Los Angeles – Recent statistics reveal that approximately 23% of the sworn personnel of the Los Angeles Police Department now live within the City of Los Angeles reflecting a substantial increase within the last seven years. This is an increase of 779 officers from 1994, when studies first revealed this kind of information. In 1994, 17% of the 7,568 sworn employees of LAPD lived within Los Angeles boundaries. Today, 23% of the much larger force of 9,070 sworn employees live in L.A.
The benefits of having officers live within the City are immense. When living closer to their employment, officers suffer less stress when commuting to and from work. The Department maintains greater flexibility and control during strategic alerts and other emergencies. Wear and tear is greatly reduced on Department vehicles that are allowed to be home garaged. And, most importantly, officers associate and identify with the needs and issues of the very communities they are sworn to protect.
One of the factors that has led to this increase is the successful implementation of the "Homes for Police Officers and Firefighters" Program, which was permanently implemented in 1998. Through this program, officers may take advantage of reasonable interest rates, down payment reductions, and other financial incentives when purchasing a home within the City of Los Angeles. The driving force behind this program has been Police Commissioner Dean Hansell, Chair of the Police/Fire Housing Task Force. Meeting on a quarterly basis, this Task Force ensures that the program stays active and continues to grow with the changing housing market by working with lenders such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, among others.
The goal of this Task Force has been realized with more LAPD sworn personnel living in Los Angeles; however, the efforts are ongoing maintains Commissioner Hansell. "While we are encouraged with these statistics, we hope to achieve even higher percentages in the future. LAPD officers living in the same city which they serve is a win/win situation for both the officers and the community. The higher the percentage of LAPD officers residing in L.A., the better. One of the ways to increase that percentage is to concentrate recruitment efforts within the City, which the Department is now doing. Those future officers will be able to easily purchase homes in the city they know best."
Officer Shaquana Hall is an example of the program’s success. The low down payment option not only let her purchase a home in the City she services, but in the City she grew up in. "I first learned of this program in 1997 from the newspaper when I read that Mayor Riordan wanted to implement an incentive for officers buying homes in Los Angeles," states Officer Hall. "At the time, I had only been out of the Academy for three months. I knew that I wanted to move back into Los Angeles but planned to do it at a later date. This program allowed me to reach my dream right away." This single mom officer was one of the first to take advantage of the pilot program. She now lives in the Southwest Division, within 15 minutes of eight divisions and three traffic divisions.
For immediate release contact: Tamryn Catania, 213-485-3531