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Faced With Shrinking Ranks, LAPD Looks To Rehire Retired Officers
Posted On: Jan 19, 2023
The Los Angeles Police Department is making a simple but unusual pitch to its retired cops: Come back. Please. Faced with a flood of departures and a trickle of recruits entering its training academy that have led to dwindling staffing levels, LAPD officials have drawn up plans that call for as many as 200 retired police officers to be rehired. On the campaign trail in her recent race for mayor, Karen Bass pledged to rebuild the department's ranks to 9,700 officers as the city confronts violent crime rates that remain above pre-pandemic levels. Bass didn't say how quickly she wanted to reach her goal, but, with about 9,200 officers currently on the force and the department failing to attract enough new recruits to keep up with the pace of attrition, making good on her promise anytime soon will be very difficult. About 600 cops are expected to retire or leave for other reasons in the next year — about 20% higher than the typical departure rate, according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. As a stopgap measure, the department hopes a rarely used bureaucratic mechanism will allow it to regain lost ground. Known informally as the "bounce program," it allows the chief of police to bring retired officers back for up to a year. It typically has been used sparingly in the past to recall an individual officer whose specialized skill sets make them hard to replace, such as a homicide detective who retired while working a case that might otherwise fall without their involvement.