Wednesday, December 5, 2001
Increased Overtime, Raises Push LAPD’s Budget Proposal Past $1 Billion
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
It will cost $156 million more to run the Los Angeles Police Department next year than it did this year, department officials told the Police Commission yesterday.
Obligatory contract raises and substantial increases in the number of overtime hours officers can work make up the bulk of the increase, William Moran of the LAPD’s Fiscal and Support Bureau said.
Moran said the department is asking for a budget of $1.05 billion, up from the current budget of $949 million.
The LAPD is asking for an additional 400,000 overtime hours above the 1.2 million hours already allowed in the budget. The additional hours would cost the city $18 million, bringing the total cost of overtime for the department to $64 million a year.
“For more than five years we’ve had the 1.2 million and we have stayed within that budget,” Police Chief Bernard Parks told the commission.
Ken Hillman, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said he pushed for an increase in overtime hours to keep officers from taking second jobs last year, but his campaign was unsuccessful.
“With the number of vacancies we have, over a thousand, it is cheaper to pull in an officer at time and a half than pay for a new one,” Hillman said. “You’re paying half price for an officer.”
Hillman added that more available overtime will increase the deployment in the field while reducing the number of officers working second jobs and the number of citizen complaints against officers, since most complaints grow out of actions officers took while working outside jobs.
Officers on the recently adopted compressed work schedule are not allowed to work overtime on a day they work a 10-hour or 12-hour shift, or the day before, but they can work overtime on other days, he said.
Councilman Nate Holden balked at the idea of increasing overtime after advocates of the compressed work schedule said the new workweek would reduce overtime hours.
“The union said the compressed work schedule would not be an inducement to work overtime,” Holden told the MetNews. “They would come back to work fresh and not tired. They keep talking out of both sides of their mouth.”
With more than 1,000 sworn officer vacancies, the proposed budget focused on filling those gaps in the department.
The proposal includes $1.3 million for increased recruitment efforts and $6.2 million to pay for recalling retired sworn officers for administrative and investigative duties. Parks told the commission there are currently 60 retired officers who are coming back to the department for that reason. Retired officers do not receive medical or additional pension benefits, but they do retain their rank and salary, he said.
Moran said the department estimates nearly 600 recruits will go through the police academy in the next year.
Also provided for in the budget were increases in DNA analysis, something Moran called crucial.
“I don’t think we can afford to not do this,” he said.
Security at all police facilities will be beefed up under the new budget, including an increase in the number of electronic security devices and security guards. Additional bomb-sniffing dogs were also included in the request.
The LAPD’s budget will also depend heavily on its part of a public safety bond measure to refurbish police facilities, including Parker Center. The department’s portion of the $600 million measure, if approved by voters on March 5, would provide funding for new police stations in the San Fernando Valley and Harbor areas and refurbish existing stations and Parker Center.
“We’re probably one of the biggest trailer parks in the country right now,” Moran said, referring to the numerous trailers that now serve as makeshift department facilities.
The Police Commission is expected to vote on the proposed budget next Tuesday.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company