The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the largest employee union of the Los Angeles Police Department, is pushing for a major shift in the duties of officers. The union plans to suggest to the city negotiators that officers should no longer respond to over 25 types of calls. Instead, they propose that other city agencies or non-profit organizations should take over these responsibilities. The goal is to allow officers to concentrate on more severe criminal activity.
The union claims that implementing this change would benefit officers in several ways. First, it would allow them to prioritize violent crime and increase the number of solved cases. Second, it would enhance officer morale. Third, it would enable unarmed service providers to deal with non-violent calls more effectively.
The union has collaborated with the City of Los Angeles to create a list of calls for service that will be officially announced soon. The list includes calls related to non-criminal and non-violent homelessness and quality of life issues, non-criminal mental health calls, juvenile disturbance calls that are non-violent or involve juveniles beyond parental control who are not attending school, public health order violations, non-violent calls for service at city parks, and more.
The union’s proposal is timely given the ongoing crime surge in the area. While overall crime rates increased by double digits, the number of violent crimes in 2022 only saw a modest uptick of 1.1% compared to the previous year.
If the proposal is accepted, it could significantly change the role of police officers in Los Angeles. Instead of responding to non-violent calls, officers could focus more on violent crime, thereby improving public safety. Other city agencies and non-profit organizations would be responsible for handling non-violent calls.
This move could also benefit the overall relationship between police and the community. Since police officers would be freed up to focus on more severe criminal activity, the public would perceive them as being more effective in their roles. The community would also be better served by agencies that specialize in non-violent calls, such as mental health organizations and homeless shelters.
In conclusion, the LA Police Union’s proposal is a bold move that could have a significant impact on the way police operate in the city. By allowing officers to concentrate on violent crime, the union hopes to make Los Angeles a safer place to live. If the proposal is accepted, it will be interesting to see how other city agencies and non-profit organizations adapt to their new roles.