The ongoing debate over policing levels in Los Angeles centered on the transportation sector Thursday as Metro officials considered paying for more officers on the city’s transit system and the Los Angeles Police Department announced it would no longer send officers to minor traffic collision, reflecting the shifting landscape for law enforcement in L.A. at a time of intense violence and changing public safety priorities, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Under a proposal taken up by Metro’s safety committee Thursday, the agency would expand its security contracts with the LAPD, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and Long Beach Police Department by a combined $111 million. Metro officials said the funding was necessary for security initiatives and deployments the agency had already requested from the police agencies. A recent survey of riders suggested security was a top concern, and that the contract increases would help to ensure it improves. People who had called into the public hearing blasted the plan as ill-conceived and out of step with public sentiment and said Metro should focus instead on connecting homeless and ill riders with social services, and on restoring overall ridership to pre-pandemic levels because riders make buses and trains safe, not police. The contract increases would add more than $60 million for LAPD officers, more than $44 million for sheriff’s deputies and more than $6.8 million for Long Beach officers. See also LAPD Removes One-Third of its Officers.