The Los Angeles Police Department is closing four evidence rooms to save money.
The union that represents rank and file cops criticized the move. Police Protective League President Paul Weber said closing evidence storage facilities at the L.A.P.D.’s Newton, Wilshire, West Valley and North Hollywood stations means officers must drive farther to book property they collect at the scene of a crime.
He noted that the department’s also cut overtime — resulting in the removal of the equivalent of nearly 300 officers from the streets. That means homicide detectives who often work long hours chasing leads have been forced to take days off.
Weber blamed the city council for cutting the L.A.P.D.’s budget — a move that’s left uniformed officers performing some civilian jobs.
The city council’s said the department must shoulder its share of a nearly $500 million budget deficit. Some on the council have argued for more cuts at the L.A.P.D., which has been allowed to maintain a force of just under 10,000 officers.