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money reward offered in shooting death of teen boys, athens village 1006 1024 SIB Staff

money reward offered in shooting death of teen boys, athens village

Homicide Bureau detectives announced a $10,000 reward during a press conference on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, in Monterey Park.  The reward was sponsored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District, approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, and offered in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting death of both victims.

A call for service was dispatched late Thursday evening, October 15, 2020, and advised of a vehicle collision in the 100 block of East 124th Street, in an unincorporated community of Athens Village.  The call entailed a vehicle which drove up a curb and crashed into another car, but as deputies from Century Sheriff’s Station responded, the information in the call was upgraded to a shooting incident.

Lieutenant Brandon Dean said detectives determined 17-year-old Jamele Hill was the driver of the vehicle that night; he rode with 16-year-old Millyon Colquitt in the front seat and three friends in the back seat.  Gunshots were fired in their direction in the 12200 block of Maple Avenue, which struck Jamele, Millyon and the vehicle.  Although both boys suffered wounds to the upper torso, Jamele accelerated southbound on Maple Avenue, in an attempt to escape, and collided into a vehicle parked in the driveway of a house on East 124th Street, where his vehicle came to rest.  The three boys in the back ran for their lives but returned to speak with deputies, once the scene was secure.

Jamele and Millyon were both pronounced dead at the scene, while none of the three backseat passengers were injured.

The young victims were high school students and talented sportsmen; Jamele was a varsity football player being scouted by colleges, and Millyon was a varsity basketball player.  The Colquitt family suffered a big loss not long before the shooting, when Millyon’s mother was killed in a vehicle collision, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother.

There is no suspect information.  Detectives and family members of both victims pleaded with the public to come forth with any information to help solve the case.

If you have information about this incident, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile App on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org/.

To view press conference highlights, visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesCountySheriffsDepartment/posts/4107999575893591

Proceeds from patch sales helps shelter and homeless veterans 404 304 SIB Staff

Proceeds from patch sales helps shelter and homeless veterans

Sheriff Villanueva Presents Second Check to Salvation Army – Bell Shelter Veterans

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, Sheriff Alex Villanueva visited the Salvation Army Bell Shelter, located in the city of Bell. This particular location caters to veterans experiencing homelessness, and provides them with shelter and assistance. Some of the services provided include help with substance abuse, vocational education and job assistance.

During the visit, Sheriff Villanueva participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a recreational area dedicated to him for a previous generous donation. In November, 2019, Sheriff Villanueva visited the Bell Shelter for the first time, and presented shelter representatives with a donation of $17,500.  Proceeds for the donation were generated from sales of the LASD Veteran’s Patch, which has a camouflage background design.

With the 2019 donation, the Bell Shelter was able to enhance and upgrade their recreation room with spacious seating adhering to COVID-19 protocols, a tent for small outdoor group sessions, a projector, and large movie screen for easy viewing from a far distance.

Overwhelming sales of the LASD Veteran’s Patch allowed Sheriff Villanueva to present a second check for $17,500 to the Bell Shelter during his 2020 visit, in support of one of the longest-running homeless shelters in the entire nation.

If you are an adult experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, please call (800) 548-6047 or click on the link https://www.lahsa.org/documents?id=2196-lahsa-shelter-list.pdf  
 
Interested in LASD patches? The LASD Veteran’s Patch is available for sale at http://lasdvetpatch.com.   Thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of our homeless veterans!

To close or not to close; consider the victims & families 1024 732 SIB Staff

To close or not to close; consider the victims & families

To Close or Not to Close?  Consider the Victims and Their Families

Patricia Wenskunas, founder and CEO of Crime Survivors, a non-profit advocacy and resource center for crime victims, made a plea to the Board of Supervisors and the public to consider the impact of reducing the 2020-2021 fiscal budget for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).  The $545 million budget cut was recently approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, in response to a shrunken purse after COVID-19, despite the availability of alternative sources of money for government than sales tax. 

In addition to more than 300 pending personnel layoffs, Board members also followed CEO Sachi Hamai’s recommendation to eliminate four important investigative bureaus:   Special Victims Bureau, which investigates crimes against some of the most vulnerable of our population, children and victims of sexual assault, who are victims of atrocities like physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape; Operation Safe Streets, which investigates gang-related crimes, collects gang intelligence and maintains current information on local street gangs; Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, which investigates crimes committed online and various forms of fraud, including identity theft, real estate fraud and wire fraud; and Major Crimes Bureau, which specializes in investigating kidnapping for ransom, illegal medical practices, extortion, solicitation for murder, series and pattern robberies, etc. 

Scrapping these specialized bureaus will cause investigations to be decentralized and conducted at a station-level by detectives whose caseloads are already heavily burdened.  Special Victims Bureau detectives, alone, average 25-30 cases per month, and carry specialized training and valuable experience with them as they leave their positions.

The discussion of these pending losses came during a press conference on Monday, July 6, 2020, at the Sheriff’s Training and Resource Center in Whittier, with Sheriff Alex Villanueva, family members of crime victims, and victim advocates in attendance.  As a victim of attempted murder, Mrs. Wenskunas revealed her very personal encounter with detectives; she spoke in first person of seeing their compassion, dedication and commitment to victims and the community.  She addressed the elimination of the Special Victims Bureau, Major Crimes Bureau, Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, and Operation Safe Streets, and the proposal to close the Men’s Central Jail.

Mrs. Wenskunas addressed the Board of Supervisors directly and thanked them for watching the press conference.  “We need to make sure that victims are provided justice within our legal system,” she said.  “We cannot let these offenders not serve their time and be released back into our communities.”  And yet, with elimination of the specialized investigative bureaus, the closure of a jail facility and the impending release of inmates, “…victims’ voices are not heard.  Who’s speaking about the victims?” she asked, and read a list of crime classifications and numbers of inmates LASD would be forced to let out: 

Murder                                                       1,199

Attempted Murder                                         762

Manslaughter                                                  65

Rape                                                             105

Sexual Assault/Child Molestation                 391

Robbery                                                     1,196

Attempted Robbery                                       194

Carjacking                                                     142

Domestic Violence                                        743

Human Trafficking                                           85

Kidnapping                                                      64

Assault with a Deadly Weapon                   1,717

Arson                                                             178

“This is why we have to oppose them closing the Men’s Central Jail.  This is dangerous, dangerous offenders that will be released back into our communities,” stressed Mrs. Wenskunas.  “It’s unacceptable.  Again, we have no political agenda, here, whatsoever.  This is about victims, and victims and survivors, and their families, and public safety.  Period.”

Malinda Wheeler, owner and president of Forensic Nurse Specialists, has worked with Special Victims Bureau detectives for more than 25 years.  She made the purpose of her participation in the press conference crystal clear:  “I’m here today to advocate for the full-funding, no-cuts of the Special Victims Bureau.”  Early in her career, Mrs. Wheeler found children needed specialized services to get them to talk about their traumatic incidents, only once, and in a legally defensible manner.  With this, she helped form the Children’s Advocacy Center.  “There is no question that a specially-trained, team approach works best for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and sex crimes.  Special Victims Bureau investigators are specially-trained and aware of the sensitivity for handling these cases,” she said.

Ana Estevez, the mother of Armazd “Piqui” Andressian, a five-year-old boy who was suffocated to death by his father in 2017, also advocated for saving the detective bureaus.  She recalled the care and dedication the detectives gave to handling the investigation, and how much it meant to her.  Their tenacity led to the location of the little boy’s body and the father’s conviction.  Mrs. Estevez read a text she sent them on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the anniversary of his body’s discovery, “It has been three years today.  Thank you for bringing my Piqui home,” she said tearily.  She recounted the detectives’ collaboration with other units and agencies who worked tirelessly for 72 days to locate her beloved, lost son. 

Parents of a murdered son, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Walker, recounted the day in 2014 when he was shot to death while waiting for a meal he ordered.  He was 26 years old. 

Mrs. Walker expressed her thanks to detectives who worked on his case and also asked for consideration of the families, as related to the closure of the detective bureaus and jail facility.  “I stand here today to ask that you consider the families of these victims, who are voiceless…” she said.  “Christopher no longer has a voice.  He had a beautiful smile, but you would never see that anymore.”

Mrs. Walker’s voice shook with grief as she addressed those with the power to provide or take away, “I ask you, I pray and I beg of you to consider this father and this mother, this family.  There are many other families like us.  We stand by silently and we don’t really say much ‘cause nobody wants to hear what we have to say.  But, would you, please, consider us as you investigate, as you consider whatever it is that you’re going to do in voting on the reducing of funds for the departments?”

In closing remarks, Sheriff Alex Villanueva recounted the loss of a young girl’s life in a shocking carjacking event, which occurred a day earlier, on Sunday, July 1, 2020, in Pico Rivera.  The suspect, a 26-year-old man on probation, stole a running minivan with four children inside and drove off with the rear sliding door open. Two of the children jumped out and two remained inside the vehicle.  As the vehicle sped, the children were ejected and sustained massive trauma.  The 13-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene and her eight-year-old brother fights for his life in critical condition at a local hospital.  The suspect carjacked two more vehicles before being apprehended by citizens who held him until deputies arrived. 

The suspect was arrested late May, 2020, for felony weapons violation but was released with a citation due to the current zero, emergency bail schedule.  The Sheriff kept in the event’s thread of remembering the victims.  “I heard a lot in the news about ‘Say His Name/Say Her Name,’” he said.  “Well, I will say her name again:  Isabella Cortez.  Let’s not forget her.”

To view the press conference, click: https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesCountySheriffsDepartment/videos/3371808249497035

Sheriff’s statement on sb 1421 compliance 680 380 SIB Staff

Sheriff’s statement on sb 1421 compliance

SB 1421 COMPLIANCE

June 16, 2020

Under my leadership, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is more transparent than ever before.  With greater transparency comes greater accountability.  One area this has been demonstrated is our cooperation with the Citizen Oversight Commission (COC) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). 

In anticipation of the colossal amount of requests for records prior to the bills enactment on January 1, 2019, we requested funding from the Board of Supervisors for additional personnel and computer software to address the added workload created by the SB 1421 mandate.  To date, our requests have been ignored. 

In November 2019, I reorganized the Audit and Accountability Bureau (AAB), on a temporary basis, in order to dedicate resources to the SB 1421 project.  We also implemented a tracking system specifically for COC and OIG requests, to ensure a timely response.  

In the calendar year of 2019, the Department responded to 43 known requests from the COC and OIG.  From January 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020, the Department has responded to 59 of the 62 requests made by the COC and OIG.  

Since November 2019, AAB has received a total of 2,848 requests for review.  As of June 11, 2020, AAB has responded to 75% of the requests.  

The true goals and values of government can be found in how the budget is allocated.  If something is deemed important, the Board of Supervisors has the responsibility and obligation to fully fund it.  Due to our limited staffing and our lack of SB 1421 specified funding, the fulfillment of SB 1421 compliance has been difficult.  We will continue to do the best we can with what we have in place. 

Please visit LASD.org to explore my transparency promise.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

If you have concerns regarding the above, share your voice.  You may contact your Board of Supervisors at the below:
 County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors

Hilda L. Solis
Supervisor, First District
Phone: (213) 974-4111
FirstDistrict@bos.lacounty.gov

Mark Ridley-Thomas
Supervisor, Second District
Phone: (213) 974-2222
MarkRidley-Thomas@bos.lacounty.gov

Sheila Kuehl
Supervisor, Third District
Phone: (213) 974-3333
Sheila@bos.lacounty.gov

Janice Hahn
Supervisor, Fourth District
Phone: (213) 974-4444
FourthDistrict@bos.lacounty.gov

Kathryn Barger – CHAIR
Supervisor, Fifth District
Phone: (213) 974-5555
kathryn@bos.lacounty.gov

Not sure who your Supervisor is?  Click Link to Find Out: http://bos.lacounty.gov/About-Us/Board-of-Supervisors

Sheriff denounces budget cuts – services to be affected 1024 899 SIB Staff

Sheriff denounces budget cuts – services to be affected

Sheriff denounces budget cuts – services to be affected

During a press conference held Monday morning, June 29, 2020, at the Hall of Justice, Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed a large budget cut proposed by Los Angeles County CEO Sachi Hamai for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) 2020-2021 fiscal year, which was voted on and approved later that day by the Board of Supervisors.  On the cusp of reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an all-around tightening of belts because of tax revenue losses incurred from the closure of businesses.  All 34 Los Angeles County government departments will have their budgets reduced, however, it is LASD which will take the largest cut. 

With around 18,000 employees, LASD staffs 15% of the entire county family.  Sheriff Villanueva pointed out the unbalanced distribution of cuts to be imposed on our agency:  Of the 600 proposed county layoffs, more than half of them will be from the Sheriff’s Department, and of the 3,200 vacant positions to be eliminated county-wide, 1,525 will be from the Sheriff’s Department.  The Sheriff, however, cited there are other, steadier sources of money for government than sales tax, such as property tax, which could be directed toward law enforcement and the other 33 county departments, but for a variety of reasons, is not.  “The Board has the ability to fund all of the county government operations, and they need to prioritize public safety,” said Sheriff Villanueva. 

With the Board of Supervisors voting in favor of the defunding proposal and following CEO Hamai’s recommendations, four important investigative bureaus within LASD will be eliminated:  Special Victims Bureau, which investigates crimes against some of the most vulnerable of our population, children and victims of sexual assault, who are victims of atrocities like physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape; Operation Safe Streets, which investigates gang-related crimes, collects gang intelligence and maintains current information on local street gangs; Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, which investigates crimes committed online and various forms of fraud, including identity theft, real estate fraud and wire fraud; and Major Crimes Bureau, which specializes in investigating kidnapping for ransom, illegal medical practices, extortion, solicitation for murder, series and pattern robberies, etc.  Scrapping these specialized bureaus will cause investigations to be decentralized and conducted at a station-level by detectives whose caseloads are already heavily burdened. 

“It’s unconscionable,” said Sheriff Villanueva.  “These are the major detective units of the entire department.  They serve the entire county of Los Angeles.  Those four units…are the cream of the crop of investigative units throughout the entire nation, and as the largest county in the nation, I cannot see how we move forward without these four units,” he said.

At the discretion of the CEO and Board of Supervisors, the four detective bureaus will be eliminated, as well as the Mental Evaluation Team, comprised of soft-clothed deputies and mental health clinicians, who respond in teams of two to calls in the field, to conduct mental health evaluations.  They also provide follow up and support services, respond to incidents such as suicides, school shootings, incidents with barricaded persons, and locate persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and autism who wandered away.

Custody Operations will also be impacted with $50 million already dedicated to fulfill unfunded mandates.  The Department is legally obligated to provide a certain level of programming to our inmate population, and the positions to be eliminated because of budget issues will cause incompliance with federal consent decrees. 

One might argue that if a position is vacant, it wasn’t needed anyway, and won’t be missed if eliminated.  On the contrary, vacant positions across our agency are compulsory and, because of already-existing staff shortages, are filled by paying them as overtime spots, which only compounds budget issues.  Cutting the 2020-2021 budget by $555 million affects the services we provide and takes away vital law enforcement services from everyone.

Detectives seek public’s help to locate Nayeli rodriguez-espain 1024 1013 SIB Staff

Detectives seek public’s help to locate Nayeli rodriguez-espain

Detectives seek public’s help to locate Nayeli rodriguez-espain

Homicide Bureau detectives and family members are seeking assistance in locating Nayeli Rodriguez, a 19-year-old missing woman. The plea for information about her current location was made during a press conference held Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at the Homicide Bureau offices in Monterey Park.

Nayeli Rodriguez, also known as Nayeli Rodriguez-Espain, was last seen at 8:30 A.M. on Thursday, May 21, 2020, in the 1100 block of East Florence Avenue, unincorporated Los Angeles County.  At that time, she wore a blue, short-sleeved t-shirt, black leggings, black tennis shoes, and had a small backpack with green decorations on it.

Before her disappearance, Nayeli anticipated returning to community college in the upcoming semester. She worked to help support her family by selling various items in shopping center parking lots throughout the South Los Angeles area. Since her disappearance, there has been no activity on her cellphone or social media platforms. Detectives searched far and wide to locate Nayeli and determined that neither her relatives who reside locally, nor relatives in México, have heard from her.

Some of Nayeli’s favorite activities are going to the beach and spending time with friends and family. Until May 21, Nayeli was in frequent communication with others close to her and was interactive on social media platforms, making her sudden silence unusual; Nayeli never went missing before and only left home for hours at a time, never days.

“I’m desperate more than ever,” pleaded Nayeli’s mother, Maria Espain, in Spanish during the conference.  “I don’t know the truth.  Help me, please, to find her, or something.  Please.”  “She was a good girl,” said Mrs. Espain.  “I’m asking the public if they have any tips or something to, please, tell us something.  I want my daughter back.”  

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Unit at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google Play or the Apple App Store, or by using the website.

Homicide Bureau detectives and family members are seeking assistance in locating Nayeli Rodriguez, a 19-year-old missing…

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Sheriff Discusses Underfunding, Understaffing 1024 809 SIB Staff

Sheriff Discusses Underfunding, Understaffing

Sheriff Villanueva Discusses Underfunding and Understaffing, Both Dangerous for L.A. County Residents

With overseeing the safety and security needs of more than ten million residents in Los Angeles County –the largest populated county in the nation- Sheriff Alex Villanueva made a startling comparison with the staffing at other policing agencies.

It was during his weekly virtual press conference on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, broadcast from the Hall of Justice that Sheriff Villanueva outlined why staffing levels matter and how being provided an inadequate budget affects it.

Agency                                           Police Officers per 1,000 Residents

Washington D.C. Police Department                        6

New York Police Department                                   4

Chicago Police Department                                     4

Los Angeles Police Department                               2

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department                1 (0.9 actual)

According to the United States Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Justice Information System Division, the average rate of sworn officers is 2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants in the nation, which means LASD is running at almost 63% behind the national average. With the largest population and in times of crisis, this could prove to be a risky and dangerous standard. Proper funding equals proper staffing, both necessary for keeping peace and order during challenging times. 

The Sheriff reiterated his invitation to members of the Board of Supervisors, to meet with him and discuss the LASD budget, concerning the entire Los Angeles County budget, to identify priorities and areas of savings. “How does public safety rate in the priorities of each member of the Board of Supervisors and the CEO’s office?” posed Sheriff Villanueva. “We’re going to work with the Board of Supervisors. We’re going to work with the CEO to make sure that we’re as effective and efficient as possible. However, we cannot perform miracles,” he said.

In response to the underfunding proposal and drastic measures necessary to accommodate it, Sheriff Villanueva announced a new attempt to reorganize the entire agency around a new budget, shrunk by 10% than the actual cost of running it. Despite impending alterations, the Sheriff has extended invitations to meet with the Supervisors and CEO to work together on behalf of the Los Angeles County Community.

The impact of COVID-19 on LASD operations, in direct comparison with the same 2019 time frame, shows a 6.57% drop in violent crimes, with a12.5% hike in criminal homicide and a 30.32% plunge in rape reporting. Property crimes had a 6.13% drop, comprised of -6.69% in burglary, -15-93% in larceny-theft, -4.4% in arson, and 25.05% increase in grand theft auto. 

The numbers of 73 total COVID-19-related arrests since Sunday, March 29, 2020, remained unchanged, as did the four total COVID-19-related arrests. Over the 2020 Memorial Day weekend, there were zero citations and zero arrests. The Sheriff attested not only to the credit of law enforcement personnel but also to members of our community, adhering to physical distancing protocols and compliance with health orders.

There are 380 sworn and 135 civilian staff in quarantine related to COVID-19, totaling 515 personnel. Since its inception, 178 sworn and 69 civilian staff tested positive for the virus. Of all those affected by COVID-19, there were 867 sworn and 414 civilian staff who returned to work.

Inmate COVID-19 statistics revealed a downward trend of 5,163 in current quarantine, 242 isolated, and 182 who tested positive for the virus.

Sheriff announces crime percentage drops 1024 576 SIB Staff

Sheriff announces crime percentage drops

Sheriff Villanueva Announces Statistics for Crime Percentage Drops, and for Personnel and Inmates Affected by COVID-19

During one of his weekly press conferences, broadcast Monday, May 4, 2020, from the Sherman Block Building, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced a 10% total drop in violent crimes, as compared to 2019, with -4% seen in criminal homicides and -33% in rape reporting. Property crimes also fell by 8%. The only noticeable difference, he said, is in grand theft of vehicles, likely increased because of more people staying home and fewer places to park. He recommended neighborhood awareness programs, and calling your local law enforcement agency for area checks and increased visibility.

Since Sunday, March 29, 2020, there were three COVID-19-related citations and 55 arrests.

Personnel quarantined because of COVID-19 totaled 1,185, with 818 of them sworn and 367 civilian. There were 84 sworn and 32 civilian staff who tested positive for the disease. Almost 1,000 employees returned to work, with 689 of them sworn and 310 of them civilian.

Inmates quarantined numbered 3,287, with 183 isolated since the pandemic began, 123 who tested positive, and 55 fully-recovered.

To view this story and watch the press conference on our website, click:  https://www.facebook.com/LosAngelesCountySheriffsDepartment/videos/232234161388254/

lasd budget underfunded by $400 Million 1024 776 SIB Staff

lasd budget underfunded by $400 Million

Sheriff Villanueva Announces LASD Budget Underfunded by $400 Million

During one of his weekly press conferences, broadcast Monday, May 4, 2020, from the Sherman Block Building, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the Board of Supervisors’ release of a portion of frozen service and supply funds, and discussed the impact their recommended 2020-2021 budget would have on our agency and the services we provide. The $3.9 billion it costs to provide law enforcement services, subtracted from the recommended budget of $3.5 billion, would leave a staggering $400 million gap.

The Sheriff outlined what underfunding would mean for the Department and its financial impact:

· Reduction of academy classes from 12 to eight, to offer an approximate $21.9 million savings per year;

· Patrol Division cuts. With 191 positions already going unfunded, 137 of them would be integrated into funded line positions in two phases; first with 35, second with 102, to provide a yearly saving of around $22.8 million;

· Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) cuts. Instead of the intended increase of team members to 40 positions, the currently unfunded ten positions would be slashed to six bodies, which are funded through AB-109. This offers a yearly cost savings of $1.4 million;

· Altadena Sheriff’s Station would be closed, garnering an annual $6.3 million savings;

· Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station would be closed, garnering an annual $5.9 million savings;

· Elimination of other unfunded full-time patrol positions, including:
o Youth Activities League (YAL)
o School resource deputy
o Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA)
o Nuisance abatement
o Community Relations Team
o Search and rescue coordinator

· Parks Bureau would be eliminated. Slashing law enforcement services presently dedicated to providing a safe and drug free environment at all Los Angeles County parks, golf courses and special venues will offer a $32.5 million savings. The areas would become the responsibility of the patrol station in which they lie;

· Community Partnership Bureau (COPS) would be eliminated. COPS teams provide supplemental services to residences in our unincorporated areas, specifically addressing the unique and individual needs of each area by identifying crime trends, and quality of life and crime trends. Cutting this bureau would offer a $30 million savings;

· Curtailment of Detective Division positions. Personnel who investigate some of the most heinous crimes, identify dangerous trends, and create new and updated ways of protection against them would be reassigned to fill a funded vacancy elsewhere in our Department. The savings are clearly substantial:
o Special Victims Bureau, $23.5 million
§ Human trafficking
§ Child abuse
§ Sexual assaults
o Operation Safe Streets (Gang Investigations Bureau), $38.8 million
o Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau, $13.4 million
o Major Crimes Bureau, $22.1 million

While some of these positions are not directly patrol-related, they are part of programs proven to make the communities we serve safer, improve quality of life county-wide, help us sustain life, keep us in direct contact with the public, and help us meet their needs. With a shortage of monies, however, personnel currently assigned to the aforementioned positions will be reassigned, to fill line patrol vacancies and meet basic staffing needs.

With an already-existing vacancy of 712 sworn positions, a budget reduction would reduce academy classes and shrink our agency by an average of 160 deputies per year. “These are not negotiable positions,” said the Sheriff. “These are the line jobs on the Department. These are your deputies working patrol, the deputies working in custody, the detectives out there in the field doing investigations. These are not positions we can just wish away because they’re inconvenient.”

Deficits exist because of large mandatory costs, such as trial court security ($77 million), worker’s compensation ($72.3 million), retirement payouts ($22.7 million), federal lawsuit compliance ($34.9 million), SB-1421 compliance ($3.8 million), and custody mandates ($49.6 million), as well as additional costs for essentials such as helicopter fleet maintenance ($23 million) and mobile radio replacement ($27.4 million).

Sheriff Villanueva covered a variety of topics, with a heavy emphasis on the effects of what a reduced budget will bring. We can tighten our belt and creatively shuffle personnel to alleviate the sting of a fiscal deficit, but ultimately, it is the public who would be impacted by a compromised allowance. And there is no benefit in that.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides LASD Status Update in the Face of COVID-19 – 05/04/2020

PRESS CONFERENCE: Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides LASD Status Update in the Face of COVID-19 05/04/2020

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday, May 4, 2020
Sheriff reassures public amid covid-19 1024 512 SIB Staff

Sheriff reassures public amid covid-19

COVID-19 Sheriff Reassures Residents; “Let’s Be Prepared, Not Scared”

During a press conference on Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Hall of Justice, Sheriff Alex Villanueva stated his reassurance that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is working hard to ensure law enforcement services in the areas we serve remain uninterrupted by the coronavirus.

The County Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) remains open at a Level I status, fully-staffed with knowledgeable experts from other L.A. County departments.  Our Department continues to collaborate with local agencies, monitor world events and provide the most up-to-date information to the public.

Through innovative and creative measures, Sheriff Villanueva was adamant about keeping staff levels up and the inmate population count down.  Staff vacations were cancelled through the end of April to ensure more personnel are on-hand, and those working non-essential assignments can be temporarily moved to custody or patrol assignments to offset and augment manpower shortages.  This decision is particularly helpful for coverage, as a small number of personnel were self-quarantined over the weekend. 

The Sheriff raised the aggregate bail amount for booking inmates raised from $25,000 to $50,000, which allows more people to receive citations, rather than get booked into custody.  This reduces the number of people entering our jail facilities, therefore lowering chances of the virus being introduced into that environment.  Out of the 16,459 inmates in today’s morning count, there were zero confirmed cases of coronavirus.  Nine inmates are in isolation housing, 21 inmates are in quarantine at Men’s Central Jail, and five inmates are in quarantine at Twin Towers Correctional Facility. 

Personal protective equipment was issued to field personnel.  Inventory of these supplies was bulked-up, with a likely request to follow for the release of Service and Supply funds, to address the ongoing need for more items, such as masks, gloves, goggles, and sanitizer.  Patrol station and custody facility unit commanders were directed to sanitize their stations and jails as a preventative measure.  Personnel are reminded to be cognizant of hand-washing, don personal protective equipment, covering sneezes, not touching their faces, and practice social distancing while off-duty.

Despite all county buildings being ordered to close their doors to the public, Sheriff Villanueva directed all patrol stations to keep their lobbies open.  He encouraged the use of online reporting for non-emergent, qualifying incidents, as outlined here:  http://shq.lasdnews.net/shq/SORTS/sorts_intro.aspx or calling your local patrol station.  He also asked that those who must visit a patrol station for services, such as regularly-scheduled child custody exchanges or compliance check-ins, to notify deputies if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms, fever or respiratory illness so they can take precautionary measures. 

Residents are reminded to follow protective protocols prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as found here:    https://bit.ly/3d6fDAQ and here:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html

As events occur, information regarding public safety and other services will be provided by our agency and updated on several platforms.  Please monitor our social media sites, @LASDHQ on Twitter, @LosAngelesCountySheriffDepartment on Facebook, and our https://lasd.org/ website for up-to-date information.

Stay connected, remain composed and we will get through this together.

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Sheriff Alex Villanueva to discuss Safety Precautions regarding COVID-19

Sheriff Alex Villanueva to discuss Safety Precautions regarding COVID-19

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday, March 16, 2020