LAPD’s fresh push for higher pay

LAPD’s fresh push for higher pay

LAPD BadgeWith a potentially damaging sense of timing, the Los Angeles Police Department has embarked on a fresh push for higher pay — enlisting the services of a public relations firm to help accomplish the goal.

The LAPD hired the top-flight PR firm Burson-Marsteller to charm L.A. residents and their representatives, according to the Los Angeles Times:

“Next month, union and city negotiators are scheduled to meet with an independent mediator who will try to help the two sides reach a deal. The two sides have dug in, taking positions that seem irreconcilable: With the city still trying to recover from years of financial crisis, [L.A. Mayor Eric] Garcetti has said the city will not grant raises this year — a stance the police have rebuffed as unacceptable.”

Growing frustration

In the wake of several high-profile national instances of racially charged violence involving law enforcement, public opinion has shifted against police unions. On the left, prominent commentators including Bill Maher have decried their potential for abuses of power.

“This is why Americans hate unions now,” said Maher in a recent broadcast. “It’s why Republicans have been able to make ‘taking on the unions’ an applause line.”

On the right, meanwhile, libertarian analysts have portrayed police unions as no different from collective-bargaining organizations elsewhere in the public sector. Public unions and governments, wrote Reason’s Ed Krayewski, “are incentivized to cooperate to each other’s benefit, at the expense of taxpayers, who foot the bill for the contract goodies and later from any wrongdoing the contract demands is defended.”

At the same time, the LAPD’s halting efforts to rehabilitate its reputation among Angelenos have made modest but fragile gains. Its recent turn toward body camera coverage for cops on the beat has received cautiously optimistic reviews.

But a Times report last year, revealing expensive and endemic abuses of injury leave among L.A. cops and firefighters, epitomized the scope of the department’s credibility problem:

“City leaders across California say the very design of the injured-on-duty program, IOD for short, invites abuse. Because injury pay is exempt from both federal and state income taxes, public safety employees typically take home significantly more money when they’re not working. And time spent on leave counts toward pension benefits.”

Summing up the hurdles facing the force, attorney Merrick Bobb, a court-appointed monitor who oversaw the Sheriff’s Department, recently told WYPR the LAPD has gone “from being, in essence, an occupying army to being a community partner.”

But, in a twist that could add fuel to the political fire surrounding police unions, the new president of the LAPD’s union, Craig Lally, appeared on a notorious list of “problem officers” drawn up in the wake of the 1992 riots touched off by the Rodney King beating.

Political crosswinds

But for all its increased sense of community, the LAPD has appeared less willing to go with the flow of the negative mood surrounding any kind of public union. The cost and excess of public unions has now become a lead issue in California politics.

Gov. Jerry Brown has struggled to impose restraint on public employees, slamming the California Public Employees Retirement System for awarding higher pensions and the University of California Board of Regents for increasing tuition.

These conflicts are set to continue long into the new year. Republicans will continue to hit Democrats for being too permissive toward public unions. Democrats will keep casting Republicans as too accommodating toward police unions.

Meanwhile, violent crime in Los Angeles spiked last year by over 14 percent. From the standpoint of police, that’s reason enough for an increase in pay.

But from the standpoint of a growing number of Californians, unionized public employees are already too well compensated.

Even if the LAPD persuades Angelenos that it’s on their side, residents may well oppose swelling salaries, regardless of their party affiliation.

14 comments

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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 14 January, 2015, 12:23

    Another Orwellian story about how the LE RAGWUS protects the little people by stealing the wealth generated by such, which is used to enrich the bank accounts of these RAGWUS feeding thieves. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Skep41
    Skep41 14 January, 2015, 13:39

    I don’t think people are upset with police reactions to out-of-control violent thugs at all. Most people support the police and despise the news media for their biased coverage.
    That, however, is a separate issue from salaries that are seen as too high and pensions that are eating away municipal budgets and causing a severe decline in services while taxes increase astronomically. Remember that every dollar paid in salary and benefits to a working policeman is paid over again in pension and medical benefits for non-working retirees…who generally move out of state to avoid Cali’s ridiculous tax rates.

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 January, 2015, 23:48

    LA is on verge of collapse physically, socially and economically.

    A MOGADISHU without defined Warlords!

    LAPD is the only hope.

    Reply this comment
  4. TruthandtheAmericanWay
    TruthandtheAmericanWay 15 January, 2015, 08:47

    I was going to make a major blast at this issue but I’ll keep it simple – screw you and your Cadillac plan. You are drying up the well very fast and when that happens what are you going to do Bunkie????

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted
    Ted "Patriot" Steele 15 January, 2015, 19:20

    Calpers 300 billion nearly at the magic 80% funding level!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    makes the doomers sad

    Reply this comment
  6. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 15 January, 2015, 20:51

    The good news announced Tuesday: California’s most mammoth public retirement system has made up much ground lost during the recession and is close to hitting the magic number that some say constitutes a solidly funded pension plan: 80 percent!!!!!!!
    The DOOMERS are done!

    Reply this comment
  7. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 15 January, 2015, 20:56

    LAPD should be one of the highest paid dept’s around. They have to many experienced and highly trained officers leaving for higher paying depts! Its a waste to hire and train people only to have them go. San Jose is decimated now after hundreds of experienced cops left for better paying cities.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 15 January, 2015, 22:19

      Posting the RAGWUS propaganda like a good little feeder Ntheoc, good to see you could take time off from your dozing for dollars time. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 16 January, 2015, 09:58

        That’s right Donk, enjoying my days off checking up on the DOOMER nation! And what are known as facts you would consider propaganda.

        Reply this comment
  8. Fidelity Investments
    Fidelity Investments 16 January, 2015, 01:34

    I’m a registered Dem but I voted for GOP candidates in the last election because of public union abuses. I may even vote for Romney if he runs in 2016. I’ll take the Koch Brothers over public unions any day.

    Reply this comment

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