BY THE NUMBERS: CUTTING LBPD’S GANG ENFORCEMENT UNITBy LBReport.com
LONG BEACH — On September 4, the City Council’s Budget Oversight Committee (DeLong, O’Donnell, Lowenthal) proposed, and the full Council approved, a sum roughly a half million dollars less than LBPD used for overtime for the past two budget years that is supposed to cover both FY13 overtime (a non-discretionary item) and allow “discretion” for the Chief of Police to simultaneously avert cuts to LBPD’s gang unit…an item city management has separately indicated would require $3.1 million to fully fund.
The net effect appears to mathematically preclude averting all or some cuts to LBPD’s gang unit (which were proposed in the Mayor/City Manager budget unveiled Aug. 1) unless the City Council, via an agendized item on any Tuesday to revisit and adjust its FY13 budget to fully fund LBPD’s gang unit. The Council can legally do so on any Tuesday with an agendized item by at least one Councilmember followed by a majority Council vote, or six votes to override a Mayoral veto.
On September 4, a Council majority refused on a 3-5 vote (Yes: Austin, Neal, Schipske; No: Garcia, Lowenthal, DeLong, O’Donnell, Johnson) to withhold the budget vote for a week, then approved a motion by Councilman Patrick O’Donnell (8-0) to allocate a roughly $9.4 million sum collectively for FY13 police overtime and LBPD’s gang unit. A few hours earlier, the Council’s Budget Oversight Committee proposed $8.4 million for both items. On Aug. 1, Mayor Foster/City Mgr. West proposed $7.05 million for FY13 overtime and no sums to avert LBPD gang unit cuts.
However, the LBPD FY13 budget documents show that police overtime — a non-discretionary item dependent on events — was $9.987 million in FY 11 (actual) and $9.87 million in FY 12 (estimated).