Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore is headed to baseball’s spring training in Arizona, but not necessarily to catch any games.
With the department nearly 300 sworn officers short of its staffing level, Moore was invited by the Los Angeles Dodgers to head to their Glendale training facility to talk to qualified candidates within the organization about the possibility of working for the department after baseball.
At a cost of about $950 for flights and lodging, the trip for Moore and two recruitment officers was approved by the Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday, March 14.
“This is to remind them that we’re hiring,” Moore said at Tuesday’s Police Board of Commissioners meeting. “Going into that sport, they have attributes like teamwork, athleticism and emotional intelligence that if they hadn’t thought of coming in and transitioning those into law enforcement, they should.”
Moore said the department already has ex-athletes including some who played in the NFL and NBA.
The chief and the two recruitment officers would leave Saturday and return Monday, according to a document supporting the meeting agenda item. Assistant Chief Dominic Choi would be the acting police chief while Moore is out of state.
Noting that many who attend spring training games drive from Southern California, Moore was asked if he had considered also talking with attendees at games about possibilities with LAPD.
Moore said he hadn’t, “but it’s something we can keep in the back of our head.”
The recruitment process would take place in meetings with players, Moore said, allowing the officers to share with them and hear their concerns about public safety.
The idea was brought up in 2019 when Moore met with Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts, he said.
“We also want to build and deepen bridges of communication and get away from what people see in Hollywood,” Moore said, “or what people see in a perception of the department.”