The Los Angeles Police Protective League has placed billboards in five city council districts demanding a plan from city leaders to keep resident safe.
The move comes as violence has “starkly'' increased in Los Angeles at a time when “some city leaders are calling for the elimination of 1,000 police officers from the LAPD,'' according to a statement from the union that represents sworn department personnel.
The billboards would include crime statistics reflecting a steep rise in shootings and shooting victims this year. Last month, homicides in L.A. rose past 300 for the first time since 2009. Officials, including LAPD Chief Michel Moore, have fretted about the potential effects of eliminating more police jobs right as the city deals with increasing violence, KFI/CNS reports.
The billboards would be financed by a new fee that, if approved, would be charged to union members.
The Daily News reports that the Los Angeles Police Protective League last week sent ballots to around 9,800 rank-and-file officers to vote on whether to take $22 out of each paycheck over the next two years to contribute to the union’s political fights. The ballots are expected to be counted around the end of the month.
According to the union’s campaign flyer, much of the fund — dubbed the “Protecting Our Profession Assessment” — would be earmarked for the 2022 election, when hundreds of statewide and local races will be held. L.A. will elect a new mayor that year, and eight city council members will be up for reelection.
In the meantime, some of that money would also be spent to erect billboards across the city targeting council members. Three will go up in the districts of frequent critics of LAPD, Mike Bonin of the Westside and Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, both of South L.A.
“Where is the outrage over the carnage, the loss of life and the ever increasing danger plaguing many neighborhoods of our city?'' LAPPL President Craig Lally said. “We hear nothing from City Hall but cut police officers, but where is their plan to keep L.A. safe?''