The Los Angeles Police Commission tomorrow will consider a proposed budget increase of $213 million, or 12.11%, in the 2022-23 fiscal year, but the City Council and mayor have final approval. The increase would take the department’s operating budget from $1.761 billion to $1.974 billion.
In a letter to the commission, Police Chief Michel Moore said the additional funding would allow the department to restore staffing levels to 9,800 sworn officers, up from the current 9,473. LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala told the commission last week that the department is underdeployed for what it is currently funded for by 181 officers.
In its proposal to the commission, the department said the increased funding would go to obligatory salaries and expenses, replacement of vehicles and existing electric vehicle leases, continued funding of existing technology projects and contractual obligations and other requests.
“The primary goal of the Department’s Proposed Budget is to have the personnel, both sworn and civilian, the equipment, and the technology that is necessary to achieve the core functions of making the city safe and secure, protecting people and property and preserving peace in the community,” Moore said in a letter to the commission. Moore also noted a rise in violent crime, particularly shooting violence and homicides, that the city — and other cities across the U.S. — has experienced since the pandemic began in 2020.
Meanwhile, the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Community Action Network and other organizations spoke out against any increase in funding to the LAPD during a news conference outside the department’s headquarters on Monday morning.
“The answer to every social problem continues to be more police. Instead of housing, we get more police. 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,” said Pete White, executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network.
The groups noted widespread demand in 2020, following George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer, for a decrease to police funding, a reimagining of public safety and larger investments in communities.
“Thousands of people took to the streets last year, not to demand more funding for the police, but less. People took to the streets demanding `defund the police, refund the communities, divest, invest,”’ said Greg “Baba” Akili of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles.
The LAPD received the most funding of any department in the city’s current 2021-22 fiscal year budget, which included a 3% increase from when the Los Angeles City Council cut $150 million from the department’s budget in July 2020. The City Council must approve a budget by June 1, 2022 to go into effect on July 1, 2022.