LAAPOA is pleased to announce that City Ordinance No. 187923 was unanimously adopted by the Los Angeles City Council on June 27 and concurred by Mayor Karen Bass on June 28. The ordinance, which goes into effect on July 9, amends Chapter 10 of Division 4 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code to enhance the disability retirement, death and survivorship benefits for sworn peace officers who are public safety officer members of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) Tiers 1 and 3.
In 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest incidents, LAAPOA saw the disparity in disability retirement benefits for certain public safety personnel in the city, pointing to public safety officers from four separate groups who did not receive the same coverage in the event of an industrial injury as other officers: 24 LAPD officers, 27 Municipal Police officers, 24 Park Rangers and eight Port Police officers. The majority of the 83 officers who were affected were represented by LAAPOA in MOUs #28, #30 and #65.
This urgent matter was brought to the attention of then-Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Joe Buscaino, who introduced a motion on November 24, 2020, to grant the same benefits to the aforementioned officers as those conferred to other personnel. “If any one of the above City employees are hurt, injured or killed, neither they nor their dependents will receive the same disability retirement benefits as other peace officers,” the motion read in part. “This is an urgent matter that must be addressed, especially at a time of heightened risk.”
After the motion went through the City Council’s channels from 2021 to 2023, the new chair of the Personnel, Audits and Hiring Committee, Councilmember Tim McOsker, reaffirmed it in May, and the ordinance was then drafted by the city attorney and subsequently approved by the City Council and signed by Mayor Bass.
“This recently passed ordinance is another victory for LAAPOA and all the peace officers in the City of Los Angeles who were not previously covered by the same disability benefits as other officers,” LAAPOA President Marshall McClain said. “It’s regrettable that it took officers being placed in harm’s way from COVID-19 and amid civil unrest to correct this oversight of having peace officers for the city working without the industry standard of benefit protections.
“We’re thankful to former Councilmembers Koretz and Buscaino for championing this issue, and to the City Council and Mayor Bass for righting this wrong and giving our members the benefits they deserve and that are owed to them,” McClain continued. “LAAPOA is proud to see these steps moving forward toward equity in pay and benefits for all peace officers in the City of Angels.”
In addition to this victory, LAAPOA is also proud to announce that the Los Angeles Airport Police Supervisors Association (LAAPSA), which represents the sergeants and lieutenants of the Los Angeles Airport Police Department, has voted to affiliate with and designate LAAPOA as its official bargaining unit as of July 1. This means that, in addition to representing the sworn officers of the Los Angeles Municipal Police and the Los Angeles Park Rangers, LAAPOA now represents the entire rank and file of lieutenants and below for the Los Angeles Airport Police.