The Los Angeles Police Department's budget has been so depleted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and officers have been working so much due to the recent protests, that the department has run out of cash and can no longer afford to pay officers overtime, KTTV-TV reported.
Going forward, officers will be paid for overtime they work with additional paid time off, and the normal limit on the number of hours they can accrue has been lifted. But during a difficult time for the department, and with more budget cuts being pushed in the city council, morale low at the LAPD.
"It's very disheartening," Sgt. Jerretta Sandoz, vice president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, said. "The officers have lost trust, they were told, cancel days off, cancel vacations, and we will pay you cash overtime, then a memo comes out that they have no more cash. The officers are not happy right now, aside from taking bottles, bricks, I don't know what else they can handle and now to be told there's no cash, they're at their wit's end."
LAPD officers have worked about $40 million in overtime, during the recent protests and riots, that the city is unable to pay. Going forward, nonessential overtime has been canceled. Metropolitan Transit Authority overtime can potentially be cashed out when the budget is replenished.
The LAPD issued a statement on the matter:
The Los Angeles Police Department offers cash overtime to officers when it is available, and when those allotted amounts are depleted that compensation is offered in time.
The COVID-19 pandemic and full mobilization of the Department depleted that cash reserve before the end of the fiscal year and we transitioned to comp time last week.
Regarding MTA details, consistent with our notice officers will be compensated in time, and when the MTA reimburses the Department the officers' time compensation will be converted to cash.
"It's rock bottom, very, very low, they're not robots, they're human beings and to have city leaders turn their back on them in the midst of a pandemic as well as riots and protests, angry mobs that were attacking them on the front lines when they're trying to protect life and property, it's hard for them right now," Sandoz said about officers' morale.
The Los Angeles City Council budget committee moved forward with a proposal to cut up to $150 million from the LAPD budget for 2020-21, which will be considered by the full council.