Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides Information and Updates Related to the Emergency Operations Center, COVID-19 Scams, and L.A. County Board Motion to Remove Him as Emergency Operations Director
Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides Information and Updates Related to the Emergency Operations Center, COVID-19 Scams, and L.A. County Board Motion to Remove Him as Emergency Operations Director
With recent school closures due to #COVID19 many children are using the internet and have recently created email accounts or social media profiles to communicate with their friends or complete school work & programs.
Tips from LASD
💻TALK about Internet safety with children of ALL ages when they engage in online activity.
📲Review & approve games and apps before they are downloaded… especially video, voice, and messaging apps.
🔑Make sure privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible for online gaming systems and electronic devices. You can use parental controls or ask children to scan their device as needed.
👀 Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep electronic devices in an open, common room of the house. You can add parental controls & google “vault” or popular “hiding apps”
✅Check your children’s profiles and what they post online. Make sure they are not posting age, address, phone numbers etc.
📸Explain to your children that images aka selfies posted online will be permanently on the Internet.
❌Make sure children know that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult and law enforcement.
🚔Remember that victims should not be afraid to tell law enforcement if they are being sexually exploited. It is not a crime for a child to send sexually explicit images to someone if they are compelled or coerced to do so.
Tips from #LASD for Stimulus Check Package Scams
1. The government will not ask you to pay any fees or up front charges to receive these benefits.
2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
3. Issuing of checks aren’t yet a reality. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
4. Remember, government agencies do not communicate through social media. Be wary of unsolicited messages.
We have canceled most of our community oriented program, one of them being the Youth Activity League (YAL). As of March 9, 2020, the YAL program will be canceled until further notice. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but we have determined given the current times it is the best course of action.
Much like the entire world, the East Los Angeles Station
is adapting to the challenges presented as a result of the Coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic. It is paramount that during these harsh
conditions, we strengthen the lines of communications with the
communities we serve. To this end, please know we have NOT curtailed
our deployment and will continue to respond to ALL law enforcement
related activities in our community. This crisis is rapidly evolving,
and the Sheriff’s Department is adapting in real time and working
together with all of our partners in an effort to maintain the field
staffing levels. We want it to be perfectly clear that our communities
are our priority, and we will carry on our public safety mission.
We have begun the process of preparing this station for various scenarios by equipping our staff with personal protective gear and keeping them informed. Our station personnel has been fully briefed on the Coronavirus symptoms and potential issues which might arise as we continue to respond to calls for service. We are committed to taking the necessary precautions when dealing with the public. As previously mentioned, we will continue to respond to all calls and will assess the deployment of personnel on a day-to-day basis.
It is our mission and goal to continue to provide the highest level of service, while preserving the safety and health of our communities. Based on logical precautions, we have modified some procedures to limit exposure of the public and our employees by limiting unnecessary public contact. Keeping in mind the health and safety of our communities, we are adhering to the following necessary precautions:
If you request a call for service to report criminal activity, to file a
report, to obtain a copy of a report, and/or have questions of a law
enforcement matter, please call our station at (323) 264-4151. If you are experiencing an emergency please call 9-1-1.
When placing your call for service, if you are experiencing flu-like or
Coronavirus symptoms, such as cough, fever and/or shortness of breath,
please notify the operator when placing the call for service. This will
allow our first responders to take any needed personal safety
precautions prior to our arrival, and further enhance your safety and
Limited police reports can be made online by visiting our LASD website at http://shq.lasdnews.net/shq/SORTS/sorts_intro.aspx. If applicable, we encourage our residents to take advantage of this service. The following reports can be made with our online service:
For updates and resources regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019, please
visit the California Department of Public Health website at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx.
While we apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, your East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station personnel are committed to the safety and well-being of our citizens and dedicated to maintaining the superior service everyone has come to expect from our personnel. Help us protect ourselves, so we can protect you!
Al igual que en todo el mundo, la Estación Este de Los Angeles se está
adaptando a los desafíos presentados como resultado de la pandemia de
Coronavirus (COVID-19). Es primordial que durante estas duras
condiciones, fortalezcamos las líneas de comunicación con las
comunidades a las que servimos. Esta crisis está evolucionando
rápidamente, y el Departamento del Sheriff se está adaptando en tiempo
real y trabajando junto con todos nuestros socios en un esfuerzo por
mantener los niveles de personal sobre el terreno. Queremos que quede
perfectamente claro que nuestras comunidades son nuestra prioridad, y
continuaremos con nuestra misión de seguridad pública.
Hemos comenzado el proceso de preparación de esta estación para diversos escenarios equipando a nuestro personal con equipo de protección personal y manteniéndolos informados. Nuestro personal de la estación ha sido completamente informado sobre los síntomas del coronavirus y los posibles problemas que podrían surgir a medida que continuamos respondiendo a las llamadas de servicio. Nos comprometemos a tomar las precauciones necesarias al tratar con el público. Como se mencionó anteriormente, seguiremos respondiendo a todas las llamadas y evaluaremos el despliegue de personal en el día a día.
Nuestra misión y objetivo es continuar proporcionando el más alto nivel de servicio, preservando al mismo tiempo la seguridad y la salud de nuestras comunidades. Basándonos en precauciones lógicas, hemos modificado algunos procedimientos para limitar la exposición del público y nuestros empleados al limitar el contacto público innecesario. Teniendo en cuenta la salud y la seguridad de nuestras comunidades, nos adherimos a las siguientes precauciones necesarias:
Si solicita una llamada de servicio para denunciar actividades
delictivas, presentar un informe, obtener una copia de un informe y / o
si tiene preguntas sobre un asunto de aplicación de la ley, llame a
nuestra estación al (323) 264-4151. Si tiene una emergencia, llame al
9-1-1. Al realizar una llamada de servicio, si experimenta síntomas
similares a los de la gripe o el coronavirus, como tos, fiebre y / o
falta de aire, notifique al operador cuando realice la llamada de
servicio. Esto permitirá a nuestros socorristas tomar las precauciones
de seguridad personal necesarias antes de nuestra llegada y mejorar aún
más su seguridad y salud.
Los informes policiales limitados se pueden hacer en línea visitando nuestro sitio web LASD en http://shq.lasdnews.net/shq/SORTS/sorts_intro.aspx. Si corresponde, alentamos a nuestros residentes a aprovechar este servicio. Los siguientes informes se pueden hacer con nuestro servicio en línea:
Para obtener actualizaciones y recursos sobre la enfermedad de
Coronavirus 2019, visite el sitio web del Departamento de Salud Pública
de California en https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/ncov2019.aspx.
Nos disculpamos de antemano por cualquier inconveniente que esto pueda causar, el personal de la estación del Sheriff de East Los Angeles está comprometido con la seguridad y el bienestar de nuestros ciudadanos y está dedicado a mantener el servicio superior que todos esperan de nuestro personal. ¡Ayúdanos a protegernos para que podamos protegerte!
As 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the world and new cases are being reported throughout the United States, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Custody Services Division (LASD) has been working diligently with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services – Correctional Health Services (CHS) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) to prepare.
Although we do not currently have any inmates in our custody who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, LASD and CHS continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to assess and monitor inmates in our custody, as well as newly arriving inmates, for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and will arrange for quarantine as necessary.
If an inmate meets the criteria of a suspected coronavirus patient, the inmate will be placed in isolation and staff will follow proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines. A surgical mask will be placed on the inmate patient who will be isolated in separate housing, away from general population housing. If that inmate is confirmed to have COVID-19, they will be re-housed in the medical ward of the jail. Proper PPE procedures for Department members and staff include safety eye goggles, an N-95 mask, disposable gloves, and a disposable gown.
Currently, Inmates who are scheduled to be released from custody will not be impacted; however, if the county jail system begins to see cases of COVID-19 within its housing locations, those housed in quarantined areas will go through a release protocol monitored by the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health will additionally monitor them after their release from custody.
The Department is working with the Superior Court of California-County of Los Angeles on a plan to minimize the impact on court proceedings for those who are quarantined if such need occurs. Inmates will still have access to contact their attorneys.
Monitoring and potential quarantine procedures will remain in place until CHS and DPH officials determine it is safe to return to normal operations.
To identify if your loved one is housed in a quarantined area, please visit the www.lasd.org and schedule a visit with your loved one. If a pop-up message is displayed that your loved one is in an affected area, he/she is under observation (quarantine) until further notice.
—— Information about COVID-19 ——
According to the Department of Public Health, COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced through coughing and sneezing, close personal contact with an infected person, and on rare occasions from infected objects or surfaces.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/#
On Wednesday, July 31, 2019, Undersheriff Tim Murakami hosted the monthly press briefing. He announced the retirement of Assistant Sheriff Maria Gutierrez, who accepted an executive position at another law enforcement agency, which is unnamed at this time. During her 35 years in the law enforcement profession, Assistant Sheriff Gutierrez became recognized for her leadership performance and earned a stellar reputation. Her steadfastness led her to be the first female Hispanic in our agency’s 179-year history to hold the position of Assistant Sheriff. Undersheriff Murakami offered his congratulations and complimented her selection, “…it’s now evident that Sheriff Villanueva wasn’t the only one to recognize Sheriff Gutierrez’s boundless potential.”
The accolades continued as Undersheriff Murakami announced that the Emmy Award-winning Video Production Unit scored gold, once again. Their production of the public safety announcement “If They’re Not Secure, They’re Not Safe-Dresser Drawer” won them a second Emmy Award for Best Public Safety Announcement. Nominated were Sergeant Harry Drucker for Producer, and Video Production Specialist Vance Kotrla for Writer/Director. The piece is one of a four-part series which addresses the vital importance of safe gun storage; the decision to initiate such a production came after the tragic 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The PSA lasted only about a minute, but its impact was compelling and emotional.
The Video Production Unit, which falls under the umbrella of Training Bureau, is an in-house video production unit staffed by sworn and professional staff with experience in the television industry. They produce public service announcements, training films, and coordinate livestreaming and filming of ceremonial events, academy graduations and press conferences. Their first Emmy Award nomination came in 2016 for the “Surviving an Active Shooter” public service announcement video. The videos are available in English and Spanish, which is translated with the title “Pistolero Activo.”
The pieces were produced with no tax payer money other than salary of Video Production Unit personnel. Fundraising, and the donation of location sites and talents also help keep production costs low. As an example of this, the recently-released “Pistolero Activo,” was produced with the help of Spanish language newscasters, Romi DeFrias and Jovanny Huerta, who donated their time and talents to help with the voice overs and translation.
To view the English version, visit: https://lasd.org/active-shooter/
To view the Spanish version, visit: https://lasd.org/pistolero-activo/
On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Sheriff Alex Villanueva opened his monthly press briefing with an acknowledgment of El Dorado County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Ishmael, who was shot and killed in the line of duty earlier that morning while responding to a service call. Sheriff Villanueva sent thoughts and prayers to the fallen deputy’s family and his extended sheriff’s family.
After apprising media of a deputy-involved shooting in Palmdale, which occurred just minutes before the press conference, Sheriff Villanueva continued with good news in the Department. He announced that in 2019, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) will have hired 370 more deputies than were hired in 2018. This increase is on track to seeing 1,070 deputies hired in 2019, with a plan for the same number in 2020. In doing this, the previous 15-year plan to be fully-staffed will be accomplished in just two years.
Sheriff Villanueva introduced a group of future deputies who sat quietly in the audience. They will attend their first day at the training academy tomorrow, Thursday, October 24, 2019, and were a cross-section sample of current deputy sheriff trainees. Presently, sworn female personnel make up 18.2% of LASD; the goal is to increase that number to 21.5%. The national average is 12.6%, and LASD will be the first law enforcement agency in the nation to cross the 20% mark. Without lowering standards, the hiring process was streamlined and more resources made available to facilitate the hiring of deputies. The sheriff also emphasized that ours remains the most understaffed and underfunded law enforcement agency in the entire nation.
Sheriff Villanueva proudly announced that, without implementing new reforms and looking where implementation failed in the past, jail violence is down. In comparison to 2018:
There was an 11.5% decrease in the use of force incidents
There was a 20.5% decrease in assault on staff incidents
There was a 14.6% decrease on inmate vs. inmate assaults
Additionally, he provided an update of some other statistics related to the state of Los Angeles County and our agency:
Crime reduction in Los Angeles County is down by 6.79% overall, and homicides are down in just under 15%.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) transfers are down 53%.
On a lighter note, Sheriff Villanueva reminded the audience that Halloween is around the corner and offered some tips for a safe trick-or-treating experience, including:
Walk in groups
Wear bright colors
Look before crossing the street
Know your location
Check the treats before eating them. Report any suspicious-looking treats to authorities
Downloadable Materials: Slides
As 2019 draws to a close, Sheriff Alex Villanueva addressed some positive changes accompanied by statistics to close out his first year as top law enforcement officer of Los Angeles County. It was during a press conference on Wednesday, December 18, 2019, at the Hall of Justice that the Sheriff discussed the topics of violent crime, ICE transfers, jail violence, hiring, civic engagement, and homeless outreach services, which have all seen significant improvement in the last year.
In general, violent crimes are down, with homicides reduced by 15.15%; property crimes are also down, with burglaries reduced by 15.69%.
ICE transfers were cut by more than half, with a 53% reduction since 2018.
Jail violence saw a 1.02% uptick from 2018 in a daily average within the inmate population, however, the daily average within the mental health population fell 13.09%. Inmate-on-inmate assaults declined a whopping 33.34%, as did inmate assaults on staff by 27.56%. Uses of force in categories II and III also fell by 7.95%.
Citing an increased trust in law enforcement, a new approach to applicants and the hiring process, and raised standard of education background, the hiring of deputy sheriff applicants is at its highest level since 2015, with 20,122 applications received, as of Saturday, December 14, 2019. The number of deputy sheriff trainees hired is almost double the 2015 number, with a total of 1,062 -a staggering 65% increase from numbers seen in the preceding four years.
The Homeless Outreach Services Team saw 1,100 people connected to vital services at 392 locations found in both contract cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. No uses of force were part of any of these contacts. To keep the success moving forward, the team was expanded from a six-person team of one lieutenant, one sergeant and four deputies, to a team of 15 with ten additional deputy positions.
Sheriff Villanueva realized his goal to make personal connections and have direct contact with our neighbors and business partners who live and conduct commerce in the areas the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department serves. Over the course of 12 months, he visited each station within our patrol jurisdiction in 27 town hall meetings to address residents and hear their concerns.
January 2, 2020
Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
2300 East Imperial Highway
El Segundo, California 90245
Dear Los Angeles Times Editorial Board:
SHERIFF VILLANUEVA’S RESPONSE TO THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
The year 2019 is now over, and it is an appropriate time to look back on what we have achieved by reforming, rebuilding, and restoring the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to better serve our community. I campaigned on that promise, and I delivered on that promise as well. For those keeping score, violent crime is down 7% in the areas policed by LASD, aided by a 15% drop in homicides, and another 15% drop in burglaries.
There was good news in other important areas as well. Jail violence is down across the board, with a 33% drop in inmates assaulting each other, a 27% drop in inmates assaulting staff, and a 10% drop in deputies using force against inmates. These figures are a welcome change from five years of increase after increase in jail violence, and they were achieved without changing any reform measures put into place by previous administrations.
The successful hiring and retention of sworn personnel, something that eluded previous administrations, has turned out to be a resounding success, with a healthy 65% increase in hiring over the average of the previous four years. This was achieved by scrupulously adhering to state standards for the hiring of peace officers, and newfound faith in the direction the department is going.
Recruitment and hiring is now a local effort only, ensuring that our deputies are serving the communities they grew up in, and have a vested interest of well-being.
The leadership diversity of the LASD has changed drastically in my first year in office, with women and minorities now occupying every single rung of the hierarchy, something that was impossible in the past. Both the line staff and the leadership of the department are now a true reflection of the rich diversity of Los Angeles County, another singular achievement previously out of reach.
The disciplinary system, long a source of contention between the department and the unions representing the rank-and-file members, is now a model of reform. Policies were introduced to strengthen investigative integrity, ban the formation of subgroups and cliques, and improve accountability, all while honoring due process and procedural justice for the workforce.
What the Times and my critics have failed to recognize is that in order to attract a highly qualified workforce, I have to be a fair and stable employer. A punitive and erratic employer with double standards only results in a flight of deputies to greener pastures – a direct threat to public safety. As my record now shows, I have no reservation terminating employees who fail to uphold the high standards of the Sheriff’s Department.
In 2019 I terminated 30 employees, each one for cause based on evidence, not agendas. I rehired exactly six deputies; all as a correction to bad employment decisions made by the previous administration. The first was rehired based on solid evidence that showed he was both falsely accused and wrongfully terminated. The evidence to rehire was far greater than that used to condemn him. Four of those rehired resulted from an order by the Civil Service Commission, and the last was initiated by one of my predecessors’ division chiefs on the belief that termination was excessive based on the facts of the case.
The Times would have the reader believe all is doom and gloom with the Sheriff’s Department under my command, however the opposite is the case. By removing ICE agents from LASD facilities, rejecting federal grant money in exchange for the database of undocumented inmates, and improving on SB54, we have now seen transfers to ICE custody drop by 53%. At the same time, we have been working closely with advocacy groups such as the Coalition of Humane Immigration Rights Los Angeles, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network, and the Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs, in order to build trust with our many immigrant communities.
I have increased threefold the number of deputies dedicated to our Homeless Outreach Services Team, and we are initiating an engagement model of policing for all of the communities. A policing model which places an emphasis on partnerships, problem-solving, alternatives to incarceration, and using enforcement action as a tool of last resort, not first.
In closing, what I’ve discovered to be true as sheriff runs contrary to the Times’ false narrative. Accountability and exacting performance standards of conduct are no substitute for ethical leadership and caring about the welfare of every employee. One cannot demand deputies respect the constitutional rights of our citizens if their own leadership cannot be trusted to respect theirs. Constitutional policing is a two way street – only when the community and the department work together we can make Los Angeles County a safer place for all. To that end, we did just that in 2019 and look forward to expanding our engagement efforts across all of our sprawling and incredibly diverse jurisdictions. I can only hope and pray that in 2020 the Times Editorial Board finds the courage to be more honest in their coverage of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.