Want better policing at protests? The LAPD says it needs $67 million.
Three recent reports, including a report from the National Police Foundation and an internal LAPD review, say Los Angeles police were ill-equipped to handle widespread racial justice protests last summer. Now, the department says it needs $67 million to ensure it can handle demonstrations better in the future.
The request has drawn sharp criticism from criminal justice reform advocates.
“This is the absolute opposite of what we should be considering,” Black Lives Matter Los Angeles co-founder Melina Abdullah told the Los Angeles Times. “We should be pulling funding away from them, not pouring funding into them.”
She accused the department of using their failures as an excuse to get more money.
But the department says that funding is needed to bolster training, outreach, and crowd control. It wants 50 new officers; $53 million for training; almost $4 million for a new bureau specializing in protests and large events; $2.2 million for teams that would build relationships with the public; $500,000 for software to monitor protest news on social media; and $100,000 towards communication devices for plain-clothed officers embedded in protest groups.
Any additional funding would have to be approved by the City Council. Mayor Eric Garcetti has not said whether he supports it. His latest budget plan calls for a modest increase in police funding already.
The Police Commission is accepting public comments until May 11.