First (Again) on Learns LBPD Mgm't Considering Possible Elimination Of One of LBPD's Four Divisions (Currently: North, South, West & East) And Reducing Number of Patrol Beats Citywide, (Making Each Beat Larger Area For Officers To Handle)

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(April 26, 2012, 7:00 a.m.) -- has learned that LBPD management is quietly considering the possible elimination of one of LBPD's four divisions (currently North, South, West & East), a reconfiguration that may simultaneously include reducing the number of police patrol beats citywide, making each beat a larger area for officers to patrol.

As first reported yesterday (first [again] by, LB's violent crimes citywide increased in the first three months of 2012 by 13% (a reversal of declines to historic lows in 2010 and 2011) as a result of violent crime increases in LBPD's North, West and South divisions. Meanwhile, property crimes in LBPD's east division in the first three months of 2012 increased by 23.4%.

City management is currently preparing its proposed FY12-13 budget for ultimate decisionmaking by the City Council. Over the past three years, Council majorities have implemented what Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West called "proportional reductions" (reflecting LBPD's share of General Fund spending) that "balanced" City Hall's spending budgets in part by eliminating over 150 budgeted sworn police officers while simultaneously declining to fund replenishment police academy classes [an action that ensures continuing attrition].

Long Beach City Hall now provides residents and businesses with a police level available for citywide deployment (i.e. not including officers contracted to handle tasks at the Port, Airport, LBCC, LBUSD and LB Transit and not funded by the City Council's General Fund) roughly equivalent per capita to Los Angeles cutting over 25% of LAPD's officers.

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