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Fewest cops in a generation: LAPD shrinks below 9,000 officers

The number of officers employed by the LAPD has dropped below 9,000, a staffing level unseen since the administration of former LA Mayor Richard Riordan in the 1990s.

Several City officials told NBC’s I-Team that as of July 30 there were 8,967 officers employed, far below Mayor Karen Bass’ goal of a 9,500 officers, and about 300 below what the current budget allows, roughly 9,300 officers.

Since then another class graduated from the LAPD academy — bringing the total number of officers to 8,995, though it will be several months before the newest officers complete field training.

A new academy class began last week at less than half capacity.

“Unfortunately that academy class will only have 29 recruits,” Chief Michel Moore told the Board of Police Commissioners July 25. “Our effort is to hire 60 every 4 weeks.”

The LAPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the current staffing numbers or how the reduction in available officers was affecting operations.

Mayor Bass’ office said in a short statement, “The Mayor has made clear that she takes hiring of LAPD officers and retention at LAPD very seriously and has taken action to address both.”

Officers are voting this week on whether or not to accept a new, 4-year employment contract that promises near 20-percent raises for most officers and a higher starting salary for recruits.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents most officers, said last week it hoped that the pay increases would help draw in more candidates for the LAPD.

The Department grew to more than 9,000 officers under Riordan, at a time when Riordan and the City Council were united in efforts to try to grow the Department to at least 10,000 officers.

By 2009 the LAPD’s workforce had expanded to 9,895, when then-Chief Bill Bratton said there were still too few officers for the size and population of the nation’s second largest City.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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