The police officers union launched its campaign against the city's tourist industry Monday with the mailing of letters and brochures warning people about rampant crime and low police morale.
Officers have been working without a contract for nearly 21 months, and the union wants to pressure city officials into settling the dispute, said Geoffrey Garfield, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
"This is what we've been forced into," Garfield said. "We're almost in crisis mode. We think extraordinary measures need to be taken."
Garfield said the letters and brochures were sent to consulates, local tourist attractions, hotels, airlines and tourism trade magazines.
"It is our intention to carry out a systematic publicity campaign designed to affect tourism in the Los Angeles area, especially as related to the upcoming World Cup (soccer tournament)," the two-page letter stated.
In the letters and brochures, the union advised people from throughout the country and overseas "not to come to Los Angeles because it is not safe."
The union also has made plans to put up billboards and release a 10-minute video with the same message, Garfield said.
Mayor Richard Riordan, who favors giving officers a raise, has criticized the union's tactics because it would hinder the economic recovery that would help pay for a salary hike.