LAPD replacements OK, but new hires nixed

LOS ANGELES The plan does not fund for increasing the number of LAPD officers. Five-hundred LAPD officers are expected to retire this year.

The City Council vote was 14-1 in favor the plan. Former chief of LAPD and current L.A. City Councilman Bernard Parks was the dissenting vote.

L.A. City Council faced tough choices on Monday as it considers a hiring freeze on police officers and firefighters to help ease the budget crisis.

The Council considered 800 layoffs to help bridge the $532 million deficit.

About 200 L.A. City firefighters marched to City Hall Monday mornings to let the City Council know they are angry over the possibility of fire stations closing and firefighters being furloughed.

Six unions, representing 22,000 city workers, staged a noisy "truck parade" around City Hall.

The Budget and Finance Committee voted last week to stop hiring police officers and firefighters in an effort to close a $500 million budget shortfall.

The firefighters union president said firefighters are willing to make some sacrifices to keep everyone on the job.

"We're trying to tell them how important public safety is," said Pat McOsker, L.A. City Fire Department.

"The plan before them would force the chief to close 20 fire companies and ambulances a day, and that would have devastating impacts on public safety. People would get killed if that were to happen," he said.

/*Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa*/ has vowed to add 1,000 more officers to the police force. The LAPD hit a milestone in March, with nearly 9,900 sworn officers.

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