As it struggles to expand, the Los Angeles Police Department faces a dramatic departure of seasoned veterans when a retirement program enacted four years ago to keep senior detectives and commanders in the ranks begins pushing them into mandatory retirement next year, says the Los Angeles Times. More than 1,600 officers and city firefighters will be required to retire over the next five years. Those who will be required to retire include four of the department’s eight deputy police chiefs and 264 detectives.
The fallout from the retirement program could have political implications. Villaraigosa was elected last year promising to expand the police force by 1,000 officers during his first term. To do that, he would have to expand the police force by an average of 250 officers per year. The retirement program means that he also has to make up for hundreds of retirements before the police force can grow. In a normal year, about 300 officers retire, but for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 238 others are facing mandatory departure.