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House passes 'Billy's Law' on missing persons

LA Times

A measure named for Janice Smolinski's son, who disappeared in 2004, would help expand the database of missing people and unidentified remains, partly by requiring the FBI to share what it knows.

Hector De La Torre: L.A. court funding shortfall threatens to exacerbate economic crisis

Daily News Opinion

Los Angeles County courts are facing a crisis that not only threatens justice in our communities, but also threatens to upend the economic recovery of families in our region.

Beck has put "stamp" on LAPD during first 100 days

Contra Costa Times

In his first 100 days as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck says he has come to put his stamp on the agency as it faces its biggest challenge in years - maintaining public safety amid a hazardous budget climate.

Our View- Villaraigosa aims to cut pay for city employees

Daily 49er (CSU Long Beach) Opinion

In efforts to salvage as many jobs as possible, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants all city employees to take pay cuts. However, his plan does not make much sense.

Guns are now permitted -- but not necessarily welcomed -- in national parks

LA Times

As the controversial law takes effect Monday, critics argue it could increase wildlife poaching, violence between visitors and against rangers, and destruction of historic and cultural monuments.

City pension issue fails to get traction

Daily News

As city officials grapple with Los Angeles' budget crisis - a $212 million deficit now and an additional $484 million next year - no one has been talking much about the elephant in the room. The soaring costs of employee pensions.

California pension initiatives in uphill struggle

Modesto Bee

Measures to cap benefits can't outspend unions, lack support of business.

PROPOSAL: Police, fire functions could be transferred to cut costs

Daily News

Eyeing annual savings of up to a half-billion dollars, the Los Angeles City Council asked Monday for a report on a proposal to consolidate the city's myriad computer operations in one agency.

McDonnell to be sworn in as LBPD chief March 13

Press-Telegram

Long Beach's new Chief of Police will be officially sworn in March 13. Jim McDonnell, who is still finishing out his tenure at the Los Angeles Police Department, has been meeting with Long Beach Police officers and civilian staff so that he will be ready to "hit the ground running," following swearing in.

DONE expected to be folded into another agency to save money

Daily News

In the continuing effort to reduce city costs, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to announce plans today to fold the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment into another city agency.

The Mathematics of Clumpy Crime

Sciencemag.com

Even in a sprawling city like Los Angeles, crime still clumps together. Mathematical models of burglars presented here today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceNOW) show that these so-called crime hot spots form when previous crimes attract more criminals to a neighborhood. By understanding how these blobs form, researchers hope to help police departments break them up.

New push to exempt California's county jails from inmate-release law

LA Times blog

There is a new move in Sacramento to exempt county jails from an early-release law designed to ease overcrowding at state prisons. More than 2,000 inmates have been released from county jails in the last month in response to the law, a Times review has found.

Mayor Villaraigosa calls for pay cuts for all city workers

LA Times

He says the action would reduce the need to cut 4,000 jobs. He also plans to eliminate Environmental Services and Human Services departments and transfer some duties to other agencies.

L.A. City Council orders 3,000 more job cuts

LA Times

To help address the city's budget crisis -- and after the threat of a credit downgrade -- the council tells agencies to act by July 1. The move is on top of 1,000 cuts already in the works.

Felons were among the criminals released early

Orange County Register

While many of the people released early from jail under a new state law were in for misdemeanors, vehicle code violations, and probation violations, there were also some felons and others convicted of serious crimes in the group.

Legislators to consider surcharge to help pay for firefighting, emergency cost

Press-Enterprise

Proposed and rejected several times in recent years, a surcharge on property insurance policies to help pay for state firefighting and emergency services once again is on the table.

Early Jail Releases Blamed for Rise in Auto Theft

KFSN-TV

The Fresno Police Department said early jail releases are partly to blame for a rise in stolen cars in one Valley neighborhood.

California, other states face problem of growing pension liabilities

LA Times

State governments can help ease a $1-trillion shortfall by reducing future benefits, requiring greater employee contributions and raising retirement ages, a Pew report says.

LAPD Unveils 'Nixle' Alert System

CBS-2

The Los Angeles Police Department unveiled a new communication service Wednesday that can notify the public immediately about everything from evacuations to Amber Alerts via text message or e-mail.

Beck: Crime down in L.A., but it might not last

Daily News

Despite the recession, Los Angeles saw a 10 percent decline in crime at the beginning of this year, but police Chief Charlie Beck warned today that might not last if budget cuts continue to effectively reduce the size of the force.

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