Los Angeles City Council President Alex Padilla says the city should delay Mayor James K. Hahn’s proposal to expand the police force by 320 until the city’s financial picture becomes clearer. His stance was assailed by Police Chief William Bratton, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Padilla, a longtime Hahn ally, billed his plan a compromise to break the stalemate between the mayor and the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, whose members have expressed alarm over projected shortfalls that could reach $280 million by next year. If the city’s fiscal health is sound in January, then officials could authorize the additional hiring, Padilla said.
Police Chief William J. Bratton called Padilla’s proposal “extraordinarily disappointing.” He added: “It’s inconceivable to me that finally, when we have a Police Department that’s moving forward instead of going backward that you would literally want to kneecap it by stopping the hiring momentum.”