LAPD to continue retiree deferments

first_imgSqueezed by a shortage of new hires and the looming retirement of hundreds of experienced cops, Los Angeles Police Department officials said Tuesday they plan to let more officers defer their retirements while stepping up recruiting programs. City administrators, the LAPD and the officers’ union have reached a tentative deal to extend the retirement deferment plan for five years beyond its current expiration date of April 30, 2007. Meanwhile, amid lackluster turnout at some recent hiring events, Chief William Bratton told the Police Commission he is considering changing the recruiting process. “We are looking to refocus on areas we have not gone into before,” he said. The department’s Deferred Retirement Option Plan, started in 2002, was designed to ease the crunch by allowing officers to retire but remain with the LAPD for five additional years as their pension goes into an escrow account. “This allows officers to remain with the department and us to retain their experience,” said Thom Brennan of the LAPD’s Personnel Division. But as the first five-year deadline approaches, the LAPD estimates it will lose 298 employees by mid-2007, leaving it 234 officers short of its planned 10,017 staffing level. The tentative agreement to extend the DROP program hinges on a study to ensure it will not cost the city any additional money. While the deal concerns rank-and-file officers, Bratton said he wants command staff to continue to take part as well. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event To target new recruits, the LAPD has created a new job classification called a community police aide. Aimed at recent high school graduates, the program is designed to bring young adults into civilian police jobs until they turn 20-and-a-half, the minimum age required to enter the academy. The department will also begin focusing on more experienced recruits in different fields who may be looking for a career change, Bratton said. He added that the hiring process, particularly the lengthy background-check process, should be streamlined to avoid discouraging recruits. The measures are the latest efforts by the LAPD to address hiring troubles that are vexing departments across the country coping with low unemployment and stiff competition from other agencies. So far, the city has boosted bonus payments for employees who refer new cops and it is considering helping officers buy houses. last_img

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