The Los Angeles Police Department wants 55 new jobs in the its bureau of counterterrorism while other city departments face budget cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports. John Miller, chief of the bureau and former ABC-TV newsman, said his agency has headed off potential threats since Sept. 11, 2001, arresting 180 people with possible ties to terrorist groups. The 180 were arrested mostly on suspicion of low-level crimes before being charged with such offenses as perjury, credit card fraud and forgery. Most of the cases were turned over to immigration officials
Miller said the bureau has doubled its surveillance activities since the Sept. 11 attacks, set up special arrangements at 550 possible targets, and fielded 1,200 tips about suspected terrorists.
The new hires would boost the counterterrorism bureau to 249 people. The City Council is also considering an LAPD request for 325 new patrol officers and funding to pay for reforms that came out of the Rampart scandal. One council member expressed skepticism about the terror request, saying that gang violence is “the No. 1 terrorist threat to Los Angeles.”