Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who is the current frontrunner to succeed outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, proposed expanding the size of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Tuesday as the city continues to suffer a crime wave.
Bass, who chaired the Congressional Black Caucus during the riots of 2020, issued a “Strategy for Public Safety” that includes a plan to move 250 LAPD officers from desk jobs to patrols, and to hire hundreds of new LAPD personnel.
“The LAPD is down hundreds of officers from its authorized force of 9,700,” the plan declares. “Bass will return the LAPD to its full authorized force.” The LAPD lost personnel as Garcetti announced in June 2020, with the city under curfew during the Black Lives Matter riots, that he would cut up to $150 million from the LAPD budget — over 10% — for redistribution to “communities of color.” The city has since suffered from a surge in violent crime, and several high-profile murders.
Bass issued a letter with her public safety plan that acknowledged that residents of Los Angeles no longer feel safe.
“Whether you’ve had your car broken into, your backpack stolen, your property damaged – or you’ve seen news coverage of home robberies, or violent assaults – more and more Angelenos I speak with tell me crime has touched them personally, and they feel scared. That’s not right. All Angelenos deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods,” the letter reads, in part.
Bass’s plan includes many familiar left-wing criminal justice “reforms,” such as using “mental health, homeless outreach and other specialists who can respond to people in distress” rather than police to respond to some types of emergency calls.
The plan also supports steps such as ending cash bail, “but local justice officials must properly implement the policy by taking public safety into consideration.”
Bass was an early critic of the slogan “Defund the police,” which was embraced by Democrats in many major cities, including Los Angeles, during the unrest following the murder of George Floyd in 2020.
Some Democrats have begun walking back their soft-on-crime policy, notably in New York City, where newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, has promised to expand policing to deal with that city’s own crime wave.
However, on Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to allow the firing of up to 4,000 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) who have declined to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.