City officials say layoffs at the Los Angeles Police Department are "on the table" as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the local economy and take its toll on government coffers.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday he hopes laying off city employees, including LAPD personnel, will be a last-resort measure, but the city is prepared to do so amid financial struggles due to the health crisis.
"I hope that (layoffs are) at the very bottom of the list, and our City Administrative Officer (Richard Llewellyn) has asked us…all of our departments to say how will we close this worst-case scenario if there is no help," Garcetti said.
"The reason why I want layoffs to be the very last thing is it hits our most vulnerable employees and key services."
The City Council has been mulling ways to reduce potential layoffs or furloughs in the last few months, but that was before the recent spike of COVID-19 cases.
Garcetti said during Wednesday's COVID-19 update that Los Angeles is still pleading for federal assistance to help cities recuperate from the economic effects of the pandemic.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore told reporters Wednesday that "We have already experienced…a reduction in our workforce, between sworn and civilian, in excess of 500 personnel. To suffer further losses would be devastating to the safety of the city." But, he added, "I think everything's on the table."
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Los Angeles is anticipating a budget deficit of close to $600 million.