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LAPD at its smallest since the 1990s

The city’s $1.189 billion police budget allows for 9,300 officers; the department currently has 8,995 officers

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Sarah Reingewirtz

By Brian Niemietz
New York Daily News

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Police Department has only 8,995 police officers, which is the smallest the force has been since the 1990s.

The city’s $1.189 billion police budget allows for 9,300 officers, according to NBC Los Angeles. The outlet reports Mayor Karen Bass hopes to have 9,500 cops in uniform in 2024.

There were only 8,967 members of the LAPD at the end of July, but a class of cadets has since graduated. An academy class that began last week has only 29 attendees. That’s less than half the number of cops L.A. wants to add to its police force every four weeks.

Officers will soon vote on a four-year contract that would boost starting pay by 13%, according to the Los Angeles Times. The deal negotiated between the city and the police officer’s union is intended to help recruit new officers and retain current ones, the latter of whom would also see a bump in wages. Cops in Los Angeles currently start at around $74,000 annually.

“Like many major cities across America, our police department is enduring a hiring and retention crisis so we are taking critical action,” Mayor Karen Bass said last week.

Los Angeles had nearly 10,000 police on its streets in 2009 when its crime rate hit a 53-year low. In 2023, violent crime dropped 10% by May 20 and arrests were up 4.4% from the previous period in 2022, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Police Department patrols a city of nearly 4 million people. The New York City Police Department employs 36,000 cops to look after its 8.5 million residents.

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