Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton is pressing new Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to accelerate the hiring of more officers, with the goal of reaching a 10,000-officer force by next summer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Bratton wants to install $1.5 million in lighting at a police training facility, which would allow the department to double its annual recruit training from 720 officers to 1,440.
The police department this week launched an ambitious recruiting campaign on television and the Internet. The current budget provides money to expand the force by 370 officers, to a total of 9,611. At that rate, it would take more than a year beyond next summer to reach 10,000. Bratton conceded it could be more than a year before political leaders were ready again to ask voters for a sales tax increase to pay for more police. “The mayor’s office is committed to supporting the initiative to bring more police officers into Los Angeles,” said Maurice Suh, who was appointed by Villaraigosa as deputy mayor for homeland security and public safety.