Should non-citizens be cops? LA residents answer in Venice Beach

Although it is illegal for most citizens to carry firearms in LA, the LAPD is working to allow non-citizen police officers to carry off-duty.

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As of January 2023, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) no longer requires law enforcement to be U.S. citizens. Amid troubles recruiting police, this new policy allows non-citizens with work permits such as DACA recipients (or ‘dreamers’), asylees and refugees to apply for the job.

Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Fox News his thoughts on the matter: "I think it’s an acknowledgment that the political establishment has destroyed the ability to recruit. I think this is an ill-advised policy, and it all goes to lowering hiring standards."

As of 2024, the LAPD has been trying to lead a nationwide effort to allow these non-citizen officers to carry firearms full-time by looking to see how they can ‘make off-duty hours part of their work.’

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners unanimously approved this proposal in December 2023, with the LAPD chief explaining it may take months to be finalized. The department is working closely with the Department of Justice and the state and federal levels to do so.

California law states that citizens generally may not carry a concealed firearm on their person in public without a valid Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) license. California is one of the hardest states to obtain a CCW, with permits being given largely at the discretion of the applicant’s county sheriff.

We asked locals in Venice Beach, California if they agree with the LAPD’s policy to allow non-citizen police officers, and whether or not they should be able to carry off-duty. Watch the video above to hear their thoughts!

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