The Los Angeles City Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday to folding the 220 General Services police into the Los Angeles Police Department to provide what officials said would be a seamless response to crimes throughout the city.
The General Services officers, who carry weapons and received LAPD training and patrol city facilities, will be part of a new Security Services Division within the LAPD. They will not be counted toward Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's goal to grow the department to 10,000 officers, officials said.
"That's just a number out there," said Councilman Mitch Englander, chair of the council's Public Safety Committee. "What is more important is that we will have a seamless response to incidents.
"We did have some issues on their probationary period, but since these officers did go through much of LAPD training, their probationary period will be much less."
Englander said the officers, if they wish to become full LAPD officers, will have to reapply to the LAPD.
The LAPD now has a sworn force of 9,925 officers. Villaraigosa had included the transfer in his budget for this year and LAPD officials estimated 37 of the officers could join the LAPD. Councilman Dennis Zine said he had some concerns regarding seniority and the probationary term.
"We worked with the unions representing General Services representatives," Zine said. "They will be working under the umbrella of the LAPD.
"Those who want to go through the academy (to become full police officers) they will be able to do that," Zine said. "Others can remain doing the work they do now."
Because it involves a possible change to the city's pension system - the new officers will be able to transfer to the Fire and Police Pension System - the change will not take effect for 30 days.