New data from city controller shows how LA spends: From helicopters to frozen rats

Cities buy all kinds of things: uniforms for police officers, office supplies for desk workers, frozen rats.

Frozen rats?

The LA Times reports on a new data dump from Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin showing what the city spends on thousands of purchases, from helicopters and basketballs to, yes, frozen rats.

“The procurement information, available at Control Panel L.A., details more than $1 billion spent by city departments between fiscal years 2011-12 and 2013-14. The data adds to the website Galperin launchedlast year shortly after he took office that includes taxpayer expenditures for police, sanitation, street repairs and other services.

“I want city managers — and the public too, for that matter — to use this data to help improve City procurement and contracting by encouraging more bidders, driving down the cost of goods and services for the City, and supporting local businesses and jobs,” Galperin said in a statement Wednesday.

As for the rats, the city spent more than $125,000 on the frozen rodents, which are used to feed snakes at the L.A. Zoo.

That’s a lot of rats.