LA city budget outlook bleak, Council committees propose police cuts

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The budget crisis in Los Angeles may force the city’s police department to cancel January classes for new recruits.

Like those of most cities, L.A.’s tax revenues continue to decline.

The city’s already cut $300 million in spending this year by reducing salaries and encouraging early retirements. It still faces a $100 million deficit. Some members of the City Council want more cuts at the police department.

The Public Safety and Personnel committees tentatively agreed to make those cuts by imposing a hiring freeze on cadets for a third consecutive month in January. Councilman and onetime police chief Bernard Parks says that as fewer officers leave the LAPD, the department needs fewer cadets.

Police Chief Charlie Beck disagrees. He’s proposed downsizing classes instead of eliminating them.

The horizon looks even worse for L.A. The city’s number crunchers say escalating employee pension costs and sluggish revenues could put L.A. a billion dollars in the hole within three years.

KPCC wire services contributed to this report.