city council
LA City Council Meeting - Photo courtesy of LACC livestream

With Los Angeles Police Department sworn staffing below authorized levels, the City Council Friday instructed the department to report on the number of sworn officers performing civilian functions and include recommendations for how to minimize the number.

The department currently has 9,375 sworn employees, despite authorization to have a force of up to about 9,700 officers. The lower-than-authorized levels come as hiring within the department has not kept up with retirements and resignations in recent years. The department also has 2,662 civilian employees.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year includes an additional $149 million aimed partly at increasing staffing to 9,735 officers.

Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced the motion passed Friday seeking a report from the department on how many sworn officers are working civilian positions instead of working in the field.

“With recent reductions to the LAPD workforce, it is all the more important that the existing sworn workforce be maximized and assigned to public safety functions,” Buscaino said.

The councilman has made public safety and expanding the LAPD a central part of his campaign for mayor, including calling for the LAPD’s force to increase to 11,000 officers. One of his opponents in the race, Rep. Karen Bass, has advocated for increasing the LAPD’s patrol personnel to reach already-authorized levels by moving desk officers to the field and hiring additional civilian personnel.

A timeline for the department to submit its report to the City Council was not included in the motion.

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