The number of homicides in the city of Los Angeles is up more than three percent compared to the same time last year, and the union that represents Los Angeles police expressed that it is "uneasy" as the budget-strapped city's cuts to Los Angeles Police Department overtime have hampered efforts to keep L.A. streets fully patrolled.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League states that homicides are at 111 so far this year compared to 102 for the same period in 2009. The department's own stats, through May 8
May 11, put homicides at 103 versus 100, with a three percent increase.
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" ... It is a bit unsettling today to find Los Angeles on a short list of cities reporting increases in murders so far this year," the union's board of directors states on the LAPPL blog. "The other major cities reporting that murder is on the rise are New York, Chicago and Philadelphia ... "
"Our concerns are heightened by decreased police coverage on the streets due to restrictions on police overtime, officers being forced to take time off and officers increasingly performing administrative duties because of vacant civilian positions," the blog post reads.
The LAPPL states that things aren't exactly looking up because warmer weather often brings higher crime rates. The City Council was expected to take up the next fiscal year's budget Friday morning.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has vowed to maintain LAPD staffing levels, but the purse strings ultimately belong to the council. The city is facing $585 million in red ink, and the LAPD alone accounts for about 52 percent of L.A.'s budget.