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Crime & Justice

LAPD outlines its budget priorities

The Los Angeles Police Department issued its budgetary wish list Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Police Department issued its budgetary wish list Tuesday.
Andres Aguila/KPCC

Replacing broken down patrol cars, installing systemwide dashboard cameras, and buying new computers are at the top of the Los Angeles Police Department's budgetary wish list in the next fiscal year.

That is, after it pays the obligatory $1.2 billion in salaries for its police officers and civilian personnel—93 percent of the department's proposed budget for 2013-2014. The L. A. Police Commission approved the initial budget report Tuesday, asking for $1,338,369,551.

"Even though it's a large budget, it's lean and mean," Commissioner John Mack said. 

Although it will likely become leaner as the proposal makes its way through months of scrutiny and competes with other agencies' budgets, the commission outlines some items it will fight for -  notably, continuing the rollout of in-car video systems to West Bureau at an estimated cost of $8 million.

South Bureau vehicles already have dashboard mounted cameras; more are destined for Central Bureau in the next year. 

Deputy Chief Bob Green of South Bureau says the cameras have made all the difference for his officers. Green has said that knowing you're always on tape is a healthy thing for officers. It often ends up vindicating them when people file complaints against the LAPD.

Also included in the proposed budget are requests for software updates and bullet-proof flooring for helicopters.