THE COUNTY CONTINUES TO DEFUND LAW ENFORCEMENT
October 1, 2020
On September 29, 2020, the Board of Supervisors continued their campaign to defund the LASD by approving a supplemental budget which eliminates an additional $105M from an already depleted budget. This money is being diverted to support criminal offender support programs such as the Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) initiative, at the expense of patrol, detective, and custody resources that keep the community safe.
The Board has a long history of underfunding the Department’s budget. This $105M budget cut follows last year’s cuts and has resulted in the elimination of 1,281 budgeted positions. Some of the positions defunded were Youth Activities League (YAL) Deputies, School Resource Deputies, Crime Prevention Teams, and Detective positions. The reductions applied to Custody will now result in the closure of a medium security jail and the transfer of 700 inmates to other facilities, increasing the risk of COVID-19 exposure throughout the entire jail system. Additionally, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas made a motion to defund our budget an additional $23.9M and eliminate the presence of our deputies in all Los Angeles County parks, which will have a devastating impact to public safety and the community’s willingness to use our parks.
Bottom Line: Major cities all over the U.S. are being vandalized and burned by those committed to violence; it is against all logic and common sense for our elected officials to defund public safety. I believe the “defund movement” is the priority of a small number of radical special interest groups, not the majority of Los Angeles County residents.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva