Community Policing

Cops are not cheap. So, let’s do the math. The city gets fivecops for $1 million a year. So, it’s about $200K a cop. That is to fully pay salary, benefits and a loaded SUV. If Long Beach tried to add 50 new cops, the price would be $10 million more in the budget. With underfunded pension obligations and a huge shortfall of expected revenue, sales tax, bed tax, port revenue, parking tickets fines, etc., it doesn’t look like anything is going to change soon. That is the reality.

Also, the new police contract is going to add millions in the next 3 years. I figure the police budget will be about $60 million more than what it is budgeted as of today. To explain, the new contract will add $10 million in the coming year, add another $10 million the 2nd year and add another $10 million for the 3rd year. That adds up to additional $60 million more in the police budget over the next three years. Long Beach will be lucky to keep its force at levels it is today.

Fritz Milas


Assailing police unions is all the rage. Unions do not supervise, train, evaluate and discipline officers. Unions buy and pay for city councils. Long Beach council members write discipline contract procedures not unions. Police chiefs and staff supervise field operations, not unions.

In Long Beach we will be helping police administration by reviewing quality and quantity of officer training. We will closely examine frequency of chief and supervisor half- and full-day ride-along, in-person field observation away from plush City Hall offices.

Our CPRA CA Public Records Act demand to the chief will likely reveal a dearth of direct field guidance. We will also learn about in-service ongoing field officer training; often lacking after initial hire.

I urge all community activists to likewise investigate their local policing supervision instead of union bashing; unions did not write the contracts.

John Briscoe

[The writer is a candidate for the 47th Congressional District election in November.]



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