Murder investigations on hold due to lack of funds

LA Times – “With its overtime budget decimated, the department is forcing officers to put cases on hold and take days or even weeks off. Despite an uptick in killings, the homicide unit is among the hardest hit. One of the LAPD’s most productive homicide investigators sat idle for six weeks, unable to follow any leads on old cases or pick up new ones. Homicide detectives have been among the first officers to be sent home in significant numbers. The drain on homicide squads has hampered investigations. A rash of homicides in recent weeks has compounded the problem, placing increased strain on detectives already running up against overtime limits and leaving homicide supervisors to worry that a prolonged surge in killings will quickly overwhelm the stop-gap measures they are currently using to get by.

In the Southeast Division, where Kouri works, the 11-person homicide squad was ordered to take off 700 hours in February — a month when they opened five new investigations. The same group responded to five killings last February, but worked 500 hours of overtime to solve them. Nine of the 14 killings this year in the Southeast area remain unsolved.”

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~ by Dave on April 12, 2010.

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