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Crime A Top Issue in June Los Angeles Mayoral Election

With Los Angeles residents preparing to elect a new mayor in June, Democratic front-runners are debating public safety and policing. The issue of police recruitment has become a top issue. After protests against police violence in 2020, city council-members fast-tracked measures to cut officer recruitment from 500 to 250. Some progressives have side-stepped previous commitments to "defund-the-police" while moderates advocate hiring more officers. Councilman Kevin de León says he stands by his commitment not to increase LAPD staffing.

Los Angeles is the second-largest U.S. city, with a population of nearly 4 million, making for a ratio of 23.6 officers per 10,000 residents—significantly lower than New York, the nation’s largest city, with its ratio of 45 officers per 10,000 residents, and Chicago (third-largest), at 40 per 10,000. An op-ed from the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, criticized Democratic frontrunners for not placing "public safety" first. The LAPD has fewer officers per capita than other large U.S. cities like New York. The institute says that Democratic efforts to reduce police violence have jeopardized public well-being and put marginalized communities like Black and Latino residents at risk. Many of the programs that the city took from the police budget for reinvestment included basic infrastructure and maintenance work like tree trimming and sidewalks, something of a "slush-fund."


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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