Union Decries Plan for Merger with LAPD BUDGET: General Services Shift Would Cut Security at Parks, Libraries, It Says

Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), April 28, 2012 | Go to article overview

Union Decries Plan for Merger with LAPD BUDGET: General Services Shift Would Cut Security at Parks, Libraries, It Says


A plan to merge General Services police officers with the Los Angeles Police Department was widely criticized Friday by union representatives, who said it would reduce patrols at city parks and libraries.

Half a dozen union leaders representing General Services police officers, librarians and other city employee groups appeared at City Hall to question Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to fold more than 100 officers into the LAPD by July 1.

Critics believe the work of General Services police officers - such as patrolling public libraries, parks, and City Hall offices - could be neglected, or the LAPD could be diverted from more serious crime calls to tend to city property maintenance issues.

"The LAPD's mission is crime suppression, not security," said Victor Gordo, attorney for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. "Our concern is that they do their own job and we do ours."

Under the proposal, 37 General Services officers would become LAPD officers. The rest of the General Services officers would likely continue doing the work of patrolling city properties, but would be under the command of the LAPD. It's expected that some of those officers would apply to become sworn LAPD.

As part of his 2013 budget, Villaraigosa is seeking to consolidate the departments by July 1. The move would save around $2.2 million next year, according to a city report.

City officials say the goal is to improve supervision at the General Services Department by moving it into the larger LAPD, which many officials believe is a better-managed public safety agency. …

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