Greg Taylor has risen to the rank of detective with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department — but on a recent afternoon the 12-year veteran was passing out parking tickets.
His first perp: a lithe West Hollywood woman with long blonde hair who parked her SUV in a spot for the handicapped. It's not that Taylor, who regularly investigates burglaries and thefts, has been demoted. Like most of the department's sworn personnel, he's now being forced to drop his regular duties and devote several hours a month filling in on routine patrols and low-level administrative tasks.
The new requirement is part of the cash-strapped department's effort to eliminate overtime and shed $128 million from its budget. It's drawn grumblings from many in the agency, but for station-level detectives, it seems to be having a significant impact on law enforcement.