The Los Angeles City Council is reportedly preparing to cut hundreds of city jobs thanks to a deep budget deficit. According to reports, the city has a $675 million deficit. The city says they will seek employee furloughs, tap into the city’s reserve funds, and borrow $150 million to cover operation costs.
This plan to cut hundreds of jobs is not the first to suggest this course of action. A more sweeping plan targeted around 1,900 jobs. Instead, the city decided to cut hundreds of jobs in the Police Department and various city agencies. The Police Department will go from 1,679 officers and civilians to just 628. The Bureau of Engineering and the Animal Services Department have until January 11th to submit their lists for possible layoffs.
Officials note that if department heads can find alternate ways of cutting costs, fewer jobs would be affected. May 22nd, 2021 is the targeted layoff date, and the City Council must approve any layoff plans.
Layoffs Contemplated Amid Months of Financial Crisis
Talk of layoffs and furloughs comes after months of a financial crisis. Officials estimate that the last nine months have caused a 10% drop in fees, taxes, and other revenue types compared to the previous year. Council members agree that decisions like these generally would take hours or weeks to decide upon. But in the face of rising COVID-19 numbers and increasing financial trouble, they have to be made now.
As is generally the case with such controversial matters, there is debate among activists and the community about whether cutting Police Department jobs is a good idea. Some believe that cutting police jobs would be a way to decrease police brutality. On the other hand, other activists are concerned that there will be a spike in crime because of less police presence on the streets.
In either case, cutting hundreds of jobs will have an impact on a lot of Los Angeles families. Los Angeles residents may see changes to these plans as budgets become finalized.