spike in homicides, the Los Angeles Police Department is set to
downsize its homicide and robbery division and will stop responding to
traffic collisions, according to CBSN Los Angeles.
Due to budgetary challenges,
more than 200 LAPD officers will be moved back to patrol under a “broad
reorganization aimed at preserving patrol and community engagement
functions,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Under the plan, anyone with minor injuries from car accidents and hit-and-run crashes will need to file a report online.
In June, following protests and riots
that erupted across the country over the death of George Floyd, the Los
Angeles City Council moved toward defunding the LAPD, voting to cut the
department’s budget by up to $150 million, according to CBS.
officer place barriers in fron of a Police Department building
vandalized in a protest against police brutality in Los Angeles on
September 23, 2020, following a decision on the Breonna Taylor case in
Louisville, Kentucky. – (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
plan also cuts 350 sworn positions and will reduce the LAPD ranks down
to 9,700 by April. Currently, the department has 10,100 sworn officers,
according to the LA Times.
Chief Michel Moore told the LA Times that the department would also cut
its air support, robbery, homicide, and gang and narcotics units in
response to the City Council decision to slash the budget. Civilian
employees will also be lost.
Los Angeles, like numerous other large cities across the country, has experienced surging crime.
By mid-October, the city had 261 homicides, a 25% increase from the
same time of 2019, LAPD Capt. Ahmad Zarekani said, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Police Chief Michel Moore told the LA Times in late October that the
city could see more than 300 homicides in 2020, a level not reached
since 2009, when there were 312 killings. Moore called the pace of
violence in 2020 a “terrible loss” and an “erosion” of progress that had
been made reducing gun violence in the city in recent years. (RELATED: Report: Police Chief Predicts Highest Level Of Homicides In Los Angeles In More Than 10 Years)
the 1980s and 1990s, when Los Angeles had more than 1,000 killings some
years, there was reportedly a downward trend in homicides. But in 2020,
homicides surged in the summer in South L.A. and in parts of Central
L.A., according to the Los Angeles Times. In South L.A., homicides were
up by 50% from 2019.
shootings have also reportedly increased. The number of victims of
nonfatal shootings was up more than 21% as of Oct. 10, the LA Times
reported. Moore said a variety of factors related to the pandemic helped
drive the violence in L.A.