Statements

LA County Health Officer order to mask while indoors 1024 249 SIB Staff

LA County Health Officer order to mask while indoors

LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER ORDER MODIFICATION MASKING WHILE INDOORS

July 16, 2021

Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has authority to enforce the order, but the underfunded/defunded Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will not expend our limited resources and instead ask for voluntary compliance.  We encourage the DPH to work collaboratively with the Board of Supervisors and law enforcement to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Potential Release of Sexually Violent Predator Calvin Grassmier into the Crescenta Valley Community 1024 249 SIB Staff

Potential Release of Sexually Violent Predator Calvin Grassmier into the Crescenta Valley Community

POTENTIAL RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR CALVIN GRASSMIER INTO THE CRESCENTA VALLEY COMMUNITY

As the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, my primary concern is for the safety and security of the residents of our communities. Releasing violent sexual predators, such as Calvin Grassmier, into our communities makes us all less safe, as well as places an unnecessary burden on public safety resources. I urge the Superior Court to look at alternative areas where Calvin Grassmier can be placed, other than residential communities in Los Angeles.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Picture of Sheriff Villanueva in uniform stading infront of the LASD Memorial Wall addressing the camera.
Sheriff’s Message – Duty to Cooperate 900 545 SIB Staff

Sheriff’s Message – Duty to Cooperate

Sheriff’s Message – Duty To Cooperate

Transparency, accountability, and service to others are the foundations of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. As peace officers, we have to preserve personal credibility, integrity and not bring discredit to the profession while serving our communities both on and off duty. If any Department member has information alleging misconduct or wrongdoing by other Department members, it is their duty to report the information to a supervisor immediately. A failure to do so is a violation of policy. It goes against our core values and mission. If someone has knowledge of another department member’s involvement in such behavior and does not immediately report it, they are also liable and treated as such. Any department member who is subjected to or witnesses harassment or a violation of department policy or law may report the matter to:

· The lasd.org website  

· Report anonymously to 1-800-698-TALK  

· Any department supervisor or manager  

· Your respective union or bargaining unit  

· The Intake Specialist Unit  

· California Department of Fair Employment and Housing  

· Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission   

· Los Angeles County Equity Oversight Panel  

· Office of the Inspector General

Readiness for the possibility of civil unrest 1024 249 SIB Staff

Readiness for the possibility of civil unrest

Readiness for the possibility of civil unrest

April 16, 2021

In readiness for potential civil disturbances related to the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, coupled with the recent national attention regarding several high profile shootings, and to meet the operational needs of Los Angeles County, we are in constant communication with our state and local law enforcement partners as to their state of readiness, which includes contingency planning with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and California National Guard. At this time, no direct request has been made of the California National Guard, because that can only be done when there is a specific mission to request and assign. But through our preparation, any possible lag time to mobilize should be significantly reduced.

I strongly support the First Amendment and the people’s right to protest, but if these actions become violent or shift into lawlessness, then swift and decisive action will be taken to protect life, protect property, and maintain civil order. This will be accomplished in a fair, firm, and impartial manner, in accordance with the law and 21st century policing concepts.

I believe in the important role the press plays in truth and transparency, as such my personnel are directed to support them in their duties, but that support does not extend into allowing members of the media to become part of the problem once an assembly has been declared unlawful. I strongly encourage members of the press to seek out supervisory personnel and identify yourselves, so they are aware of your status and can more easily support you in your mission.

We the people can exercise our First Amendment rights peacefully, without the need for violence and destruction.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

DOJ NON-CRIMINAL “PATTERN AND PRACTICE” INVESTIGATION 1024 249 SIB Staff

DOJ NON-CRIMINAL “PATTERN AND PRACTICE” INVESTIGATION

DOJ NON-CRIMINAL “PATTERN AND PRACTICE” INVESTIGATION

January 22, 2021

As Sheriff, I look forward to this non-criminal “pattern and practice” investigation. Our Department may finally have an impartial, objective assessment of our operations, and recommendations on any areas we can improve our service to the community.  During my administration, we have routinely requested the State Office of the Attorney General to monitor our investigations, and we will provide immediate access to all information in our possession.  We are eager to get this process started, in the interest of transparency and accountability.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

U.S. CAPITOL INCIDENT ALLEGEDLY INVOLVING OFF-DUTY DEPUTY 1024 249 SIB Staff

U.S. CAPITOL INCIDENT ALLEGEDLY INVOLVING OFF-DUTY DEPUTY

U.S. CAPITOL INCIDENT ALLEGEDLY INVOLVING OFF-DUTY DEPUTY

January 14, 2021

As I indicated today during my Instagram/Facebook live briefing, I am very concerned one of my deputies may have been involved in wrongdoing at the U.S. Capitol. Upon learning, I contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and briefed them. Additionally, we have initiated an administrative inquiry into the matter. Anyone with additional information, please contact LASD.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Sheriff Comments BOS Motion 57H 680 380 SIB Staff

Sheriff Comments BOS Motion 57H

SHERIFF’S COMMENTS – BOS Motion 57-H

10/27/2020

Good Morning and thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my voice with you and the community.

Regarding this motion, I can agree with two things; accountability and transparency are of the utmost importance. The facts show, I have been more transparent, more accountable, and have offered greater access to the members of our communities than any prior LA County Sheriff.

As you recall, SB 1421 now requires police agencies across the state to release documents that were once considered confidential. As a result, these requests have skyrocketed and the previous administration did not leave any infrastructure in place to meet the avalanche of requests. We requested funding for required compliance staffing and software on six separate occasions from the previous CEO, but were denied each time. Providing this funding will greatly increase the speed and efficiency of these requests.

Transparency and accountability do not come cheap, they are expensive. This is why I have fought so hard regarding budgetary issues. My vision for changing the organizational culture is much more difficult when we are forced to eliminate non-essential positions due to a lack of funding.

The vast majority of problems which have been raised regarding transparency and accountability can be easily solved with a new Memorandum of Agreement between the Sheriff’s Department and the Office of the Inspector General. I whole-heartedly commit to work with you in good faith to achieve this goal.

I request the Board direct the Inspector General to report back on all of the deputy involved shootings that he has participated in since 2014, at the inception of his office. His office has been in each walk-through with the homicide investigators. They’ve attended each Critical Incident Review. Every single Executive Force Review Committee. And, have received the entire deputy involved shooting packet that is provided to the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s office. But we have never ever heard back from the Inspector General on a single one of these incidents. Which is important for us, because in case we’re doing something wrong, we need a different perspective, how we can improve, either our service to the community or the quality of our investigations, and to date, we have never received that. All that being said, we are a County family and when there is collaboration we can do great things. Case in point… Body Worn Cameras!

Before the Board votes on this motion, I urge each supervisor to meet with me privately. Let’s set aside the past and work out our differences. This is what good leaders do in trying times like these, because elected office is not about our own likes and dislikes, it is about the people we were elected to serve. I look forward to finding common ground we can all stand together on in the interest of public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Thank you for your time.

Truth about LASD 680 380 SIB Staff

Truth about LASD

THE TRUTH ABOUT LASD
October 16, 2020

On December 3, 2018, I was sworn into office on a promise to Reform, Rebuild, and Restore the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  After twenty-two months, one pandemic, civil unrest, and an unsupportive political establishment, I can report that we have done exactly that: reform a massive operation where previous sheriffs failed.

ICE has been removed from the jails, patrol stations, and courthouses.  There is a permanent moratorium on all transfers of undocumented inmates to ICE custody.  Federal SCAAP grant funds, previously taken in exchange for selling out the undocumented inmate database, have been summarily rejected.  These milestones alone set me apart from my predecessors, but we didn’t stop there.

Body-worn cameras are now here to stay.  We created a financially feasible program, lobbied hard for its funding, and are now deploying the cameras in the field.  This was my commitment during the campaign and a cornerstone of the LASD’s transparency promise, which now puts all legally permissible information directly in the hands of the community.  The department’s website, lasd.org, now has all information previously hidden from the public’s view, including data on deputy-involved shootings, discipline, conditions of confinement in the jail system, and the impact of COVID-19, along with the entire organization’s rules and regulations.

In a bold departure from past practice, all deputy-involved shootings are thoroughly debriefed and made public at the earliest possible stage of the investigation, including video and physical evidence.  Even during these tragic events, the department reaches out and engages the families involved, along with local civic and religious leaders.  In an effort to ensure the department is a reflection of the community, I banned all out of state recruitment, focusing instead on recruiting and hiring from our own communities.

My efforts at diversity did not end at the entry-level, that was just the beginning.  We’ve redone the entire process to select station commanders, giving civic leaders a major role in the selection process.   All deputies are now required to serve a minimum of four years in their first patrol assignment before being eligible to promote or transfer, cementing my commitment to community policing and changing the culture of the LASD from an enforcement model to an engagement model.  This is a major shift in law enforcement thinking, where the old warrior mindset is now giving way to a focus on community engagement and collaborative problem-solving.

The LASD’s good ole’ boys network is officially DEAD.  I promoted the first two Latinas to the position of Assistant Sheriff and had both serving at the same time.  There are now four female division chiefs, another first, and for the first time in the history of the department, the leadership ranks are now a truly accurate reflection of the rich diversity of our community.  In 2019 alone, I hired over 1,100 deputy sheriff trainees, a huge turnaround for a recruitment and hiring effort that was dead in the water under my predecessor’s administration.  On January 1, 2021, the minimum education standard to apply to become a deputy sheriff will be raised to an Associate’s Degree, the first time this standard has ever been raised.

Before the pandemic struck in March, we took the initiative in February and started a deliberate effort to decompress the nation’s largest jail system.  Working in collaboration with all the criminal justice partners, we released five thousand inmates over the span of the next three months, and in the process established a template for the entire nation to follow.  As a direct result of our aggressive efforts in fighting the COVID-19 threat, we saw only a handful of fatalities and a small positivity rate, all the more remarkable considering the sheer size of our system.

The issue of deputy cliques has long befuddled my predecessors, with reports of misconduct by members of these subgroups stretching back fifty years.  As the first and only sheriff to hold employees accountable for participating in these harmful groups, I implemented a policy that bans their formation and participation in activities that harm the public or their fellow employees.  After transferring dozens of employees, I completed both criminal and administrative investigations that led to the suspension or termination of twenty-six department members.  To date, 68 employees have been terminated, and another 60 internal criminal investigations have resulted in 15 employees being charged by the District Attorney’s Office, based on our own investigations – accountability at its core.

There have been unprecedented challenges, from the tragedy of the helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others in Calabasas.  I created a new policy that protects the dignity of the deceased at crash sites, and sponsored AB 2655, which was signed into law by Governor Newsom last month.  This legislation makes it a crime to take photos of the deceased from accident sites without an authorized purpose. 

We have experienced the tragic Saugus High School shooting, several controversial deputy-involved shootings, and the horrific ambush of our two deputies at the Compton Pax, which captured the attention of the nation due to the heroic efforts of our deputies in overcoming adversity.  In all of these challenges, we rose to the occasion as a team.

The civil unrest that followed the senseless murder of George Floyd resulted in widespread arson, looting, and vandalism across Los Angeles County, but damage was conspicuously absent from all areas patrolled by deputy sheriffs.  This was not by chance.  While protecting the rights of peaceful protestors to assemble and march, we were able to identify and detain those who were using the protests as a cover for riotous actions.

In closing, I will say to those members of the political establishment who wish to lead the charge and demand my resignation, let’s start working together to build a brighter future for all.  To that end, I will continue to maintain laser-focused on serving the community and would love to be joined by the Board of Supervisors in better serving our communities.

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

PEACEFUL PROTESTS OF SOLIDARITY 680 380 SIB Staff

PEACEFUL PROTESTS OF SOLIDARITY

PEACEFUL PROTESTS OF SOLIDARITY

October 16,2020

“The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is monitoring the violence unfolding between Azerbaijan and Armenia which, while, 7,200 miles away from Los Angeles, is of extreme and immediate importance to so many within our community. We hear you and we understand.

In fact, Los Angeles County is home to more people of Armenian descent than anywhere in the world outside of Armenia itself.

We witness, denounce and condemn the violence and attacks occurring upon civilians in Artsakh. 

We welcome peaceful protests of solidarity here in Los Angeles and stand with you in our shared demand for peace.

MAX HUNTSMAN OMITS THE FACTS ONCE AGAIN 680 380 SIB Staff

MAX HUNTSMAN OMITS THE FACTS ONCE AGAIN

MAX HUNTSMAN OMITS THE FACTS ONCE AGAIN

October 5, 2020

Today, I learned of the latest Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.  Conspicuously absent from the report is the fact the OIG had multiple opportunities to address the “Banditos” issue during the four years under my predecessor but chose to remain silent.  This is because his job as a political appointee is to do whatever the Board instructs him to do.  Mr. Huntsman now claims the past is the present, while willfully omitting all of the progress which has been made.  His actions are purely politically driven and an attempt to undermine the reputation of the Department.

The report alleges investigators did not conduct a thorough investigation into the Kennedy Hall deputy on deputy fight.  This is false.  Both criminal and administrative investigations were conducted where investigators interviewed over 70 involved parties and witnesses in the case.  In addition, this case was submitted to the District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division (JSID) for their review and their office concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

The facts are that immediately after taking office, I relieved the East Los Angeles Station captain of his command, overhauled the entire leadership of the station, and transferred 36 personnel.  In February of 2020, I became the first and only sheriff to successfully implement a policy specifically addressing employee groups which violate the rights of other employees or members of the public.

On August 13, 2020, at the conclusion of the Kennedy Hall fight between deputies investigation, I held a press conference to publish the results of the investigation for the public.  Twenty-six deputies involved in that early morning fight were either suspended or terminated.  As has become his pattern, Mr. Huntsman seems to have once again intentionally omitted facts which do not further his political agenda. 

Please view our August 13, 2020, press conference: 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva

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

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