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Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck told reporters Wednesday that 170 officers have been transferred from specialized units such as the department's elite Metropolitan Division and that another 170 are making the same move to street patrol to make up for a lack of officers on the street.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Beck said the moves from Metro, gang and narcotics units were necessary because of budget cuts stemming from the city's $212 million deficit: Beck has cut back on overtime, which he said has already reduced the number of badges on the street.
We reported in December that Beck broke up the 130-member Crime Reduction and Enforcement of Warrants Task Force in order to get more cops on regular patrols. That task force, along with the Metro and gang units, comprised quick-strike troops that former Chief William Bratton used to focus on problem gangs and neighborhoods.
The department reported to the Los Angeles Police Commission this week that it is considering reducing or eliminating pay for vacation not taken by officers (and, in turn, forcing them to take the time off) and foregoing any vehicle purchases for the fiscal year.