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LAPD: Still getting job done despite OT cuts

April 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
LAPD announced on Wednesday the arrests of cousins Alejandro and Jesse Torres in connection with a massive burglary ring.Officers confiscated boxing gloves, GPS units and even a power drill. They were part of over 300 items taken from inside dozens of victims' cars.

The announcement is the latest pat-on-the-back for Olympic division detectives who recently have been forced to take time off due to the city's budget problems.

Detectives on the case came in over the weekend, which means more forced vacation days down the road.

"Last month we lost 268 man hours, or officer hours, that could have been in the field. That's the equivalent of having 20 or so fewer officers assigned to the division," said Olympic division Capt. Matt Blake.

The bad news is that number will only get higher.

"By the end of summer, we will be about 600, by my calculation, reduced workforce due to compensatory overtime," said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

Earlier Wednesday, the city council attempted to go even further by placing a hiring freeze on the LAPD, but it was quickly pulled off the table due to lack of support.

But with L.A.'s budget deficit projected to hit half a billion dollars by the summer, more cuts could be down the pipeline for police, which means the city's 40-year low crime rate could be in jeopardy.

"We will have as low as officer numbers as we did 20 years go," said Blake. "We do not want to go backwards."


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