A news release by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) recently announced that they are changing the hours of front desk services at several area Police Stations. Starting December 1, 2017, front desk services at Devonshire, West Valley, Southeast, and Southwest Police Stations will change from 7 a.m., to 11 p.m., while the front desks at all other LAPD Station’s will currently remain open to the public 24 hours a day.
The news release states that these new business hours will allow LAPD to make more officers available on the street for routine calls for service and emergency response. According to a Police Commission’s inspector general investigation for several years LAPD has deployed marked “ghost” cruisers around town to allegedly make it appear that more officers are on the streets than actually are.The deployment of a “ghost” vehicle appears to be a tactic widely used across the country by law enforcement agencies.
Whatever the reason, a shortage of officers on the streets of Los Angeles is happening at a time when Prisons in California are required by a Supreme Court ruling to reduce prison populations due to overcrowding. LAPD is understaffed. It is alleged that officers are leaving the force at an unprecedented rate opting for retirement or due to injury. The high cost of paying retirement and or disability benefits to Officers has left the LAPD budget, along with other law enforcement agencies, cash strapped to hire replacement officers at the same rate that officers are leaving the force. A dire result is that communities they leave behind (because the majority of officers do not live in communities they serve) are under-served by law enforcement.
It’s important to mention that the news release indicts that changes in front desk services will not affect normal operations at those affected Stations. Officers assigned to every Division will continue to handle calls for service 24 hours a day within these communities and LAPD officers will be staffed on premises 24/7. A red call box has been installed in front of stations for the public’s use in the event of an emergency during hours when front desk services are not operational; the phones link directly to 911. Signage is posted at each Station that indicate hours front desk services are staffed and therefore operational.
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