The ongoing pandemic has affected all aspects of American life, with the virus taking a financial toll on people, businesses, and even whole-ass cities. Los Angeles, which is currently in the midst of a financial crisis as a result of the pandemic, is considering laying off police officers to help solve its financial woes.
“Layoff the police” isn’t as catchy, but go off, I suppose.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the city is facing a potential budget deficit of $600 million and Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told reporters on Wednesday that the Los Angeles Police Department may face layoffs as a result. The budget for the LAPD was already reduced in June by $150 million, resulting in staffing levels hitting their lowest number in 12 years.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told the Los Angeles Times that while he hopes to avoid layoffs of any city employees, the city is keeping all options on the table when it comes to managing its budget crisis.
“It is my hope we will do everything we can to avoid layoffs,” Garcetti said. “So, I know it’s kind of sexy to lead with the worst. But I hope that’s at the very bottom of our list.”
Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian told the Times that he believes layoffs are inevitable if they don’t receive federal assistance or employee unions don’t make concessions.
“I don’t see a way to avoid layoffs of city employees, and I do not think it would make sense to exempt any category of employees in doing that,” Krekorian, head of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, told the Times.
These potential layoffs come at a rather tumultuous time for the city. While the pandemic has resulted in a 9 percent overall decrease in crime, there has been a 20 percent increase in murder, according to a report by Crosstown.
“Unfortunately, this is not make-believe, and these proposed cuts will lead to thousands of more violent crime victims, 70 percent being Black or Hispanic, and devastate thousands of families,” Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, told the Times.
“Whoever cooked up this approach clearly does not care about our communities overwhelmed by violence.”
I mean, the LAPD has historically done its part to overwhelm those communities with violence so let’s not get too carried away here, my guy.
Garcetti already requested the city look into a “potential layoff scenario” back in September, so this isn’t exactly a shocking development. The city asked the Police Protective League to come back to the bargaining table as a result of the financial crisis, but they declined. Their current agreement would see union members receiving a 3.25 percent increase in pay next month.
So if you’re a Los Angeles cop, it’s basically a dice roll on whether you’re going to get a raise or you’re going to be out of a job.
The LAPD isn’t the only organization facing potential layoffs, and city officials are expected to begin furloughing civilian workers next month.
While it’s “fuck 12” all day over here, I don’t think I’m wrong in hoping the city can come to a budget proposal that doesn’t result in countless civilian workers being put out of work during a surging pandemic.