“Vilified,” “Beaten,” and “Bruised” LAPD Suffers From Record-Low Morale
The ongoing “defund the police” movement had put a huge strain on Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as officers suffered from “record-low” morale due to constant attacks and vilification not just from the media but as well as from its elected leaders.
In an interview for CBS Los Angeles, Robert Harris, the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, claimed that police officers felt “beaten” and “bruised” by the constant protests. The stress had even borderline been traumatic as Harris recalled, “I had one officer tell me that he feels like a Vietnam soldier returning home to a country that hates him, and that’s not a good place to be.”
Harris agreed that police reforms are needed. However, he believed that the constant “vilification” and “verbal battering’’ of their profession had taken a “huge toll” on the officers. “Morale is low right now,” Harris added.
The director voiced his opinion on defunding the police, claiming that such measures will only be “counterproductive” for huge police departments such as the LAPD. He went on to say that the $150 million budget cut will have a “serious impact” on the agency, and will result in a “domino effect.” Harris explained that the budget cut meant a delay in recruit classes and hiring, predicting that it could cost the agency a loss of 800 officers in the next two years. “And with the World Cup and the Olympics coming, I don’t think we can afford to do that,” the director warned.
In another report, Breitbart News claimed that there had been unprecedented low morale among police officers in the LAPD. A source within the agency echoed Harris’ sentiments saying that police morale had hit a “record low,” specifically among the street in patrol. “We have been vilified and abandoned by the mayor, all but three of the city council members, as well as many business owners and residents of the city of Los Angeles,” the media outlet reported.
The lack of community support was headed by the city’s own elected officials. A week ago, the Los Angeles City Council finally agreed to cut the LAPD budget to a whopping $133 million. The budget cut comes with a price, as police officers learned that they would not receive overtime pay for the next year and cut down the size of the force to less than 10,000 officers. In a 4-to-1 vote, the Budget and Finance Committee went on to endorse the budget cut, which would begin the process of what they claim as “reimagining public safety in L.A.”
This came a few million lower than the $150 million budget cut, which was initially proposed by Democrat Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as a response to growing demands to defund the police.
The City government’s move had become quite concerning, especially since the L.A. saw a surge in violence from the ongoing protests. In a list from the FBI of the 20 cities with the most violent crime, Los Angeles ranked second next to New York. However, authorities believe that the situation is going to get worse.
In fact, within the first week of June, the crime rate skyrocketed to a whopping 250%, as compared to the previous week. The number of shootings also went up to 55%. The crime went from bad to worse as authorities reported that within a matter of 24 hours, the city saw four shooting incidents, with one leading to homicide.
The week of 5/31 to 6/6, homicides went up 250% and victims shot went up 56% compared to the previous week.— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) June 9, 2020
The past 24 hrs has seen 4 shootings, one of those resulting in a homicide. Detectives are following leads to ID & arrest the suspects—but we’re also asking for your help pic.twitter.com/UXwZD7pPze