Los Angeles: Chief of Police William J. Bratton stood next to Mayor James K. Hahn this morning as the mayor signed a council measure, sponsored by Councilman Greig Smith, to fund 278 more police officers over the next 18 months.
"I’d like to thank Councilman Greig Smith and his colleagues on the City Council who voted for this resolution," Chief Bratton said. "By freeing up the vehicle licensing fees for hiring more officers, we are able to take advantage of the federal COPS grant that the mayor and I lobbied for in Washington last year. This injection of money will boost the Department to an authorized strength of 9,500 officers."
This total would be the Department’s second highest staffing level in its history. In 1998, the city budget authorized the Department for 9,800 officers, but the total was never realized due to budget and morale problems.
Chief Bratton added, "Our recruitment program is strong, and I am confident we can attract the officers we need, especially when we tell our candidates we are ready to hire them now."
As of this month, LAPD began hiring full recruit class of approximately 60 officers. Today’s resolution will ensure regular, full classes are hired for the next 18 months. Academy training lasts 28 weeks. The full complement of new officers will reach police stations by August 2006.
This news release was written by the LAPD’s Media Relations Section, which can be reached at 213-485-3586.