As Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn touted quicker police response times in campaign ads, the city’s top administrator warned that officers were taking longer to arrive on less urgent calls, the Los Angeles Times reports. The report by city Administrative Officer William Fujioka reignited a debate in the mayor’s race about the impact of the three-day workweek on the Los Angeles Police Department. Fujioka said the average response time to emergencies was 8.3 minutes before the work schedule was adopted in 2002, but averaged 10.2 minutes in the two years afterward. Other policy changes last April brought that time down to 6.7 minutes.
City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, a former L.A. police chief who is running for mayor, said the report backs up the claim he has made during the last two years: that the compressed work schedule – officers work three 12-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts a week – was hurting public safety. The mayor supports the flexible work schedule and thinks Fujioka’s report does not reflect the best data available. Television ads by the mayor’s reelection campaign tout Hahn’s hiring of William Bratton as police chief. “Now violent crime is down 18% and response times are faster,” Hahn says in the commercial.