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Letters to the Editor: Slashing the LAPD budget is an overreaction that will do more harm than good

LAPD Chief Michel Moore addresses protesters Saturday at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, in front of the Farmers Market.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore addresses protesters Saturday at 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue, in front of the Farmers Market.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As I read of the proposed budget cut for the Los Angeles Police Department, I wondered if it wasn’t part of an immediate emotional reaction to recent events that in the end could cause more problems.

Wisdom advises that no major decisions should be made in the heat of the moment, as true change requires a deep and careful examination of the roots of the problem. Before cutting funds to the LAPD, the city could look at the role of the police labor union in making it extremely difficult to dismiss and punish the “bad apples” in the department.

Let’s not forget that the purpose of the LAPD is to promote public safety and uphold the rule of law. Punishing the vast majority of officers based on the cruelty and inhumanity of a few can bring disastrous consequences.

It would be a disservice to society if the well-justified protests over George Floyd’s death and other police brutality toward African Americans resulted in new problems.

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Berta Graciano-Buchman, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: Imagine how large the LAPD’s budget is if it can cut out $100 million without making too much of a dent. That’s only about 5% of its $1.86-billion budget.

The city’s offer of cuts should meet police abolitionists halfway on defunding the LAPD, still one of the deadliest police departments in the U.S.

For starters, chop the budget in half (that would will be almost $1 billion wasted on policing). Start cutting at the top — Chief Michel Moore must go. Sell the damaged police vehicles for scrap and don’t replace them. Shut down the predatory policing programs that criminalize poor black people for who they are.

Deal with social and economic problems such as homelessness with social workers and housing, not cops. Get police out of the schools and off the buses and trains, and put money into a reeducation program that finds them some meaningful and socially useful work to do.

Michael Novick, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It would be nice if we didn’t need the police. Unfortunately, some people do not behave in a civil manner and require authority to restrain them and protect society.

The job of police officers is not easy, and it requires excellent judgment. Departments go to great lengths to screen out candidates who might be prone to abusing their power. Good departments continually monitor all officers to prevent them from abusing their authority.

Unfortunately, all organizations are imperfect, and mistakes occur. Although we must continue to hold every police agency to the highest standards of accountability, let us not forget how necessary they are. I would not want to live in a society without them.

Pete Burgert, San Diego

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To the editor: In looking to cut the budget for the LAPD, how about starting with the system that allowed Moore to collect a $1.27-million retirement payout before becoming chief?

Those “legal” but morally corrupt shenanigans made me lose all respect for him and previous Chief Charlie Beck.

Monica Wyatt, Santa Monica

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To the editor: The group Ground Game LA has a great perspective when it comes to replacing cops with what essentially would be specialized social workers.

But what if we took that concept a step further, replacing military-style academy training for police by making police work a specialization in the field of social work, and restructuring administrative leadership with professionals whose expertise emphasizes compassion over punishment?

Cathryn Roos, La Habra


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