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Letters: 'Cops count,' especially in L.A.

January 19, 2013

Re "Numbers game," Opinion, Jan. 14

Jim Newton's column regarding the significance of the Los Angeles Police Department achieving 10,000 officers misses the mark. When the mayor started his first term in 2005, there were 9,284 officers. Today there are 10,023.

Despite deep fiscal cuts to the LAPD, the mayor and the City Council have worked with the department in allowing it to find the least harmful ways to absorb these cuts. Instead of simply cutting the number of officers, the city's leaders held firm, and the result is the 10th straight year of crime reduction.

Newton also questions the functional transfer of officers from the Department of General Services to the LAPD, saying these officers are simply changing uniforms. These transferred officers will now go about their duties with a broader focus than simply the safety of public buildings. I will be able to better integrate these officers' duties with improving public safety for all of Los Angeles.

I am often quoted as saying, "Cops count." Even more important is the focus and mission of those cops.

Charlie Beck

Los Angeles

The writer is chief of the LAPD.

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