A year after protesters massed in the streets of Los Angeles chanting “Defund the police!” and “Abolish the LAPD!” the Los Angeles Police Department is a changed organization but hardly in the ways its critics wanted.
Its operating budget was cut by $150 million last May with much fanfare, to $1.71 billion, then more quietly increased this year by about 3% — to $1.76 billion, a huge chunk of the city’s overall spending.
Still, the protests — and the year of economic upheaval they occurred in — have forced major changes within the department, its daily operations and the way city officials see its role in public safety.
In the last 12 months, the department has shrunk by nearly 500 officers. Specialized units have been cut in favor of patrol and newer, community-oriented teams.
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