Bratton and Villaraigosa Stare Down City Council Over LAPD Hiring Freeze

Resembling a farewell tour of your favorite rock band, only this time there won't be any reunion gigs, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bill Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are together again for one last stare down of the L.A. City Council, which is mulling over a plan to place a "temporary freeze" on police hiring.

Villaraigosa and Bratton don't want that to happen, and they've been taking their case to the public.

Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rick Orlov wrote over the weekend that Villaraigosa was giving the heavy sell to members of this city's neighborhood councils, demanding that the city council allow the LAPD to continue hiring new officers.

"It cost us $174 million to build up the Los

Angeles Police Department to where we are, with $158 million coming

from the trash fee," Villaraigosa said on Saturday. "If we do what the city council

wants, all that will be lost in one year."

Villaraigosa then showed up this morning in the San Fernando Valley with LAPD brass, reports former Los Angeles Daily News editor and now blogger Ron Kaye, "escalating the bringing

ex-motorcycle cop Dennis Zine into his fold at a news conference in

Canoga Park at the Topanga Community Police Station."

Just last week, Zine, a city councilman who represents parts of the Valley, had voted for the hiring freeze during a joint committee meeting of the city council.

Zine was also not happy with Bratton last week when the chief told reporters that "once again the political leadership of this city has told a lie. They told the public we were going to grow this department with your tax dollars."

Bratton was referring to a 2006 trash fee hike that Villaraigosa and the city council promised would pay for more cops.

But, apparently, Zine has learned to forgive and forget, and is now hanging in the Villaraigosa camp.

The staring match will continue tomorrow in downtown at City Hall, where the city council will consider the LAPD hiring freeze in session. Bratton will show up at the meeting and make his case before the council members. Plenty of fireworks are expected.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald

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