East Division Commander Beckman Says Police Chief McDonnell Projects LBPD Level Will Fall To Approx. 760 Total Officers [Leaving Approx 700 For Routine Citywide Deployment] Under City Mgm't Anticipated Proposed Budget Reductions

If approved by Council majority, result would leave LB with police level citywide roughly equivalent per capita to L.A. cutting about 42% of LAPD's Officers


(July 23, 2012) -- LBPD East Division Commander Michael Beckman told his quarterly community gathering tonight (July 23) that LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell projects that LBPD's sworn staffing will fall to 760 total officers by December 2012...meaning [by our calculation] roughly 700 officers available for routine citywide deployment, a per capita police level roughly equivalent to Los Angeles cutting over 40% of LAPD's currently budgeted sworn officers.

Chief McDonnell's projection is apparently based on anticipated [but not yet publicly released] city management proposed FY13 budget reductions. 760 total LBPD officers would mean roughly 700 officers to handle routine citywide deployment; roughly 60 officers [which haven't been cut while others have] are contracted and paid to handle tasks at LB's Port, Airport, LBCC, LBUSD, LB Transit.

Commander Beckman noted that the projected staffing levels were made public in a story by Tracy Manzer (online July 22) on and told a crowd of roughly 75 people in LB's Water Treatment plant auditorium:

As time goes on, you're likely going to see some service impacts...Already we have seen investigative units being eliminated so that we can focus on our core service. Our core service is [response to calls for service]...but unfortunately what we're finding is our numbers are getting to the point now where our investigative units are being eliminated. We're not able to have investigators, we have to put these people on the street...

Commander Beckman also noted that civilian police workers had already been cut drastically "so our ability to respond to quality of life complaints will further be hindered, and I think it's fair to say that our service impacts, our responsiveness is going to be impacted as time goes on..." notes that if a Council majority votes in September budget actions to approve management proposed sworn staffing cuts, Long Beach would be left with a budget sworn police level of roughly 1.5 officers per thousand residents. The last time Long Beach saw that level was in the early 1990s, when amid rising crime and public pressure, LB City Hall hired L.A. County Sheriffs to patrol parts of NLB and ELB.

By way of comparison: Los Angeles currently budgest roughly 2.5-2.6 officers per thousand residents. Signal Hill budgets over 3.0 per thousand.

Put another way, if the Long Beach City Council lets LB's police level fall to roughly 760 total officers (amounting to 700 General Fund funded officers deployable citywide), Long Beach residents and businesses would experience a budgeted police level roughly equivalent to Los Angeles cutting over 40% of L.A.P.D's officers.

Under LB's City Charter, Mayor Foster was supposed to receive city management's proposed FY13 budget by July 1, and the Mayor is allowed until August 1 to release it with his recommendations. A City Council majority then has until mid-September to make changes, if any. The Council's budget actions are subject to a Mayoral veto which can be overridden by six Council votes.

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