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After being appointed president of the Los Angeles Police Department’s civilian oversight panel on Tuesday, attorney William Briggs promptly rejected the notion that the LAPD should be “defunded,” arguing instead that it needs more sworn officers to keep the city safe.

“Our communities of color that are most impacted by crime, many of which have seen the homicide rate rise above 30% this year, cannot afford to go without law enforcement,” Briggs said in prepared remarks, which he delivered after unanimous appointment by his Police Commission colleagues.

Briggs, who is Black and a partner at the law firm Venable, was nominated to the commission by Mayor Eric Garcetti in November, joined the panel in December and had been serving as its vice president before Tuesday’s vote.

He takes over for Eileen Decker, a former federal prosecutor who was term-limited as the panel’s president. Decker will remain on the commission as vice president, swapping roles with Briggs.

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