400 -- It's a Magic Number
Answer: Why… just by saying so, of course!
400 new LAPD officers is the number Antonio has held to hiring regardless of the City budget crunch. Okay – we got that. You need 400? As the people under siege by the budget situation, we do understand the need. 400 is the magic number. Yet in response to Laura Chick’s just-released audit finding that 565 peace officers are holding LAPD administrative positions that can be done by civilians, the Fishwrap of Record quotes Chief Bratton thusly: “Let's make it perfectly clear, I have no intention, the mayor has no intention, of retreating back from the hiring…we actually need 12,500 police officers. . . . Even with the 1,000, we're still short almost 2,500 police officers from what we need in this city."
Wow, kids. We were so close to being relieved of at least some the painful budget-related cuts, freezes, rate increases, layoffs and other sundry abuse being threatened by the people elected to look out for our interests, and then "poof!" I honestly do not have a problem with LAPD raising the number of officers in this town. Comparatively, Los Angeles has far fewer officers per capita than other major metropolitan areas in the US and the need does painfully exist. But Antonio drew the line in big, bold ink at 400. Chick finds 565. So Antonio waves his hands and moves the line?
Sigh… I'm getting the feeling that this budget crisis is far more about pressuring the public and exerting control than it is about fiscal reality.