New Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck is rising to the challenge of fighting crime in lean times by reassigning 130 officers from desk duty to street patrols.

Beck told the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday that the move would be a first wave in a larger effort to put ass-sitting badges in black-and-whites (a move many of them would welcome, we're sure). “I think it's important to recognize that especially in lean fiscal times, we have to put our high-dollar positions where they serve the public,” Beck said.

Looking at putting even more desk jockeys on the street, Beck has set his sites on the 2,500-person Office of Special Services, home to the department's detective, counter-terrorism and criminal intelligence, and special operations bureaus. The chief has told Deputy Chief Michel Moore to find ways to get more of the office's cops on patrol.

“It's going to be a reality that the operational areas are going to need more resources, and those can only come from one place, and that's the specialized divisions,” Beck said.

The department is running at more than $80 million in the red and has struggled to find the cash to keep hiring new recruits.

LA Weekly