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LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT
Monday, September 28, 1998
Mayor Richard J. Riordan and Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard C. Parks joined Vice President Al Gore for an announcement that the City of Los Angeles will be awarded a $133 million grant to hire additional police officers over the next three years. The Vice President made the announcement during a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport. The funding is part of a Department of Justice grant under the Universal Hire section of the federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office. The award would allow the Los Angeles Police Department to hire up to 710 new police officers over the next three years. City Council President John Ferraro, Council Committee Chairman Laura Chick and members Richard Alarcon and Mike Feuer, and several uniformed police officers were also present for the announcement.
"Thanks to this partnership with the Department of Justice and Congressional leaders, we can build on our efforts to make every corner of Los Angeles safer," said Mayor Riordan. This announcement is good news for law-abiding Angelenos and for individuals who want to join the finest police department in the world. To the criminals in our city, this message is stronger than ever: There is no place for you in Los Angeles. It’s your turn to be afraid.
The $133 million grant is designed to pay 90 percent of the new officers’ salaries and benefits for three years. The remaining 10 percent will be funded through the City’s general budget. The officers will be deployed on the streets of Los Angeles in highly visible policing activities including crime prevention and diversion programs, community policing and community outreach in each of the LAPD’s 18 divisions.
"Public safety is, and must continue to be, priority number one," said Mayor Riordan, who was in the nation’s capital last week to lobby Attorney General Janet Reno and members of Congress for this funding. From a safe Los Angeles, all else follows: Job-creating businesses will invest here, homeowners will raise their families here, and tourists will spend their vacation here. Together, these elements lead to a healthy, vibrant economy for the 21st century.
Mayor Riordan and Chief Parks noted the importance of local alliances as well. With the city council, the LAPD and the community working as our partners, Los Angeles will reach its goal of becoming the safest big city in America.
Under Mayor Riordan and Chief Parks, the Los Angeles Police Department has the largest police force in its history –9,732 sworn officers compared to the 7,400 in 1993 when the Mayor took office. The rate of serious crimes –homicide, rape, aggravated assault and robbery –has dropped 45 percent. Los Angeles remains the most under policed big city in America, which underscores the importance of hiring more officers and the continued need for strong leadership under Chief Parks.
Through Mayor Riordan’s efforts in Washington, D.C., the City of Los Angeles has received more than $286 million in Crime Bill funds since the legislation was passed in 1994. Among projects that have been funded through the Crime Bill are technology improvements to increase police efficiency, the hiring of 400 civilians to liberate sworn officers from administrative duties, and the hiring of more than 2100 sworn officers, including those who will be recruited with the latest grant.
For Release 12:30 pm PST
September 28, 1998