Los Angeles needs to close a $675 million budget hole and may have no choice but to start cutting jobs.
For the past few months officials have said that the city might consider layoffs, but in a memo released Friday, the city's managing director made clear that the budget changes need to be forceful.
The financial report from Los Angeles' chief administrative officer says that service cuts, rate increases, and hiring freezes in all city departments will not save enough money to balance the budget.
Thus, the police department has proposed to eliminate 951 officers and 728 non-civil servants, but the city administrative office warns that the layoffs will impact emergency responses and crime resolution in the city.
The cuts are all new, and in addition to the $150 million defunding of the LAPD ordered by the city council over the summer.
Those cuts have already resulted in the shutdown of a number of specialized units, including the SUV group of the LAPD that investigates the most complicated and difficult rape cases.
Michel Moore, LAPD Chief Officer, told the police commission in late October that he had already begun to plan for the possibility and said that he was concerned about how the department would function with 1,000 fewer officers.
"It would be devastating, and I just don't have a vision of how we would try to operate. The decline in services would be devastating."
In a written statement, Mayor Garcetti's office said that “layoffs are a last resort, and the Mayor is doing everything possible to avoid them. But without assistance from Washington and solutions from our employees, deep and harmful cuts are inevitable."
The director of the police officers' union said it is "appalling" that city leaders would suggest this, just as the number of shootings and murders are increasing.
The union suggests that the city actually has the money to fully fund the Los Angeles Police Department but in its words, “is using the money in political slush funds instead.”
Apparently, the police department is the focus of the proposed layoffs and cuts because unionized employees in other departments have agreed to discuss furloughs and pay cuts and could consider other reductions that make their jobs less expensive for taxpayers, but the police union has refused to do the same.
Instead, a summary letter was sent out last month throughout the city - saying its members are entitled to everything agreed to before the pandemic, including raises, some new bonuses, and more lucrative retirement benefits. The city has to pay for everything while facing the financial crisis caused by falling tax revenues directly related to the pandemic.