Thursday, March 24, 2011

LA City Council Boldly Goes to where the bold-less go

Posted by CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - The Los Angeles City Council in a boldless move, voted yesterday on a three month hiring freeze of new police officers to reduce the budget gap for this fiscal year from $46.8 million to about $4.1 million.

Neither the Mayor nor Police Chief Charlie Beck like the boldless move.

According to Gerald Chaleff, special assistant to Beck, the boldless  move will affect at least one Police Academy class of about 50 officers and will reduce the total number of sworn officers to about 9,890 (98.89% of the Mayor’s figure) , which is lower than Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign pledge to maintain a force of 10,000 officers and short of the minimum of 9,963 (99.63% of the Mayor’s figure) officers that Beck has said is necessary to avoid compromising public safety.

The elephant in the room of course, is that the move is boldless, unlike Wisconsin’s governor Walker.  The real issue is organized public labor.  Worse when it comes to public safety.

Consider the  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has begun termination proceedings against six deputies who allegedly assaulted two fellow deputies at a Christmas party last year.  The operative word is began.  Although reportedly the deputies in question behaved like gangsters, flashed signs like gangsters may have been under the influence of steroids and were supposed to guard gangsters, they are represented by the union and there is not much management can do.

Now, we continue to assert that whether a city is the safest city in the county -  the state or the nation -  or not, is primarily a function of residents and local governance, not law enforcement.

A real bold move would be for the LA City Council to face up to the elephant in the room and look to pension reform.  File as many Freedom of Information Act and or Public Records Act  request as you wish.  The fact is that public safety union will consistently avoid using any sort of independently verifiable metrics to hold employees accountable with predictable results as in the case of the LASD unterminated deputies.  May also explain why the safest city in the county, may just be next to the least safe right next door, with the same management team and the same union.

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