N O T I C E November 2, 2000
As the new year approaches, the Department is faced with many difficult decisions as we plan for the future. Due in part to a very healthy economy, the Department, like many others in the law enforcement community, is finding it difficult to recruit and hire qualified people to fill both sworn and civilian positions. Although employees are retiring with greater tenure than in the past, the significant hiring of the late 1960s and early 1970s has now resulted in larger numbers of retirements.
During the past several months, the Department has only managed to fill approximately 70% of the vacancies created by attrition. While our funded authorities are nearly 9800, our actual strength is approximately 9200 and declining. With the impending Department of Justice Federal Consent Decree, additional administrative, supervisory, and support positions will be created and filled, adding to the impact on our already depleted personnel resources.
As Department employees, we are all aware that our primary duty is to provide effective and timely emergency response to the community. Our patrol operations are the singular most critical component in satisfying this mandate. I am issuing the following directives to meet the ever-increasing demands of patrol operations Departmentwide.
The Department will seek significant overtime funding to provide for all essential activities, recognizing that the some employees will be tasked with handling the workload assigned to unfilled positions.
All noncritical discretionary harvesting of personnel must be immediately reduced to a level no greater than 15% of the Area patrol force.
All specialized and support divisions will be evaluated to determine the appropriate number of personnel available for reassignment to Area commands.
Vacancies in specialized divisions will be frozen and authorities transferred to field operations.
All Department priorities and basic services will be reevaluated to determine whether reprioritization may save resources that can be directed to field duties.
All Department loans, including the assignments of light-duty personnel, will be evaluated to maximize efficiency and support field operations.
Human Resources Bureau will be directed to evaluate the efficiency of all facets of the hiring process, while ensuring no reduction in standards, to increase the number of recruits entering the Academy and to fill critical civilian positions Departmentwide.
Human Resources Bureau has been directed to provide a process for the emergency recall of retired civilian and sworn personnel to fill critical functions.
The Department will explore outside contracting, where appropriate, to provide essential support to critical functions and allow for the redeployment of personnel to other assignments.
The Department will explore the hiring of personnel for exempt positions, which will support organizational activities.
These actions all speak to the importance of our field operations. Patrol remains the backbone of the Department. The safety of our patrol force and the community we serve will remain our top priority and will allow us to bond in partnership with the people we serve.
Although these directives may be uncomfortable to some employees, I am certain that everyone recognizes the importance of providing an adequate patrol force for the people of Los Angeles. While change is personally difficult, I know the commitment of the outstanding men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department will ensure a successful transition and a continued level of professional service to our community.
BERNARD C. PARKS
Chief of Police