The union representing Los Angeles police on Tuesday tied the budget-induced decreases in the number of cops on the city's streets to a rash of homicides in March and early April. The Los Angeles Police Protective League linked the cutbacks to killings that have brought the city's murder rate back up to par with last year's despite gains in early 2010.

“You should know that there has already been a marked reduction in police coverage in our city, due to restrictions on police overtime and also the fact that officers are filling in for vacancies in civilian positions,” the union states. “Unfortunately, a recent rash of homicides in the city has us worried that our repeated warnings that budget cuts would reverse the crime reduction trends achieved by LAPD in recent years may be coming true.”

The LAPPL announced Tuesday it has launched an online petition to urge the City Council to deny further cutbacks to the city's public-safety services. The city is facing the possibility of running out of cash May 5, according to City Controller Wendy Greuel.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League cites a recent RAND study showing that investment in police pays dividends for a city's financial health. ” … Investing in public safety is the smart strategy for both our short-term goals and prosperous future,” the union states.

LA Weekly