The Los Angeles Police Department says it is losing more officers than it can recruit, leading to staffing shortages.
Now, the department is asking retired officers to rejoin the force through a rule informally called the “bounce program.”
LA Times investigative crime reporter Richard Winton joined Lisa McRee on "LA Times Today" with more.
This year, there are over 600 officers expected to retire, up 20% from normal. Winton talked about how recruitment has been unable to replenish the ranks and why.
“The image of the police, which has been changed since 2020 in terms of how people perceive the police, and a lot of that has been shaped by the Black Lives Matter movement," he said. "There’s also a pressure to keep up to a new level of standards. That pressure is also making recruits less likely to want to take the job. And it’s also, frankly, a dangerous job,” Winton explained.
The “bounce program” would bring back retired officers to fill in the ranks.
“[LAPD] is going to try and bring 200 people who’ve already retired back," Winton said. "Bounce was originally conceived, actually, to keep people like detectives on the job. So, say they’ve got this murder case, which they’ve already arrested the person and it’s going to be tried or they need to work it still. So they would come back... And now we’re looking at a situation where we’re talking about 200 people who are retired coming back and spending a time on the job to basically tide us over until they can get all these new recruits out onto the streets."
Returning officers would still receive their pensions, as well as a salary, while they work. Winton talked about how the LAPD is ramping up recruitment efforts as well.
“I think at this point it’s going to be very hard. There’s also the other big issue for the city is background checks. The process of backgrounding a police officer is very complex. It takes a lot of time. You have to check for a lot of things. People are supposed to lie detector tests to get the job. All these things are obstacles and take a lot of time. That’s why that train of bringing people in is so slow,” he said.
Watch the full interview above.
Watch "LA Times Today" at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app.