The Los Angeles Police Protective League issued a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Commissioner Matthew Johnson saying the police who take care of security for USC home football games “will be compelled to take further action” if they are not paid for their services.
According to the letter, on-duty police officers have been steered away from their normal duties to help police USC home football games without additional compensation.
“It is our understanding the USC does not have an agreement with the City of Los Angeles regarding the payment for these police services. This ‘gift of public funds’ must end,” the letter read.
“The lack of payment for police services, which has spanned several years, violates both city code and state law. The Board of Police Commission has failed to stop the misuse of police resources that has diverted officers from their regular assignments to provide free security to a university with a $4 billion-dollar endowment, and to a football program whose conference, the PAC 12, has a $250 million a year television contract with ESPN.”
The letter goes on to say that in order to provide security for USC home games, officers from various divisions across the city are called in, which depletes the “already thin-staffed Department.”
“Given the negative impacts to the Department and the community as a result of providing free security for USC football games, we urge the city to demand payment from USC for the full costs of providing security for their home games. The Trojans should take a page from the Los Angeles Rams’ playbook and begin to pay off-duty police officers to keep their games safe.”
While the letter was not specific on the repercussions of non-payment, it did say: “If an agreement is not in place between the City and USC to require the university to pay for its own security, by close of business September 30, 2016 (Friday), we will be compelled to take further action.”
When reached by Yahoo Sports, USC issued the following statement:
“We are planning to meet with city and LAPD leadership to discuss how to best move forward as we continue to provide a great, safe experience for all who attend events at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.”
There is expediency to get some sort of deal in place since the Trojans host Arizona State at the Coliseum on Saturday. While we don’t know what the term “further action” would entail, it would be a serious issue for everyone in attendance if police decided not to staff Saturday’s contest.
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