LBPD Mgm't Updates Public Safety Committee On Crime Stats and LBPD Staffing Levels, Says Need For Replenishment Police Academy Class "Is Compelling" If Funding Resources Can Be Identified, PD Working w/ Mgr. On Plan For Council In A Couple of Months


(June 14, 2012) -- The City Council's Public Safety Committee (Garcia, Schipske, Johnson) received a report LBPD management that cited crime statistics, police staffing disclosed plans to field-test a gunfire location system and indicated that (as in prior years) city management will propose FY13 funding for a replenishment police academy class.

A decision on whether actually to fund a FY13 police academy class depends on a September budget vote by a City Council majority. For the past three budget years, city management has included funding for a police academy class in its proposed budgets, but the Council [with management and Mayoral support] has instead allocated the sum to pay current officers [avoiding layoffs but effectively letting current levels attrit with retirements]. The net effect has erased 168 sworn officer positions, a 17% reduction over three budget years.

Crime statistics

As part of a Power Point presentation at the Committee's June 12 meeting, LBPD Administration Bureau Chief Braden Phillips cited the following crime statistics as of May 31, 2012 (showing changes from 2011 data).

[ editor's note: The following are citywide totals without geographical breakouts. Some geographic information has previously been provided at public meetings by some LBPD Division Commanders, reported as we learn it by]:

Violent Crime Summary

  • Murders: 15 (50% increase by five crimes)
  • Aggravated Assaults: 607 (6.9% increase by 39 crimes)
  • Robberies: 492 (0.8% increase by 4 crimes)
  • Rapes: 53 (43.2% increase by 16 crimes)
  • Total violent crimes: 1,167 (5.8% increase by 64 crimes)

    Property Crime Summary

  • Residential Burglaries: 912 (7.7% increase by 65 crimes)
  • Commercial Burglaries: 375 (0.5% increase by two crimes)
  • Garage Burglaries: 213 (102.9% decrease by 108 crimes)
  • Auto Burglaries: 1,033 (6.4% increase by 62 crimes)
  • Grand Thefts: 601 (11.3 increase by 61 crimes)
  • Petty Thefts (greater than $50): 426 (0.7% increase by 3 crimes)
  • Petty Thefts (less than $50): 872 (24.7% increase by 173 crimes)
  • Bike Thefts: 318 (10.4% increase by 30 crimes)
  • Grand Theft Auto: 993 (6.8% increase by 63 crimes)
  • Arson: 60 (9.1% decrease by 6 crimes)
  • Total property crimes: (10.7% increase by 561 crimes)
  • Sworn Officer Staffing

    Administration Bureau Chief Phillips' Power Point presentation indicated that LBPD's current Council-budgeted sworn staffing (budgeted full time equivalents) is 852 sworn officers, noting that this includes a sum budgeted for 17 police academy recruits who didn't materialize because the Council diverted police academy funding for FY12 (as it has done for three successive budget years) to pay current officers, which invited attrition. Put another way, the actual Council budgeted officer level for FY12 (Sept. 11 Council budget vote) was 835 (852 - 17 = 835).

    From that level, the attrition impact since Oct. 1, 2011 has been the loss of 30 officers, 7 Sergeants, 5 Lieutenants and 2 Commanders (a total of 44 sworn positions).

    In terms of actual sworn staffing as of June 1, 2012, a Power Point slide indicates that from the Council-budgeted level of 835 officers, LBPD currently has 815 actual sworn officers assigned.

    In Council colloquy prompted by a podium inquiry by, LBPD management acknowledged that roughly 60 (to be precise, 59) sworn officers are contracted to and thus paid by the Port of LB, LB Airport, LB Transit, LBCC, LBUSD and L.A. County (Carmelitos). editor's note: Contracted officers handle policing duties at their contracted sites, aren't available for routine citywide deployment and aren't funded by the Council-controlled General Fund. The contracted officers haven't (to our knowledge) been cut although 168 budgeted sworn General Fund officer positions have been eliminated by Council-approved budget cuts through attrition.

    By's calculation: 815 actual sworn staffing (LBPD stated as of June 1, 2012) - 59 contracted officers = 766 sworn officers (as of June 1, 2012).

    On taking office in July 1994, the Council handed incoming Mayor O'Neill a budgeted police level of 839.4 sworn officers [which included a smaller number than today of Port/Airport/Transit officers].

    Administration Bureau Chief Phillips said that in first third of FY12, LBPD lost 44 sworn officers due to attrition "that is roughly equivalent to the average number we lose in the typical year in which we do not have a recruit academy. There are no longer any retirement incentives available so we are expecting attrition during the balance of this fiscal year to taper off."

    FY13 Replenishment Police Academy Class?

    Administration Bureau Chief Phillips said the following about a FY13 (Oct. 1, 2012-Sept. 30, 2013) replenishment police academy class:

    ...[W]e hired our last class of recruits in the fall of 2008. All of the 168 positions we've eliminated over the past four years have been through attrition. Because of the financial situation and the need for proportional share reductions, it's been imprudent to consider hiring new recruits when their positions would be the first to be reduced to meet future budget reduction targets, which continue to seem likely.

    The need for a recruit academy is compelling and the resources to fund the academy [pauses, picks up with this text] if the resources to fund the academy can be identified. In January, the City Council directed the city manager to bring back a recruit academy in the FY13 budget process and we are working with him to formulate that plan which should be hopefully coming to you in a couple of months.

    City management has included funding for a replenishment police academy class in its annually proposed budgets, but for the past three budget years Council majorities have voted [with management and Mayoral support] to allocate that sum to pay current officers.

    In its upcoming September 2012 budget vote, a Council majority will decide whether to fund a replenishment academy in FY13 AND fund current officers (if future layoffs are to be avoided).

    [ editor's note: Our understanding of the record is as follows:

    On Jan. 31, 2012 the Public Safety Committee voted 2-1 (Schipske dissenting) to ask city management to provide what Committee chair Garcia called a long term police academy and recruitment plan. On February 14, 2012, the full Council (9-0) approved that directive to city management.

    On March 7, 2012 city management told an afternoon Council budget session (on City Hall's "Fiscal Outlook for 2013 and Beyond") that City Hall's current levels of service aren't sustainable and cuts in addition to those already made would be necessary for at least the next three years. In that meeting, management offered three options for funding a replenishment police academy class: (1) shift the entire cost to other city departments; (2) shift half the cost to other departments and supplement with "one time" funds; (3) fund the academy class entirely with "new tax revenue" and possibly "one time funds."

    Three motions (besides "receive and file" for management's report) were made:

  • A motion by Councilwoman Gabelich, seconded by Councilwoman Schipske, to request City Manager to return to City Council with various revenue raising options was approved 9-0.
  • A motion by Vice Mayor Lowenthal, seconded by Councilwoman Schipske, to request City Manager to return to City Council with proposals for budget modeling software that allow City residents to participate in the prioritization of City programs and services for FY 13 was approved 7-2 (DeLong & Andrews absent)
  • A motion by Councilmember Garcia, seconded by Councilwoman Gabelich, to request that the City Manager return with a series of discussions on government reform and innovation was aApproved 7-2 (DeLong & Andrews absent)]

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