City Administrative Officer through this week on a proposal to have a smaller class in January, rather than eliminating it altogether.
"Public safety requires a decent number of police officers in order to do it in a way that this city expects and deserves," Beck told committee members.
But Councilman Bernard Parks, a former LAPD chief and chairman of the City Council's Budget and Finance committee, said dire financial straits necessitate hiring for attrition only.
He said since the pace of resignations and retirements has been slower than normal, LAPD has less need to recruit cadets.
"Any dollar we can save between now and June is less deficit," Parks said.
A CAO report showed that keeping the January class could increase the LAPD's projected deficit to $87.4 million by the end of the fiscal year.
In October, the City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa agreed that the LAPD should cap the number of its officers at 9,963 positions. The department also has about 3,000 civilian employees.