Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Local Funds Still Answer for LAPD

November 06, 1994

It's good to hear that Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City) wants as much out of the federal crime bill as possible to help Los Angeles hire more police officers. And it's also reassuring to know that Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon has gotten his colleagues on the council to look into adding a new police district in the northeast Valley.

But to the extent that both efforts depend upon how much can be obtained through the crime bill, and how soon, we must issue a cautionary note.

Much of the $2.3-billion crime bill signed into law by President Clinton is for more police, but part will go to new state prisons and to beef up border control.

Moreover, it is not as though any locality, even one as large as Los Angeles, is going to get huge sums immediately. Indeed, the first $200 million chunk of crime bill money was divided among 392 municipalities. Los Angeles County received $3 million, enough to help hire 33 more officers. We say "help" because local governments have to put up some of the costs of hiring those officers.

Berman says that the San Fernando Valley alone needs 1,000 more police officers. Maybe he's right, but there will have to be a lot of local money on the table to help us get there. And the crime bill, as this money is being allocated, is not going to cough up enough funding in one sum to open Alarcon's new police station. The new officers are going to come in slowly, and any new station is going to have to involve some transfers from other parts of the city.

The crime bill is producing some badly needed federal help, but the fight to beef up the LAPD now moves to the local stage, and that means local money.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|