The Los Angeles police force would expand to a record-high level by the end of next year under a budget proposal unveiled today by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Designed to address criticism that Los Angeles is the most under policed big city in the nation, the proposal calls for a five-year plan to add 1,000 officers. To help pay for the hiring, city officials last year sharply increased residential trash collection fees.
The budget would bring the LAPD to 9,780 officers by June 2008, with the expectation that by year’s end, staffing would exceed the historic peak of 9,852 achieved in June 1998. Los Angeles–the nation’s second-largest city–has one of the smallest officer-to-resident ratios of any major city in America, with one officer for every 436 residents. New York City has one for every 228 residents.