In Los Angeles County we have a Board of Supervisors who repeatedly call to empty the jails and release felons back onto the streets; a District Attorney who refuses to prosecute many misdemeanors and has effectively de-criminalized a myriad of crimes through his special directives; a homeless problem in excess of 80K which continues to grow without solutions; a 54% increase in homicides; and all this occurred as LASD was defunded and stripped of 1,400 positions.
These reckless actions in the name of “woke-ism” have real-world consequences and public safety continues to suffer as a result. Continuing to defund LASD when there is a $2 billion surplus forces us to make tough choices regarding the allocation of resources. When a decision must be made between responding to a violent felony in progress or serving as the “vaccine mandate police,” the choice is simple.
The Department will continue requiring all of our employees to register with the Fulgent system but will only seek voluntary compliance and testing for the unvaccinated.
Fentanyl Awareness: Remember, one bad choice can cost you your life.
Fentanyl is a pharmaceutical drug that was created to help patients with pain management. It is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.
Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous and deadly substances ever produced. Illicit drug manufacturers and distributors discovered fentanyl offers a very effective replacement filler or supplement to street level drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, in 2020, Los Angeles County had a significant increase in opioid deaths. 1,173 deaths involved fentanyl. As of May 2021, there were 567 deaths in Los Angeles County related to fentanyl overdoses, which is an approximate increase of 57%, from the 395 fentanyl related deaths in the first five months of 2020. – https://www.dea.gov/
The best way to help combat the Fentanyl drug problem is through awareness and education. #LASD asks that you please take the time to educate your children and loved ones on the dangers of not just Fentanyl, but all drugs! Remember, one bad choice can cost you your life.
Detectives Seek Public’s Assistance in Locating Suspect Wanted for Murder
On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Joseph Dambra, who is wanted for shooting and killing a family member in the City of San Dimas. Dambra is a White, 62 year old, male, 5’10” and weighs 215 lbs.
On Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at approximately 7:02 p.m., Dambra drove to a family member’s residence located on the 200 block of Valley Center in the City of San Dimas, and shot and killed his brother Richard Dambra. After the shooting, he fled the location going southbound on Valley Center Drive and drove to another residence located on the 500 block of East Allen Avenue in the city of San Dimas an shot his brother’s unoccupied vehicle several times. After the second shooting, he fled the location in an unknown direction.
Dambra was last seen traveling northbound on the 15 Freeway near the 210 Freeway driving a red and white Ducati motorcycle with a California license plate number 24T1111. Dambra is considered armed and dangerous. People should use extreme caution if they see him, do not approach. Instead, contact your local law enforcement authorities immediately.
If you have information on his whereabouts, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, Detective Blagg or Sergeant V. Choi 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/.
SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA UNVEILS THE LASD PINK PATCH PROJECT SUV TO RAISE AWARENESS DURING BREAST CANCER MONTH
On Monday, October 4, 2021, in an ongoing effort to increase public awareness about the fight against breast cancer, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva unveiled the LASD Pink Patch Project SUV in front of the iconic Hall of Justice. Sheriff Villanueva also announced he authorized wearing the LASD Pink Patch during the month of October for all personnel who wear uniforms with a shoulder patch.
The Pink Patch Project is a collaborative effort between the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association (LACPCA) and over 500 public safety agencies throughout the United States. As part of this program, participating agencies sell their commemorative pink patches not only to public safety personnel but also to the community. In addition to pink patches, other merchandise, including T-shirts, challenge coins, and stuffed animals, is sold to generate funds. Last year face masks were added to the list. Proceeds from the sale of these items go to fund breast cancer education, research, and treatment. This year, proceeds of all the money raised from the sales of the Pink Patch merchandise will be going to the Pomona Valley Hospital Breast Care Center.
This year, Deputy Francisco Herrera and two volunteers, Edwin Escobar and Christian Escobar, designed the Pink Patch Project SUV. They donated approximately 200 hours of labor to honor their mother and to raise awareness for the terrible disease. The graphics were donated by LA Banners Print Company.
Please visitwww.lasdpatch.com to purchase pink patches and other merchandise. Proceeds from the sale of these items will directly benefit the Pomona Valley Hospital Breast Care Center.
Yesterday, AB 958 was signed into law! I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation, which is based on the current Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department policy I implemented in February of this year.
Our current Department policy is consistent with this new law and is already being enforced. This law will serve to foster organizational change and hold employees to a higher standard of conduct. We must remain hyper vigilant that benign subgroups do not devolve into cliques that may dishonor the badge.
I thank Assemblymember Mike Gipson for championing this legislation and Governor Gavin Newsom for signing it into law.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS MISSUSE OF CORONER INQUESTShttps://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Sheriff_Statment_Header_2021-1024x249.jpg1024249SIB StaffSIB Staffhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d17acab79bb8806a81f70b6402a24315?s=96&d=blank&r=g
The Board of Supervisors (Board) has voted to open a coroner inquest on three Deputy-Involved Shooting (DIS) cases (Mr. Dana Mitchell “Malik” Young, Jr., Mr. Samuel Herrera, Jr. and Mr. Dijon Kizzee). What is difficult to understand is for what logical reason.
All completed internal criminal investigations are submitted to the Office of the District Attorney – Justice System Integrity Division (JSID), as well the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Going forward, my intent is to share force investigations handled by the Homicide Bureau with OIG, shortly after they are given to JSID, unless JSID objects to preserve the integrity of the investigation, or on the following grounds: (1) disclosure would endanger the safety of a person involved in the investigation; (2) the completion of the active criminal investigation would be jeopardized; or (3) the privacy interest outweighs the interests of the disclosure.
Additionally, all three of these cases have been publicly posted for some time at LASD.ORG with the official finalized coroner reports, incident summaries, and names of involved deputies. In the case of Mr. Kizzee, video footage of the DIS and video of the press conference are also available to the public.
Note: Due to the Board’s funding delay tactics, the Department was not yet equipped with body-worn cameras (BWC) at the time of these incidents, therefore no BWC footage exists.
A coroner inquest can only address the question of circumstance, manner, and cause of death. In all three of these cases, those questions have already been determined and the cases are with JSID to decide if the deputies’ actions were lawful.
Although a coroner inquest may provide for good political theater from which to launch political attacks, this will be a colossal waste of tax dollars and will not provide one single shred of new information. Additionally, these actions may serve to jeopardize any criminal case which could be determined by JSID.
The Board should address the real problem; why does it take so many years for JSID to make a decision as to the lawfulness of each DIS? I have already publicly called on the DA to issue a letter of opinion on each DIS within 90 days of the case being submitted, and I ask the Board to join me.
All loss of life is tragic and our hearts go out to the family and friends of Mr. Young, Mr. Herrera, and Mr. Kizzee. It is painful to see the Board exploit tragedies for their political agenda.
Family members seek help for Estephan hernandezhttps://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/IMG_4905-1024x743.jpg1024743SIB StaffSIB Staffhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d17acab79bb8806a81f70b6402a24315?s=96&d=blank&r=g
On the 4th Anniversary of the Murder of honor student, Estephan Hernandez, Homicide detectives and family members seek public’s help
On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Homicide Bureau detectives held a press conference in front of a makeshift memorial where Estephan Hernandez was murdered exactly four years ago. Lieutenant Brandon Dean announced a $10,000 reward in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for taking the life of Estephan. The reward is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Four years ago today, on Thursday evening, September 28, 2017, Estephan sat in his car, chatting with a female friend. The car was parked in a residential neighborhood in the 1100 block of East 148th Street, Compton, and as the pair talked, unknown assailants in a passing black sedan shot several rounds at their car. The suspect vehicle fled the scene and drove westbound on East 148th Street, away from the victims and out of view.
“We’re now in his fourth anniversary. We do this every year to remember our son. Please, if anyone knows something, speak up. Don’t stay quiet so that no mother endures what I’ve been suffering every day of my life,” said Estephan’s mom, Lydia Gonzales, in Spanish.
At the time of his death, Estephan was a 21-year-old honor roll student at Cal State University, Long Beach, pursuing a degree in Sociology. He was a compassionate person who wanted to see his contemporaries succeed, and devoted much of his time to mentor other minority students. With great ambition and a passion to help others, Estephan would undoubtedly have made a difference in his community and in people’s lives but his life was senselessly cut short.
It is unknown if Estephan was targeted or if it was a random act, but what is known is that he had no ties to any gang. “He was a great individual, good student. He wanted to be a counselor. Another thing he did was, he was a group mentor for incoming students in the college,” said Lieutenant Dean. If you have information about this senseless murder, please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or 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/.
Sheriff Villanueva Responds to the RAND Report and Discusses Reforms in the Sheriff’s Departmenthttps://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/i-tqWFJLs-X3-1024x683.jpg1024683SIB StaffSIB Staffhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d17acab79bb8806a81f70b6402a24315?s=96&d=blank&r=g
On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference at the Hall of Justice to respond to the recent RAND Report. Sheriff Villanueva read 188 pages of the report and under his “Rebuild, Reform, and Restore” campaign, out of the 37 recommendations that were identified, LASD had 30 of those recommendations actively in place prior to the release of the report. The remaining 7 are under review and some of them involve training which requires funding. It is important to note that the cost of providing 8 hours of training to the Department is approximately $7.2 million, and the current budget does not allow it.
Sheriff Villanueva noted that implementing significant reforms does not happen overnight and correcting 50 years of failed leadership will take time. He focused on reforms that have taken place under his leadership such as the Deputy Cliques Policy (MPP3-01/50.83). It is a policy that did not exist before and it took effect on February of the year 2020.
As a result of the George Floyd murder, the Duty to Intervene Policy (MPP 3-01/030.14) was implemented. The Department had a policy that was subject to interpretation but this new policy leaves no doubt that Department members shall intervene and report an incident when they observe a serious violation of any Department policy. Failure to intervene may result in criminal prosecution.
Other important policies that have been initiated are:
Protections Against Retaliation for Reporting Misconduct Policy – (MPP3-01/030.22)
Threat Assessment of Department Personnel Following Involvement in Significant Incidents (Detective Division Order 21-2)
Transparency Promise (all information the Department can lawfully share is on the website)
Body Worn Cameras (20 out of 23 stations are now using body worn cameras and in two more months, all stations will have them.)
Sheriff Villanueva announced that a total of 874 personnel have been disciplined from December 3, 2018 to September 13, 2021, and out of that number, 120 have been given Letters of Intent to Discharge. He emphasized that he has held employees accountable, but one thing he does not do is prosecute, as that is the job of the District Attorney. LASD is responsible for criminal investigations and those are turned over to the D.A. and those investigations sometimes sit with the D.A. for years.
He also noted the report contradicted itself, stating at one point deputy cliques were still actively adding members (p.xi), while later saying they did not seem to be actively adding members (p.97). Print news media widely used the first statement while completely ignoring the latter.
“With all the negative press associated with the deputy subgroups, with the efforts that I’ve done, my administration has done, putting the policy, enforcing the policy, creating a video that every single member of the department had to see, they had to sign an attestation form, and it goes into each individual’s personnel jacket. None of this was mentioned in the RAND study. Why? Because they were not interested in the truth, that’s the sad reality,” said Sheriff Villanueva.
Sheriff Villanueva pointed out a statement he found troubling: “Community leaders and members were mostly critical of current department leadership, expressing concerns about a lack of transparency, a lack of trust, and a culture of aggressive policing” (p.161, p.xii). “I read through the entire report and did not find a single reference comparing current Department leadership and past Department leadership, not one, So, how did they come up with one?” asked Sheriff Villanueva.
It was later discovered that the Civilian Oversight Commission, which is appointed by the Board of Supervisors, provided people who had participated in focus groups in the process of gathering information. If the information had been drawn from the public at large, it would have been a rather fair report but the information came from people that were biased against the Department.
The RAND Report is the first of its kind entirely devoted to LASD sub-groups. The actual cost of the report was over $1 million and there was also a $1.5 million in property tax forgiveness that the County bequeathed to the Santa Monica-based RAND Institute.
PUBLIC CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONShttps://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Sheriff_Statment_Header_2021-1024x249.jpg1024249SIB StaffSIB Staffhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d17acab79bb8806a81f70b6402a24315?s=96&d=blank&r=g
Tomorrow, a local newspaper will release a story about the department’s long overdue creation of a Public Corruption Unit. The Sheriff’s Department has been conducting public corruption investigations for decades under every single sheriff, but it has never been formalized until recently. The department has been investigating multiple complaints of public malfeasance since I took office in December of 2018, which is well within the authority of the department consistent with California Government Code Section 25303 and 26600. As a matter of fact, the California Constitution bestows investigative authority to the Office of the Sheriff as an independently elected official, and who is not subordinate to any other elected official in the county. This is of particular significance when the community is demanding transparency and accountability from all elected and appointed officials. No one is above the rule of law.
In the article, the reporter will push the narrative that I created this team to attack my political opponents and their appointees. This is false. The sole responsibility of the Sheriff’s Department is to investigate allegations of criminal conduct as they are discovered, regardless of how inconvenient it may be to the subject of the investigation. The unit is supervised by the Undersheriff, and I have recused myself from all decision making to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The department routinely seeks out the opinion of the District Attorney, the State Attorney General’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to decide jurisdictional issues and appropriate prosecutorial venues on all cases.
LASD Remembers and honors the 20th anniversary of 9/11https://lasd.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Post_911.jpg900900SIB StaffSIB Staffhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/d17acab79bb8806a81f70b6402a24315?s=96&d=blank&r=g