Sheriff Villanueva Closes Out First Year in Office
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.