California's controversial push to relieve severe prison overcrowding has resulted in the Los Angeles Police Department taking dozens of officers away from regular patrol duties in order to monitor ex-convicts, according to a department report.
Since state officials implemented the prison measures in late 2011, the LAPD has had between 160 to 170 officers assigned full time to units responsible for keeping tabs on thousands of felons who are living in Los Angeles after their release from prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. Before the new rules went into effect, the felons would have been supervised by state parole officers.
The report, which was requested by the City Council's Public Safety Committee and is scheduled to be discussed by the Police Commission on Tuesday, estimated the department will spend about $18 million of its payroll and equipment budget on these officers in the current fiscal year.
The tally brings into sharp focus the considerable added strain the state's so-called prison realignment plan has had on the LAPD, which generally is considered to have too few officers to adequately patrol the sprawling city.
Deputy Nick Theofanopoulos was en route to a work assignment at a hospital, where he was expected to guard an inmate.