Los Angeles, California – So what’s the cost of rioting? Well, when it pertains to LAPD squad cars, it’s something to the tune of $80,000 per vehicle destroyed. Turns out, LA’s riots saw at least eight police vehicles were completely totaled, costing taxpayers around $640,000 due to destroyed vehicles and equipment.
The Los Angeles Police Department says 156 patrol cars were damaged; eight were totaled, costing taxpayers $80,000 each. https://t.co/aEc6ChyuQv
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) June 25, 2020
That’s not even taking into account the 156 other patrol vehicles within LA that were damaged, either.
It has been nearly a month since riots cropped up in Los Angeles following the death of George Floyd, and now the repair bill is starting to tally up – and it’s going to fall on the taxpayers to pay for the havoc enacted by the adult temper-tantrum that ravaged Los Angeles.
Reposting @abc7leanne’s ground view of the damage in the fairfax district. So distressing.
— Jovana Lara (@abc7jovana) May 31, 2020
While the protests morphed into riots, journalists noted that police squad cars were set ablaze, while others were vandalized. Video that was released from May during the LA riots showed vehicles smoldering, with plumes of black smoke engulfing the skies.
Unfortunately, the peaceful protest in #LosAngeles quickly turned into a riot! Several squad cars set on fire, many vandalized, and at least 1 bus completely damaged. Businesses exposed. The #LAPD has been mobilized. It’s senseless! pic.twitter.com/m23Ll5O42d
— Al West Coast (@AlWestCoast) May 30, 2020
Yet, even weeks after there was video evidence of rioting taking the streets in Los Angeles, there are still those who claim that there wasn’t anything of the ilk – that everything was just some “peaceful protests” that didn’t have any “violence” or “looting.”
So, we're going to pretend that vehicles weren't…you know…set on fire.
— Greg Hoyt (@GregHoytLET) June 25, 2020
Nothing like the LAPD having to shell out money for damaged caused by rioters to then have their police budget cut as well. In case you’re not aware, LA’s mayor noted earlier in June that a portion of the LAPD budget has got to go.
The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, levied a challenge toward the city on June 3rd to identify budgetary cuts in the realm of $250 million to be redirected in investing into communities of color, women and “people who have been left behind.”
Apparently, up to $150 million has already been identified and is being cut from the LAPD’s budget.
So less police will keep us safer? When we are in trouble, we're supposed to call a community leader? Los Angeles to slash up to $150M from LAPD budget, reinvest into communities of color https://t.co/Rc6oUQJK5D #FoxNews
— GC⭐⭐⭐ (@etf13) June 4, 2020
These redirected funds, according to Mayor Garcetti, are “so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing.”
While the notion of jobs, healthcare, and education are fairly easy to envision how funds can be used, the “healing” portion isn’t something clearly defined as to the “what” and “how” of that mentioned endeavor.
Eileen Decker, who serves as the president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, noted that somewhere between $100 million to $150 million would be pulled directly from police department funding.
City Council President Nury Martinez had also brought up the idea of extracting funds for policing prior to Decker’s approval of the notion.
L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion today asking city staff to identify $100 million -$150 million in possible cuts in the LAPD budget to be reinvested into disadvantaged communities and communities of color.
— Emily Alpert Reyes (@AlpertReyes) June 3, 2020
The annual budget for the LAPD, as it currently stands, is $1.86 billion.
If the entire $150 million cited is extracted from the annual LAPD budget, that would bring down the monetary resources to $1.71 billion.
It is unclear whether this would be a one-time extraction or an ongoing amendment to the budget moving forward annually.
Melina Abdullah, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter’s Los Angeles outfit, reportedly feels as though the budget cuts mentioned are not enough.
BLM-LA cofounder Melina Abdullah says L.A. needs to go further with pulling money from the LAPD to fund other services, saying council and mayor "need to know that we’re fighting for truly transformative change here and won’t be bought off with just this minimal amount of money.”
— Emily Alpert Reyes (@AlpertReyes) June 4, 2020
What also isn’t clear is what these budget cuts will be aimed at exactly within the department.
There are numerous ways that these budget cuts to policing could be enabled.
A few possible ways would be a reduction in force at various precincts, altering the cadence of equipment maintenance for the likes of cruisers, dialing back pay increases, eliminating overtime opportunities, or avoiding equipment purchases that were planned for the year.
Essentially, some forms of budgetary cuts can be more detrimental than others for a department – but any form of reduced financing is hardly ever desirable for those tasked with directing funds.
If the budget must be cut, which it seems it does, the LAPD will have to determine a manner in which the police force’s ability to serve the community isn’t terribly hindered. That task is one that any police department would not envy.
Hopefully, the LAPD can adhere to the requested slashing of the budget in a manner that creates the least amount to tangible harm to the department’s mission.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!