Morale is low among rank-and-file LAPD officers, according to Robert Harris, the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
Police across the country are having to deal with “constant verbal battering” and the looming threat of contracting the coronavirus, according to the police union head.
“I had one officer tell me that he feels like a Vietnam soldier returning home to a country that hates him, and that’s not a good place to be,” Robert Harris, the director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the local police union, told CBS Los Angeles Monday.
“Police in L.A. and elsewhere around the country have faced harsh criticism since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25. Four police officers have been charged, and protests have cropped up across the country, some of them involving violent clashes with police. Activists and left-wing lawmakers have proposed defunding police departments as a result,” Fox News reports.
Officers feel “beaten” and “bruised,” Harris said.
“The vilification and the constant verbal battering of our profession has taken a huge toll on top of what they were expected to do with the protests and COVID, so morale is low right now,” he said.
Harris said that the calls for defunding the police would be counterproductive for an agency as large as the LAPD.
“When you start tinkering with the budget of the LAPD, even though on the onset it looks large, even $150 million will have serious impacts,” he said. “If you cut funding from us and delay recruit classes and hiring, it will create a domino effect and you’re looking at about a loss of about 800 officers over the next two years. And with the World Cup and the Olympics coming, I don’t think we can afford to do that,” Harris said.