The LAPD Robbery Homicide Division has dwindled to just 10 detectives on the heels of a “defund the police” mindset that began well before the death of George Floyd. Before Chief Michael Moore took office in 2018, the detective unit in the department consisted of about 100 people, with approximately 25 tasked with investigating homicides. Additionally, the city is experiencing a crime wave as murders reach a 15-year high.
According to a survey by Crosstown, a nonprofit journalism organization located at the University of Southern California, more people were killed during the first half of 2022 than during any of the comparable periods in the previous 15 years. The study revealed there have been 181 fatalities so far this year. Last year, Los Angeles saw 397 murders the most since 2007. The majority of the crimes included weapons and were concentrated in the inner-city area of Los Angeles. In July, ABC7 reported that the LAPD’s budget has increased from $1.17 billion in 2010 to $1.88 billion in 2018, as crime has continued to rise for at least a decade.
The downsizing of homicide detectives is not exclusive to the LAPD. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which patrols unincorporated regions and has contracts with multiple communities has seen a 25% reduction in its detective division due to budget cuts and a hiring freeze implemented by county politicians. However, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has prioritized the homicide unit and filled posts at the cost of other detective units. Villanueva has resisted budget cuts to his agency, which has put him in the crosshairs of the county politicians. As a result, the Board of Supervisors decided to vote to put a question on the November ballot that would enable it to remove the sheriff from office if he behaves improperly.