The City Council voted unanimously to consolidate the two agencies, transferring the 220 officers and security guards from General Services to the LAPD.
With the move, the LAPD will take on the work of General Services police: patrolling libraries, City Hall offices and other city facilities.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa backed the merger, including the plan in his 2012-2013 budget.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Councilman Mitch Englander urged his colleagues to support the consolidation plan.
“This isn’t a divorce, this is a marriage,” Englander said. “And I say, Mazel Tov.”
Currently, General Services’ sworn officers carry guns and patrol the city’s parks, libraries, and City Hall offices and grounds. The security guards protect the Los Angeles Zoo, Convention Center and other facilities.
Following the consolidation – expected to take place July 1 – both groups would fall within a new department called LAPD’s Security Services Division.
In the short term, the merger will cause a reduction in the number of officers patrolling libraries and parks.
According to Sandy Jo MacArthur, assistant chief in the Office of Administrative Services, 37 General Services officers will become sworn LAPD officers.
The remaining officers will be invited to apply to become LAPD officers, she said.
Overall, there’ll be a “small bump” in the number of LAPD officers, who currently number 9,963, she said.
But unions – who said Mayor Villaraigosa’s office failed to consult with them on the consolidation – remain wary about the plan, and the tight timeline for consolidation.
City Councilman Paul Koretz cast an aye vote, despite his lingering concerns. Koretz is worried that once the merger is complete, the former General Services police officers won’t be as highly regarded as their LAPD peers.
“I’m a little nervous,” Koretz said. “But the plan is moving forward.”
More information from Database Administrator “LAflyer” from RadioReference.com:
I was forwarded a document as to how the proposed transfer would be structured.
Below is copy/paste of pertinent sections.
The proposed consolidation will transition the OPS into the LAPD, meaning the OPS will become a new and unique division within the LAPD, renamed as the Security Services Division. A mix of police and civilian supervisors will be deployed to manage the proposed major components as set forth below.
• City Security Section – The City Security Section will be responsible for the operations of security posts throughout the City 24-hours per day. The Civic Center, the Parks Program, and fixed posts will be the responsibility of this Section.
• Special Services Section – The Special Services Section will be responsible for housing the four major self-contained components of Security Services Division. These include the Los Angeles Zoo, the Library system, the Convention Center, and the Bureau of Sanitation facilities.
• Administrative Section – The Administrative Section will be overseen by the Assistant Commanding Officer of the Security Services Division (Police Lieutenant). Within the Administrative Section will be the dispatch, training, complaint, contract services, technology, and special events units, as well as any other administrative functions.
The current police deployment and patrol will be modified from its current OPS format. The basis for the consolidation plan is for a portion of the police component to be absorbed within the LAPD and handled in a decentralized manner. The geographic responsibilities of the OPS, at a minimum, would be supported by LAPD Area Stations. First responder duties can be accomplished by LAPD patrol divisions. The separating of the law enforcement arm from the security function will diminish any chance of role confusion between the Area Stations and the Security Services Division.
By eliminating redundant functions and reconfiguring existing deployment methods, the LAPD will absorb the responsibilities of GSD sworn currently assigned to patrol duties into the existing patrol function which is supported by the Area Stations.
Security Officers are the largest group within the OPS. Security Officers are responsible for staffing security posts throughout the Civic Center area and various other facilities throughout the City including:
• The Zoo which is staffed 24-hours a day;
• The Library system where Security Officers are deployed within six geographic zones and visit a minimum of five libraries per day, per zone;
• The Bureau of Sanitation’s four wastewater treatment facilities;
• The Convention Center which is also staffed 24-hours per day; and
• The Parks system where Security Officers are responsible for patrolling approximately 90 parks throughout the City.
Providing security to the City’s facilities is crucial to the OPS operation. It is anticipated that the current deployment of security personnel and resources dedicated to those personnel will remain relatively unchanged in a consolidation.
DISPATCH & COMMUNICATIONS:
The Communications Section is staffed by a Senior Communications Operator and Communications Information Representatives. The current OPS dispatch configuration will be evaluated for possible transition into the LAPD’s Communications Division.
However, under the current OPS configuration, assigned personnel have security camera and alarm monitoring responsibilities in addition to dispatch duties. Should communications personnel continue to work in OPS Headquarters, they will be able to monitor alarms and cameras, but a link will need to be established to be able to tie a new radio frequency directly into the LAPD’s system. Conversely, should the dispatch function be moved to the LAPD Metropolitan Dispatch Center, much of the alarm and camera function will need to be migrated over to the LAPD via hardware and software installation so related calls could continue to be processed.
Since current OPS personnel have not been through the training programs provided to current LAPD Communications Division employees, OPS personnel will only be able to work the Security Services Division frequency until such training is provided. Eventually, full integration of these employees may occur, but would not necessarily be required.
Currently, the OPS has Motorola XTS 5000 handheld radios that are programmed with LAPD frequencies which can be utilized should the consolidation take place. At this time, it is recommended that the dispatch function continue to operate from within OPS Headquarters. However, it is further recommended that a complete migration to the LAPD occur when fiscally and feasibly possible.