LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles Police Department has hired 181 officers since July 1 -- about a quarter of the department's goal for the year, the Police Commission was told today.
The LAPD expects to hire 780 officers by June 30, 2009, which is the end of the fiscal year, said Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell. The department hired 730 officers in fiscal year 2006-07 and 739 in 2007- 08 -- the most since 1995-96, when 965 officers joined the force.
About 19 percent of the sworn officers are women. The racial breakdown of the LAPD is currently 40 percent Latino; 38 percent white; 12 percent African-American; 6.7 percent Asian; 2 percent Filipino; and less than 1 percent Native American. ``Looking at that breakdown, we've come a long way over the years,'' McDonnell said.
Crime rates continue to drop in the city of Los Angeles, he said. Compared to this time last year, homicides are down 11.1 percent; rapes are down 5.6 percent; robberies are down 3.9 percent; and aggravated assaults are down 6.4 percent. Overall violent crime has decreased 5.6 percent.
Property crimes are down 5 percent. Specifically, burglaries have dropped 5.2 percent; grand theft auto is down 7 percent; theft from vehicles is down 5.4 percent; and personal theft is down 2.7 percent.