How The City of Los Angeles Drives a Wedge Between Police and Citizens

I support the Los Angeles Police Department. I have friends on the job. These men and women protect our city and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

So it’s an outrage that the City of Los Angeles uses these dedicated individuals as pawns in an effort to close the city’s enormous budget deficit. Over the past year, I noticed an anecdotal increase in the number of traffic stops I witnessed on my daily slog through city traffic. So whenever I ran into an LAPD officer, I asked for a candid, off-the-record answer to this question:

“Have you been directed to increase the number of traffic tickets issued, in either volume, or for offenses you previously might not stop a motorist for?”

The answer, unanimously, was “yes”.

Then I asked if they would rather be actively involved in preventing crime than issuing tickets. The answer, again, was unanimous in the affirmative.

The public has a love/hate relationship with law enforcement. We love them when they come to our aid, and we hate them when we get caught violating the law. The City of Los Angeles needlessly exacerbates the hate side of the equation by forcing LAPD to spend time on revenue mining rather than crime prevention.

How? The City has experienced massive budget deficits thanks to inept leadership and a spineless city council (with the occasional exception of Dennis Zine). Rather than engage in fiscal responsibility, the City extorts the LAPD by threatening to cut back police hours if the cops don’t do “their part” in closing the budget deficit. Cutting back hours means less salary. Less salary means less pension. Who can blame LAPD for submitting?

The citizens of L.A. could, in the greater interest of improving community relations, demand that Chief Charlie Beck tell City Hall to take a hike. I don’t hold Chief Beck entirely to account because he is caught in the middle. He must choose between protecting his job and his officers, and increasing the ire of the populace. At some point, that ire might cause a significant blowback. However, the risk and consequences of a blowback are not as great as damaging the relationship he has with his rank and file, or with the city.

Nevertheless, Chief Beck should never have been put in this position. The City is at fault. Amazingly, both Californians and Angelenos seem to be a masochistic bunch. They keep returning the most inept, ineffective, and even corrupt politicians to the halls of power. I suppose voters have only themselves to blame.

In the meantime, send a message to the City that you will not be steamrolled by their fiscal irresponsibility. Fight every ticket you get. There’s very little you have to do to have a trial by mail. I used, which provided a great defense for me. The ticket was dismissed. They offer a money-back guarantee if you lose. Tell them you read about them here at

You can fight City Hall.