More than two-thirds of people who work for the city of Los Angeles live somewhere else, a Los Angeles Times analysis suggests. Out-of-towners are especially common among those charged with keeping Angelenos safe from crime and fire. Only 21% of Police Department employees live in Los Angeles, and 16% of Fire Department workers call the city home, according to the analysis of city data showing where workers receive their paychecks, reports the L.A. Times.
Experts say the high numbers point to forces that continue to push people out of the city, including pricey housing and poor impressions of the public schools. Workers who make more money are much more likely to live in Los Angeles than those with lower incomes, the analysis shows. Nearly 48% of the highest-paid employees live in the city, compared with 20% of the lowest-paid.
"It sends a bad message that our own public safety officers don't want to live in our city," said Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. "People are only going to invest in Los Angeles if they feel that it's safe. It should start with police officers," Guerra added. "If they're not willing to invest, why should they be on the force?"