Crime & Justice

LAPD Chief Beck: More than 100 cops monitoring felons released under state prison realignment (UPDATED)

LAPD Sgt. Glenn McNeil of North Hollywood's compliance unit, heads out to check on an ex-prisoner.
LAPD Sgt. Glenn McNeil of North Hollywood's compliance unit, heads out to check on an ex-prisoner.
Bear Guerra/KPCC

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Update 4:30 p.m. LAPD won't weigh in on funding debate

LAPD will spend $18.1 million in 2013 monitoring ex-offenders released from prison to county supervision, according to report presented to the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday. 

Assistant Chief Michel Moore, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said the investment has been a good proactive strategy, targeting a population that traditionally reoffends at high rates.

As of two years ago, when prison realignment went into effect, thousands of offenders previously monitored by state parole became the domain of the county probation department — a move Moore said the department had little time to prepare for. That's when LAPD stepped in with 170 officers, who routinely make house calls on ex-offenders.

"What we found many times in those compliance searches is that the person was getting the necessary services," Moore said. "But other times, we found the person was under the influence of narcotics, the person was in possession of stolen property, the person was committing new crimes."

LAPD's compliance teams, which also include members of the county probation department, have made 3,075 arrests. Most of those have been for property crimes, drugs or probation violations. However, six arrests were for murder and nearly 100 for serious or violent crimes.

The report came at the request of the L.A. City Council's Public Safety Committee, which has hinted it's displeased with a lack of funding allocated to the city to deal with realignment. 

L.A. County has received $720 million over three years from the state to deal with realignment. Meanwhile, police departments in the county split a $7 million grant.

The county has said that its funds are already accounted for, divvied amongst a host of county agencies that have been overwhelmed with new offenders to jail and monitor. 

Moore declined to weigh into the funding debate. 

Previously: Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck says the state's prison realignment program, AB 109 is costing his department $18.1 million this year. The finding is contained in a report, which can be read below.

The law went into effect in October 2011 after the U.S. Supreme Court – citing unconstitutional conditions in California's prisons – upheld an order requiring the state to reduce prison overcrowding. As an answer, the legislature passed AB 109, which made certain crimes punishable by local jail time instead of prison. The law also shifted responsibility for supervising most offenders who leave the prison system to county officials.

In a report submitted to L.A.'s Police Commission at the request of the City Council, Beck said he's devoted considerable resources to helping the county's probation and sheriff's departments check up on former prisoners to ensure they're complying with the conditions of their release. According to the report, LAPD has 167 sworn officers and 1 civilian employee assigned to help monitor ex-prisoners and round up those who fail to report to their probation officer. The team's made 3,075 arrests since October 2011. 

L.A. County received more than $720 million from the state over the past three fiscal years under AB 109 to handle the new offenders. The vast majority of that money is distributed to the L.A. County Probation Department, the L.A. County Sheriff, and other county agencies.

Police chiefs in L.A. County have long argued they deserve additional funding in the wake of prison realignment. Currently, LAPD does receive some of the county's money, though nowhere near the amount it says it's spending.

LAPD AB 109 Report