Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday sought to quell concerns over first responder staffing shortages connected to the COVID-19 surge that has led to slight delays in ambulance response times.
As of Wednesday, 505 L.A. Police Department officers and 299 L.A. Fire Department employees were at home quarantining because of COVID-19, Garcetti said during a media briefing.
Despite this, the mayor said both LAPD and LAFD have maintained staffing levels that are needed to keep residents safe, adding that he has authorized additional overtime funds to help cover for those who are out sick, KTLA reports.
“Los Angeles is safe,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. “The efforts of our contingency planning to ensure that we have sufficient staffing so that our patrol units are available to handle not just emergency calls, but urgent and routine calls, is present.”
The chief said LAPD saw a five-fold increase in COVID-19 cases last week.