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Apr 2012
Report: Police consolidation would save Los Angeles $2.9M a year

Consolidating the city's law enforcement agencies would save Los Angeles $2.9 million a year and increase operating efficiencies, according to a report released Tuesday.

The report by Miguel Santana, the city's top budget analyst, recommends merging the Department of General Services' Office of Public Safety with the Los Angeles Police Department to maximize both operations and savings.

The additional officers would also help LAPD grow from 9,963 officers to 10,023 officers, according to Santana.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has long pushed to expand the force to 10,000, and pledged to add 1,000 extra cops during his 2005 mayoral campaign.

As part of his budget to be released Friday, Villaraigosa is expected to propose shifting the Office of Public Safety into the LAPD. The plan, first proposed in 2010, hasn't advanced until now.

In his report, Santana writes that moving the 223 employees who constitute the OPS would save $2.23 million next year.

The figure would grow annually to $2.9 million.

Additionally, the move means the LAPD won't have to hire new officers next year, which will add to the savings, according to the report.

Santana's report will be considered as the Mayor's Office, City Council members, and unions negotiate the proposal in the coming weeks.

But it is already drawing criticism from those who feel Villaraigosa's office hasn't yet discussed the plan with General Services officers.

"There has yet to be an open and honest question with the vested parties about what this will look like," said Marshall McClain, director of the L.A. South Chapter of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, which represents 60,000 area sworn officers, including General Services cops.



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