Los Angeles' Democrat mayor is taking a cue from other leftist-run cities in the West, seeking to drop standards for new police recruits whilst forcing out officers accused of having extremist ties, albeit of a purportedly rightest variety.
Mayor Karen Bass recently told the Los Angeles Times that she desires big changes at the Los Angeles Police Department, prioritized in this order: "crime reduction, personnel reform, alternative response and community policing."
While she would like to see more detectives join up and take advantage of California's red-flag laws in order to remove guns from Americans, staffing the LAPD is a department-wide problem, with 600 of the force's 9,200 officers expected to retire or leave in the next year, a departure rate 20% higher than is customary.
National Police Association spokeswoman Ret. Sgt. Betsy Branter Smith noted in October that Los Angeles was among the cities suffering severe staffing issues after the anti-police rhetoric of 2020. Bass admitted amidst the BLM riots that "defund the police" was "one of the worst slogans ever."
According to a summary of her public safety goals obtained by the Times, Bass now wants to bring in "more diverse candidates" and more candidates in general.
The pursuit of warm bodies will have the personnel department increase the number of new recruits and lateral hires by 500 a year, "including innovative recruitment strategies targeting non-traditional talent such as social workers, teachers and nurses."
One provision in Bass' summary of goals says a deputy mayor will work with a "third party" to "evaluate the personnel process and identify obstacles to entry for recruits who fail to qualify for training."
To accommodate classically unqualified candidates, recommendations aimed at removing obstacles to recruitment will be considered, especially those in relation to "ethnic groups disproportionately left out of new officer training."
Tom Saggau, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, expressed concern that in the LAPD's apparent rush to onboard new recruits, it was effectively lowering job standards. By lowering the mental and physical fitness requirements for recruits, the LAPD could face worse problems than dwindling numbers.
Saggau told Fox News Digital, "We think that particular provision or that goal or that idea is dangerous."
"If you have police officers that can't make minimum qualifications or attained minimum standards, for instance, there are recruits that have been in the academy that just can't score the minimum requirements for a physical fitness test," added Saggau. "One hundred is the maximum score, 50 is acceptable. There are folks that are scoring under 10. That's just dangerous."
London, England, under leftist Mayor Sadiq Khan is similarly endeavoring to drop standards for its police, but in its case, explicitly in hopes of meeting diversity quotas.
TheBlaze previously reported on a recent police assessment that London's Metropolitan Police has dropped its standards and in some instances accepted applicants who could not competently read or write in English. Some recruits also happened to have significant criminal histories.
Saggau said the City of Los Angeles' willingness to set a lower bar for prospective recruits is "just a recipe for disaster."
Despite the apparent dearth of interest in joining or staying on the much-maligned force and the city's corresponding desire to drop standards, Bass is keen on pursuing an ideological purge via Police Chief Michel Moore, reappointed on Jan. 31.
Among those apparently fit for termination are officers with alleged links to "right-wing" domestic extremist groups. There is reportedly no mention of candidates or existing officers having to be identified, disciplined or terminated if they had left-wing terrorist ties (e.g., to Antifa, Black Panthers, Jane's Revenge).
Saggau told Fox News Digital, "We [LAPPL] think it ought to be right-wing, left-wing, foreign and domestic. ... We think that there are more organizations that members of law enforcement should not be associated with, other than the narrow group that was listed in that document."
Data from the Justice Department will reportedly be utilized when conducting this ideological purge.
It is unclear whether conservative Catholics on the force would be subject to termination or discipline in light of the recent revelation that a FBI field office in Richmond, Virginia, suggested a link between "radical traditionalist Catholic ideology" and violent extremism.
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