Finn Gets Council OK to Spend Office Funds on Police Patrols

Los Angeles City Councilman Howard Finn on Wednesday won council approval to use $30,000 from his office budget to beef up police patrols in his northeast San Fernando Valley district.

The money will be used to pay police overtime for two months so there can be a five-officer foot patrol in Pacoima on Friday and Saturday nights and a two-officer patrol car in Sunland-Tujunga every night, Finn said.

Although the expenditure was approved unanimously, West Valley Councilman Hal Bernson chided Finn and Councilman Ernani Bernardi for making other council members "look bad" by bringing their crime-fighting efforts to the public's attention while other council members do not.

Bernson said he has two staff members working full time promoting the Neighborhood Watch program to prevent crime in his district. But "we don't make a fuss out of it," he said.

Bernardi on Wednesday won council approval to use $82,000 from his office budget to fund a police task force to fight prostitution on Sepulveda Boulevard in his mid-Valley district.

Each of the 15 council members received about $525,000 this year to finance operation of their offices, including staff salaries, newsletters and travel expenses. Council members can usually spend the money as they see fit.

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