The new budget for Los Angeles would cut $100 million from the police department. Officials hope to save money by granting less overtime, partly through the use of volunteers, NPR reports. The police department already has more than 700 unpaid workers in its Reserve Corps. These volunteers save the city about $5 million each year. Some in the legal profession have concerns.
Teacher Arcelia Ponce, 34, joined the reserves two years ago. As an entry level reserve, Ponce must work alongside a full-time officer, and her assignments are usually special events like festivals and art walks. She says, “I think it’s equally as dangerous; we’re all out there on the field. I wear the same badge and have the same gun, same uniform; I look just the same, like the other officers.”