The LAPD has lost nearly 1,000 officers. Now, Mayor Karen Bass wants to rebuild the force

April 17 2023

The Los Angeles Times about the complexities police departments face in hiring and retention of officers. Numerous high-profile murders under police custody over the course of recent years have led to mass protests, calls for widespread police reform, and diminishing roster numbers for law enforcement agencies. 

An excerpt from the publication states: "The LAPD is not the only big-city law enforcement agency facing a shrinking workforce. According to FBI data, police department ranks in New York City and Philadelphia have decreased 8% and 9%, respectively, since 2019, while Chicago experienced an 11% drop.

That phenomenon can be traced, in part, to a shrinking labor pool and growing public scrutiny after a spate of high-profile police killings, said Niles R. Wilson, senior director of law enforcement initiatives for the Center for Policing Equity, which studies ways to reduce racism in policing. Many big-city agencies are losing officers to smaller, suburban departments that offer better pay and fewer risks, he said.

Wilson said younger people are less likely to go into a profession with longer hours and a high risk of injury. At the same time, he said, cities have begun sending mental health teams or other unarmed responders to calls once fielded by police.

“I think you’re going to start seeing [police] staffing levels are going to adjust, as jurisdictions start to adopt more alternative response models,” Wilson said."

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