By Eric Mack
With crime rising amid calls to defund police and California Democrats working to reform policing, bail, and incarceration, a Los Angeles mayoral candidate is promising to expand the LAPD to 11,000 officers if he is elected next year.
Michael Trujillo, a campaign strategist for candidate Joe Buscaino, plans the expansion under the current city budget with no tax hikes or further costs to taxpayers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We believe we can chip away at it each year until we reach [11,000] in the fifth year,” Trujillo told the Times.
The LAPD is budgeted for about 9,700 officers this year, but has been nearly 200 below that figure in recent weeks, according to the Times. Buscaino’s plan would mean hiring an additional 1,300 officers.
Buscaino is a former police officer and plans the platform to fight rising crime in the city after the city council voted in July 2020 at the height of election-year race riots after the killing of George Floyd. Buscaino was just one of two dissenting votes.
“Buscaino’s proposal is a slogan; it’s not a plan,” City Attorney Mike Feuer, also running for mayor, told the Times. “The right question, I might suggest, is what are the ingredients that will make L.A. safer? Is it a number with nothing beneath it, or is it all these comprehensive strategies?”
Trujillo estimates the addition of each officer will cost the city $150,000, including healthcare and pensions, suggesting the new mayor could tap state and federal funds to help pay for it, he told the Times.
The report comes one day after Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Newsmax that Democrat-led “re-imagining public safety” equates to “hide the kids and hold on to your wallet.”
The crime wave in Villanueva’s jurisdiction has seen a 92% increase in homicides from a pre-pandemic period over two years, and a 44.39% increase in the past year alone, including a 60% increase in grand theft auto, he told Newsmax.
“You can see that there’s major crime indicators that are moving massively; yet my board of supervisors won’t even admit that there’s a problem — as it continued trying to defund our department,” Villanueva said.