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Series on Fallout From King Case

December 29, 1991

As a Los Angeles police officer with almost 20 years of service, I read with interest your series "Scenes From The Inner City."

Just last week, a Hollywood Division officer, with 22 years of service, abruptly retired. His parting comment was "the job just isn't fun anymore." Many of my friends in the department are retiring earlier than they had planned or they are seriously thinking about retiring (28% of LAPD officers are currently eligible to retire).

It is rumored that hundreds of younger LAPD officers have applications to other agencies. A lot of dedicated, talented and experienced officers are leaving the department or are planning to. For anyone who's been reading the papers and watching the news these past nine months, I don't have to explain the reasons why.

The biggest loser in all of this is the citizens of Los Angeles. Crime continues to skyrocket. Chicago of the late 1920s to early 1930s under mobster Al Capone will look like child's play when compared to Los Angeles of the 1990s.

I just wish the public, and especially the minority communities, would realize that there are more than 8,000 dedicated officers who really want to do a good job and be supported. If they are constantly criticized on every little thing, then morale suffers. Officers get discouraged.

As for myself, I'm eligible to retire in five months and I'm thinking about doing just that. If I have to work at a car wash, sell encyclopedias or be a shoe salesman to make up the difference of my current salary vs. retirement, so be it. Police work just isn't worth it anymore!

WILLIAM A. SCHEIDEKER, LAPD Planning and Research Division, Los Angeles

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