Council Votes 9-0 To Restore NLB Paramedic Rescue 12 And Add Nine Officers to Staff Police Training Academy...But Mum On Internal City Management Memos Resisting Further Police or Fire Dept. Restorations For Taxpayers is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(Feb. 15, 2017, 7:45 a.m.) -- The Long Beach City Council voted 9-0 on Feb. 14 to restore NLB paramedic Rescue 12 and budget 9 officers to handle police academy training, using a management-approved plan to re-allocate certain Measure A (sales tax increase) sums away from residential street repairs and other items in view of additional revenue coming to City Hall from other November 2016 ballot measures. The Council's Feb. 14 action wasn't a surprise; in mid-November 2016, it voted to ask city management to make preparations for the restorations in view of the additional revenue.

At the Feb. 14 Council meeting, lead-agendizer Vice Mayor Rex Richardson said the Council's restoration of these items is consistent with his view, and that of the Council's, to treat public safety as a core service. However the Feb. 14, 2017 item agendized by Richardson (joined by Gonzalez, Mungo and Uranga) attached two internal city management memoranda visible as attachments at this link -- indicating city management resistance to any further restoration of police officers or fire engines for taxpayers at this time. One attached city management memo indicates LBPD mgm't now lists restoring officers as LAST among its budget priorities, and leaves Fire Station 17 (Stearns Park) without its former fire engine. ( previously reported the story at this link.)

No Councilmembers asked about, or voiced any opposition to, these management positions...inviting an inference that LB's policy-setting Councilmembers may tacitly acquiesce in them.

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If LB's Council were to accept these management-stated priorities, LB taxpayers would end up with 19 more budgeted officers than a year ago (10 restored in FY17 budget plus 9 more now) out of 208 officers erased since FY10, leaving over 90% of officers erased in previous Council budgets not restored. Since FY10, LB Council votes have "balanced the budget" in part by letting LB's citywide deployable police level fall; it has now reached a thin citywide deployable per capita level roughly equivalent to what Los Angeles would have if its Mayor and Council erased roughly 30% of LAPD's officers.



And during the Feb. 14 Council discussion of restoring police, Councilmembers didn't mention a separate police staffing issue that has reported (first again at this link): a pending proposal to have LBPD handle policing along the LB portion of the Metro Blue Line. Metro staff has indicated it wants to use 14 LBPD officers for Metro tasks...and in response to an inquiry, LBPD has indicated that it plans to cover such reductions from other current LBPD assignments citywide by using "overtime." Mayor Garcia, who recently gained a spot on Metro's board, declared in his Jan. 10 "State of the City" message that he will vote to use LBPD officers to handle Blue Line tasks (and indicated, without explanation, that it could mean an "additional" 30 LBPD officers "paid for by Metro.")

L.A. County Sheriff (and former LBPD Chief) Jim McDonnell opposes the change; the matter is expected to reach Metro's governing board for approval or rejection on Feb. 23.

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