As the City Council pondered cutting 1,500 L.A. employees, Santana gave it the options of laying off 616 recently minted officers, cutting cadets who recently began training, and canceling recent Police Academy recruit classes altogether.
The suggestions will likely meet resistance from all but a few council members. Only former Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bernard Parks has advocated cutting cops in the name of balancing a budget.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has vowed to maintain and even increase officer levels at a department that is widely seen to be understaffed for a city the size of Los Angeles. New York has nearly four times as many officers.