Voters across the state are shouting "cease and desist" to public sector workers, who are outliving the planned expectation of pension formulas, which were increased during less austere times.
"Cease and desist" is a common order that police officers give out on the beat. Now the Hermosa Beach police are shouting this refrain at the Hermosa Beach City Council, who are considering pension reforms that would require police officers to contribute more toward their pensions and benefits.
Police officers are some of the most well-paid public officers in the county, and justifiably so; but to conclude that the city of Hermosa Beach, or any other municipality, should be on the hook for their exorbitant benefits have lead taxpayers and civic leaders to cry out "cease and desist", and rightfully so.
Speaking at a local Kiwanis meeting, Hermosa Beach Sgt. Keven Averill claims that the current city pension program is" sustainable", indicating that the benefits offered can do more than enough to attract future recruits to work in the wealthy and party-oriented beach city. Yet "Sustainable" is what the City Council wants to ensure for the city's affected coffers, which are burdened with generous benefits greater than comparable offerings from other cities in Los Angeles County.
The Sergeant then added that if the city implemented more serious cuts, then "It's going to be very hard to attract, train and maintain quality officers in this department."
If he's talking about Hermosa Beach, then what would prevent prospective police from signing up and joining the beach city police force? Aside from drunkenness and relieving oneself in public, what crimes do the police in Hermosa Beach have to deal with? Sounds to me like future police officers would be beating down the doors to work in a city which has violent crime index two points below the national median, with no murders and few assaults.
Peace officers contribute much to the safety and well-being of our beach cities, but if they do not contribute more to their retirement, there may not be much of a city whose safety the Hermosa Beach Police will be assigned to secure. I hope that public safety will take into account the public interest and forge a compromise that cease the high payouts without desisting the proper compensation for law enforcement who put their lives on the line.