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LAPD records two-year high in recruitment efforts


Currently 8,915 sworn officers

The Los Angeles Police Department received more than 1,200 applications to join the ranks of officers in January, a two-year high in the number of applicants.

“We are continuing our work to make Los Angeles’ neighborhoods safer as more and more applicants are expressing interest in serving our communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “It’s good to see trends evolving as we continue to focus on recruiting and retaining officers to the department.”

The department also reported a significant increase in the number of qualification exams administered and the number of candidates participating in the Candidate Assistance Program, which provides support to eligible applicants navigating the hiring process.

“Public safety jobs are the highest calling in public service and I am optimistic regarding this surge in interest in protecting and serving the people of Los Angeles,” Erroll Southers, president of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, said in a statement.

Recently, LAPD officials reported the department’s number of sworn officers stood at 8,915 and civilian personnel was at about 2,644. Officials had also reported that homicides and shooting violence increased in the month of February, though overall crimes were down.

Last year, the mayor and city council approved a multiyear contract with the union representing LAPD police officers, sergeants, detectives and lieutenants to improve recruitment and retention. The deal provides a four-year package of pay increases, improved health benefits and higher starting salaries, among other things.

At the time of the agreement, the LAPD was expected to lose hundreds of officers in the coming year due to retirements and resignations.

Since 2017, 430 LAPD officers have left the force during their first year and a half of duty. A significant number of officers join other agencies before serving for 10 years.

The contract between the city and Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing LAPD officers, is also now a factor in the city’s coming fiscal deficit–that could reach as much as $400 million. Overspending and new labor agreements, as well as lower income from city taxes, have raised concerns over next year’s budget.

City officials have approved a hiring freeze to most “non-priority” positions while prioritizing “high-priority” jobs in an effort to balance the budget.