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L.A. council approves trash fee hike to add police

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES- The City Council has unanimously approved Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to expand the police force by more than doubling garbage rates.

Villaraigosa wants to increase the police force to about 10,200 officers in 2010, compared to 9,314 today. The mayor's office believes that because of attrition, the city will have to hire about 3,000 officers to meet that goal.

Police Chief William Bratton often has complained that the department is woefully understaffed compared to other large cities and has lobbied for more money to add officers.

Under the plan approved Tuesday, monthly residential trash rates will increase from $11 this year to $28 in fiscal year 2009. The rates, which for years were largely subsidized, will go from being among the lowest in the county to among the highest.

The trash hike was a centerpiece of Villaraigosa's $6.7 billion budget.

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