LA County increases police funding by $36 million after defund movement backfires

Los Angeles school board overhauls police force

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The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday to boost its contracts with law enforcement by $36 million through the end of this year amid a spike in crime across the city.

The move will increase funding from $645,675,758 to $681,675,758, which is $75 million less than the $111 million that was originally proposed. The contracts are with the LAPD, the LA County Sheriff’s Department, and the Long Beach Police Department. 

It comes as Los Angeles deals with a spike in crime throughout the city. 

“Our hope is that the public and the board understand that we’re trying as a staff to get to a good balance here in terms of policing on our system, trying to get to a happy medium here understanding both perspectives,” LA Metro CEO Phillip Washington said before the vote, according to CBSLA. 

“I do understand both perspectives, from a lived experience as an African American male, I understand completely what we are saying about policing, but also as someone who reviews every incident report on the system, I do believe we need some level of security on the system.”

LAPD CHIEF SPEAKS OUT ON DEADLY CRIME SURGE IN LOS ANGELES THIS YEAR

Los Angeles has seen rising crime rates this year, a trend that carried over from 2020. 

The city recorded 39 homicides in January, a 34% increase over the same time last year, according to Crosstown, a non-profit news outlet based out of the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. 

The continuing rise comes after a particularly violent 2020, when the city saw 350 homicides, which is 36% more than in 2019, Crosstown reports. 

Many of these homicides resulted from gun violence, which also increased last year, as the LAPD averaged 219 gun arrests per month in 2020, a 35% increase over 2019. 

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Amid a nationwide push to defund the police last summer, LA city officials voted to cut $150 million from the LAPD’s nearly $2 billion budget, reducing the number of officers on the street from 9,988 to 9,757 by this summer. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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