A total of 136 city positions could be eliminated under a Long Beach staff proposal released Monday that will kick off about five weeks of budget negotiations with the City Council.
City Manager Tom Modica said Long Beach would do everything it could to avoid layoffs, including moving some employees into different positions if possible. Of the threatened positions, 77 are currently filled by workers, and 59 are vacant.
If layoffs are needed, they would be determined by the city’s Civil Service Commission, and could affect nearly every city department—with the exception of the Health Department, which is largely funded through grants.
Here’s a breakdown of the specific positions that could be eliminated or changed in each department.
- Convert 16 police officers into community service assistants who will handle lower priority calls. Uniformed, unarmed civilians will be trained to investigate and officially document specific property-based crimes, respond to radio calls for nonviolent crimes and assist community members with police reports.
- Convert five police officer positions to five property and supply clerk positions who will manage, replace and coordinate the repair of public safety equipment and facility duties at the police substations.
- Civilianize the air support unit by eliminating six police officers and adding two civilian pilots.
- Convert one detective position to a crime analyst and non-career police investigator position assigned to the special investigation unit.
- Reduce the warrant detail from four sworn officers to one sergeant and two assistant administrative analyst positions.
- Convert a West Division lieutenant position to an administrative analyst position.
- Eliminate two detectives in the detectives division and add a police investigator.
- Transfer the crossing guard program from the police department to the Public Works Department.
- Eliminate the overtime budget for the South Division Pine Camera Program.
- Reduce vice detail from nine to eight positions by eliminating one lieutenant.
- Reduce the narcotics field team from eight to three officers.
- Reduce the K-9 team from 10 to seven positions.
- Reduce overtime for police patrol in the South Division Tidelands Area by 88 10-hour shifts.
- Eliminate two officers from the Los Angeles County Metro contract.
- Eliminate the remaining officer assigned to LBUSD’s school resource program, per the district’s request.
- Eliminate two public safety dispatcher positions. The city will retain 71 dispatch positions to provide 911 services.
- Move the Fire Department’s two HEART teams (Homeless Education and Response Team) that have been staffed by two firefighter/paramedics for each unit, to the Health Department. The teams will be staffed by nurses or social workers.
- Elimination of a marine safety officer in the Tidelands Operating Fund.
- Reduce lifeguard staffing by 10%
- Further reductions will be determined after a proposed study to evaluate operations.
- Elimination of an equipment mechanic, a garage service attendant and reclassification of other positions in the Fleet Services Bureau due to lower labor needs as a result of modernizing the city’s fleet.
- Eliminate an administrative intern position in the police records division.
- Eliminate an accounting operations officer, two accounting technicians and one accounting clerk in the Financial Management Department.
- Eliminate 2.26 full-time equivalent positions in the ambulance collections and collections divisions.
- Elimination of five customer service representatives in parking citations and financial management to contract these services out.
- Elimination of four positions in the survey team and contract out as needed.
- Elimination of four positions to contract out parking meter collections and maintenance of the city’s 1,800 on-street meters and pay stations.
- Eliminate an assistant city traffic engineer position.
- Reduce a half of a position in the city manager’s office and half a position in the cannabis oversight program.
- Eliminate one license inspector and almost a full position in customer service in business licensing.
- Eliminate three clerical and administrative staff members in the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department.
- Eliminate a communication specialist in the telecommunications data team in the Technology and Innovation Department.
- Eliminate a business systems specialist in the enterprise information services bureau in the Technology and Innovation Department.
- Reduction of half a position in cannabis oversight and materials.
- Eliminate a clerk typist, a combination building inspector and portions of a senior principal building inspector working on code enforcement.
- Elimination of the cannabis deputy city attorney position and reduce budget for outside legal counsel by $150,000.
- Reallocate two environmental health specialists to the Health Fund.
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- Reduce 2.18 positions (an events coordinator and clerk typist) and materials budget.
- Reduce public affairs and social media coordinator position in the city manager’s office.