LOS ANGELES – Police Chief Charlie Beck said today the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to emergencies has not been slowed down by budget cuts, but did not offer guarantees for the future.
“Many of the issues we’re dealing with have not affected response time at this point. That is not to say that they won’t in the future,” Beck told the Police Commission.
Beck said the department is determined to focus its limited resources on its “core missions,” and a quick response to emergencies is among those.
According to Beck, LAPD officers have taken an average of 5.7 minutes to respond to emergencies this year — an improvement over last year’s 6.2 minutes.
Because of budget cuts, the department has been compensating officers with time off rather than overtime pay after they put in a certain number of hours. Beck told reporters last week this reduces the number of officers on duty.
Last week, a Los Angeles Times analysis showed the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department took a minute longer to respond to 911 calls last month, on average, when compared to last year.
The increased response time came after the department’s budget was cut by $128 million, but officials said they could establish a direct link between the two.