The Los Angeles Police Department is struggling with its officers' union to find middle ground between hiring new officers and providing existing officers with their deserved overtime pay, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the Times, the Los Angeles police union wants a hiring freeze and overtime restored. Currently, officers are being told to end shifts because they have accrued too much overtime. The city's budget crisis is a leading factor in the unfunded overtime, KPCC radio in Southern California detailed.
Los Angeles Police Protective League president Paul M. Weber told the paper that the city should not hire new officers to replace those leaving or retiring from the force. LAPD chief Charlie Beck holds a countering view.
"We'd all like to return to a time where officers are paid for the overtime hours they work," Beck told the Times. "But it is not in the interest of public safety to do that by thinning the ranks of officers."
Limiting police recruits would save the LAPD a few million dollars, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, but Beck voiced additional concerns about returning to high levels of training once the economy improves. Currently, there are between 9,000 and 10,000 recruits ready to be sworn in once the budget and overtime crisis is resolved, according to the Times.
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