Posts Tagged :

2020

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Sheriff extends County-wide curfew for LA County 600 128 SIB Staff

Sheriff extends County-wide curfew for LA County

Sheriff Villanueva Extends County-Wide Curfew for Los Angeles County

At the direction of Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the county-wide curfew was renewed.  Effective at 6:00 P.M. on Monday, June 1, 2020, through 6:00 A.M. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County shall adhere to staying off public streets, avenues, boulevards, places, walkways, alleys, parks or any public areas or unimproved private realty within Los Angeles County, between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. the following day.  The county may renew, amend or extend this order, in accordance with California Government Code section 8634 and County Code section 2.68.150.

This order does not apply to peace officers, fire fighters, and National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area, individuals traveling to and from work, people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter, and individuals seeking medical treatment.  On Monday, June 1, 2020, the order was amended to include credentialed members of the media involved in media gathering.

In the event the county curfew is more stringent than a resident’s local curfew order, the county curfew will supersede it.  In other words, if a resident’s local curfew order is 8:00 P.M., the 6:00 P.M. county curfew supersedes it; if the local order is 4:00 P.M., the local order still stands. 

Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, as provided by LACC section 2.68.320 or any applicable state or municipal law.

Because of the dangers which often occur under cover of darkness and the difficulty to preserve public safety during these hours, a curfew was ordered, as allowed by Government Code Section 8634, and signed by Chair Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

The order was transmitted not only through media and social media platforms, but through a wireless alert system called Wireless Emergency Alerts, also known as WEA.  In the event of a public safety emergency, authorized government authorities can broadcast pertinent information directly to the public through their wireless carriers. 

For more information about WEA, visit the Federal Communications Commission website at:  https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/wireless-emergency-alerts-wea

Executive Order of the Chair of The County of Los Angels Board of Supervisors – PDF

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Sheriff orders County-wide Curfew for LA County 600 128 SIB Staff

Sheriff orders County-wide Curfew for LA County

Sheriff Villanueva Orders County-Wide Curfew for Los Angeles County

In the midst of national chaos, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proclaimed the existence of a local emergency:  Civil unrest.  The effects of public calamity caused disaster and extreme peril to the safety of people and property.  Because of the dangers which often occur under cover of darkness and the difficulty to preserve public safety during these hours, a curfew was ordered, as allowed by Government Code Section 8634, and signed by Chair Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

At the direction of Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and until further notification, a county-wide curfew was imposed.  Effective as of 6:00 P.M., Sunday, May 31, 2020, until Monday, June 1, 2020 at 6:00 A.M., all incorporated and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County shall adhere to staying off public streets, avenues, boulevards, places, walkways, alleys, parks or any public areas or unimproved private realty within Los Angeles County, between the hours of 6:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. the following day.  The county may renew, amend or extend this order, in accordance with California Government Code section 8634 and County Code section 2.68.150.

This order does not apply to peace officers, fire fighters, and National Guard or other military personnel deployed to the area, individuals traveling to and from work, people experiencing homelessness and without access to a viable shelter, and individuals seeking medical treatment.

In the event the county curfew is more stringent than a resident’s local curfew order, the county curfew will supersede it.  In other words, if a resident’s local curfew order is 8:00 P.M., the 6:00 P.M. county curfew supersedes it; if the local order is 4:00 P.M., the local order still stands.  

Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 or by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both, as provided by LACC section 2.68.320 or any applicable state or municipal law.

Executive Order of the Chair of The County of Los Angels Board of Supervisors – PDF

Ceremonial flame in front of the Memorial wall
Sheriff Hosts 51st Annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony 600 750 SIB Staff

Sheriff Hosts 51st Annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony

Sheriff Villanueva Hosts 51st Annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony in Virtual, Streamed Event

Despite the circumstances of physical distancing due to COVID-19, the 51st annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony was observed, to pay tribute to law enforcement partners lost in the line of duty and formally enroll six new names to the memorial wall, located at the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services (STARS) Center in Whittier.

The Los Angeles County Peace Officers’ Memorial Wall was first dedicated on Friday, May 15, 1970 at Biscailuz Center Training Academy by Sheriff Peter J. Pitchess.  When the wall was first erected, there were 253 names on it; today, it displays 533.  It serves as a constant reminder that we owe these men and women for their noble sacrifice, a debt which can never be fully paid.  The wall is not just a place where we recognize the fallen, but where we also recognize and remember those they left behind.  It is as much in honor of our heroes, as it is for their loved ones who gave the full measure of their devotion and remind us of the sacrifice of the ones who meant so much to them.

Most recently and regrettably lost:

Officer Juan Jose Diaz

Los Angeles Police Department

E.O.W. July 27, 2019

Historical research determined five of the honorees died in the line of duty

between 1886 and 1996:

Deputy Coroner II Michael Anton Shepherd

Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office

E.O.W. April 2, 1996

Deputy Ames Randolph Jones

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

E.O.W. March 31, 1948

Deputy William Bouett

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

E.O.W. February 18, 1913

Deputy Constable Francis Marion Culp

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

E.O.W. June 10, 1906

Town Marshal Rudolph Bohn

Anaheim Marshal’s Office

E.O.W. September 1886

Although the ceremony was not attended by spectators, it was livestreamed on social media platforms so family members, current and law enforcement partners of the past, friends, and the public for whom these lost souls fought, could watch.  The ceremony opened with a traditional military-style drummer and bagpipe hymn, and attention to Colors with a solo accompaniment of our national anthem.

A moving invocation given by Chaplain Phil Reeves held four requests from our Lord, to stir our hearts and make us not only better peace officers, but more compassionate humans:

  • Bless us with discomfort when we see others suffer, so He may live deep within our hearts;
  • Bless us with anger at injustice, suppression and exploitation of people, so we may do His work for justice, freedom and peace;
  • Bless us with tears for those we lost, love and dearly miss, so He may heal the families they left behind and turn our pain into joy;
  • Bless us with enough foolishness, to believe that we can make a difference in the world.

Standing at a lectern next to the memorial flame, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore extended his appreciation for the ceremony on behalf of his agency and gave his assurance of support, “We stand with you each day, each watch, but also today, as we mourn those who have fallen.”  He recounted the circumstances surrounding the killing of Officer Juan Jose Diaz and lamented the debt of peace for his loss could never be repaid to his family or colleagues. 

Chief of Coroner Investigations, Brian Elias, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, recounted the loss of Deputy Coroner II Michael Anton Shepherd, who was remembered for his dedication, compassion and respect he showed to the families he served.  “As peace officers, we are unified in our dedication to perform our sworn duties, committed to a life of public service,” said Chief Elias. 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva thanked Chief Moore and Chief Elias for their attendance and kind words.  He conveyed his honor and privilege to learn the stories of the brave men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty, as the nation observes National Police Week.  He recounted why so many of us chose the law enforcement profession, “…when the outcome seems darkest, our ability to save lives, to change lives, to answer the call of those who need our help.  These are the reasons why we recommit ourselves to the oath we have sworn to uphold.”

The broadcast event concluded with a Missing Man helicopter flyover, bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace,” and images of the 2020 honorees and funerals for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. 

The ceremony was held during a unique, international epoch.  COVID-19 changed the traditional observance of the annual memorial service, but it did not stop us from recounting the memories and honoring the sacrifices of our brave men and women, and their families who lost so much.

Watch Full Event
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Sheriff Addresses BOS proposed budget cuts 1024 819 SIB Staff

Sheriff Addresses BOS proposed budget cuts

Sheriff Villanueva Addresses Board of Supervisors’ Proposed Budget Cut, Its Effect on Operations Now and Through the Year 2023

How ironic it is that the nation’s biggest sheriff’s department is largely understaffed and underfunded.  With an obligation to provide law enforcement services to one of the top ten largest populations across the United States, ensuring there is an adequate amount of funds to keep it operating smoothly and efficiently throughout natural, manmade and circumstantial events is quite a task.

In early May, 2020, the Board of Supervisors recommended a budget of $3.5 billion for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department 2020-2021 fiscal year, a staggering $400 million short of the $3.9 billion budget needed to run it.  This shortage affects the most valuable asset we have:  Staff.  With an already-existing vacancy of 712 positions, a budget  reduction would limit the new backfill of recruits to be trained and shrink our agency significantly, with a projected number of more than 1,300 sworn vacancies in fiscal year 2022-2023 and an escalated amount of overtime to cover those positions.

Still, cuts must be made.  Sheriff Villanueva proposed to reduce the number of academy classes from 12 to eight per year, which would provide a yearly cost savings of almost $22 million.  With the average attrition rate of 421 sworn personnel per year, that would shrink our organization by 160 sworn personnel per year.  These are devastating numbers, but less so than the Board of Supervisors’ desire to slash the number of academy classes from 12 to four per year, allowing the hire of only 175 deputies.  That number, subtracted from the 421 average attrition rate, would shrink our organization by upward of 250 deputies per year and leave our agency in a dangerous lurch.

Not having funds to cycle sufficient new bodies through academy classes will eventually bring movement to a grinding halt:  New bodies won’t be enough to fill custody positions, which would otherwise push custody deputies out into vacant patrol assignments, which would clog up the promotion process of filling mandatory supervisorial positions. 

“The Sheriff’s Department is forced to run in the red because the Board of Supervisors does not prioritize public safety and they are the ones that hold the checkbook,” said Sheriff Villanueva during a virtual press conference given Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at the Sherman Block Building in Monterey Park.

Shorting the budget would actually create a larger deficit and proves that funding academy classes would save money over time.  Drafting, or ordering, personnel to remain for a second shift to fill a staffing vacancy costs 50% more because of the overtime factor.  As an example of the inflated cost to fill voids:  One lieutenant vacancy costs $172,500 in overtime per year, one sergeant vacancy costs $145,200 in overtime per year, and one deputy vacancy costs $120,600 per year.  By not providing budget monies up front, it will cost Los Angeles County taxpayers more in the end.

Fatigue is another factor.  Patrol and custody staff forced to work overtime and cover mandatory staffing minimums with no relief in sight suffer added stress, and physical and emotional fatigue.  We must remember everything boils down to our best and most important asset, and see them as a whole person with limits, not as a robot.  “It is not fair to as them [deputies] to work large amounts of overtime to continuously supplement our vacancy shortages,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger in April, 2018.

To compensate for the shortage, Sheriff Alex Villanueva looked at a variety of measures other than cutting academy classes, to ensure the basics were covered.  These included cutting unfunded programs and integrating those personnel into line positions, closing two patrol stations, eliminating two bureaus, and curtailing detective positions. 

Although under threat of a misdemeanor charge by the Board of Supervisors if he does not come under budget, the Sheriff articulated his obligation to meet not only their demands, but those of the law, the Constitution, contracts held, consent decree, etc., made difficult under such financial constraint.  “We’ve gone through everything that is physically possible to make our organization as lean and effective as possible, but we are still burdened,” said Sheriff Villanueva. 

Budget shortages are not new.  Sheriff Villanueva pointed out financial shortfalls during the tenure of previous administrations and Boards of Supervisors.  For fiscal year 2018-2019, CEO Sachi Hamai warned the Board of Supervisors of a $101.8 million budget deficit, primarily for unfunded employee benefits costs, separation pay and miscellaneous pay.   These shortfalls are not to be borne; it is a breech to approve contracts of agreement with labor unions to pay employees and refuse to fund it.  CEO Hamai told Board members in April, 2018, about our longstanding status of being understaffed and underfunded, “The numbers reflect a historical imbalance in place for the last 20 years, long before the Sheriff was elected,” and, “The Sheriff’s budget does not reflect the actual spending in many of the line item categories.”   

Since taking office in 2018, Sheriff Villanueva alleviated the budget by eliminating numerous executive positions, consolidating ten bureaus in to five, mandating divisions to reduce overtime by 50% while striving to maintain essential activities, and eliminating non-line positions.  With all this chopping, however, the Board of Supervisors continues to offer a lowball proposal.

Sheriff Villanueva closed the event by offering to meet with the Board of Supervisors and have them identify which activities they wish to curtail (to meet the budget).  “We can no longer play games with public safety and pretend, somehow, we have the resources to cover the need.  We don’t,” he said.

Sheriff outlines Challenges in Custody amid COVID 19 931 1024 SIB Staff

Sheriff outlines Challenges in Custody amid COVID 19

Sheriff Villanueva Outlines Challenges in Custody Environment Amid COVID-19

Sheriff Villanueva Outlines Challenges in Custody Environment Amid COVID-19

Since realizing COVID-19 was underway, headed into our lives, facilities, jails, and daily operations, Sheriff Alex Villanueva directed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees to take precautionary measures for everyone’s protection, including those in our custody environment.Today, Sheriff Villanueva spoke about a dangerous trend in our jail system: Inmates deliberately trying to catch COVID-19, in hopes of early release. Watch the news conference to see Sheriff Villanueva discuss this new trend, and see inmates pass around protective equipment and cups, all in hopes of catching this disease.

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday, May 11, 2020

Since realizing COVID-19 was underway, headed into our lives, facilities, jails, and daily operations, Sheriff Alex Villanueva directed Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employees to take precautionary measures for everyone’s protection.
 
Custody is a particularly unique environment in which to take these kinds of measures.  Nevertheless, with a lot of consideration, new protocols, and collaboration with medical staff, we got it done.  On Monday, May 11, 2020, during one of his virtual weekly press conferences conducted at the Sherman Block Building in Monterey Park, Sheriff Alex Villanueva outlined measures used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our jail system.

Unfortunately, through video surveillance, it was determined a group of inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center-North County Correctional Facility deliberately attempted to infect themselves with COVID-19.  Multiple men were seen sipping from a single bottle of hot water for two reasons:  To falsely elevate their oral temperature moments before having their temperature taken by a nurse, and to spread the potential of infection.  The bottle and a secondary cup of hot water were passed among the men inside of a day room, which is a common area next to a housing area with beds, akin to the living room of a house or apartment. There was plenty of space in which to observe physical distancing, however, the men chose to interact close to each other, making their intentions obvious.  

As a direct result of the behavior seen in the video, 21 men tested positive for COVID-19 within a week.  A gross misunderstanding among the inmate population led many to believe that those diagnosed with COVID-19 may be released, which is untrue.  Current numbers show there were a total of 4,590 inmates quarantined within the Los Angeles County jail system, 317 were isolated. Since the pandemic, we had a total of 222 positives inside the jail, 117 inmates recovered and 18 inmates released from custody after testing positive for COVID-19, but prior to meeting CDC standards for being considered fully recovered.

The Sheriff did everything possible to protect those entrusted to the care of the Department through modifying bail and booking dollar amounts, reducing our inmate population by more than 5,000 bodies, ordering COVID-19 screening at booking areas, having both staff and inmates educated about the dangers and preventative practices, directed custody personnel to implement and conduct quarantine and isolation measures, making personal protective equipment available to everyone inside our facilities, and, on Sunday, May 3, 2020, enacting a new procedure for the testing of COVID-19 for all inmates entering the jail system.  So far, 682 were tested, of which 16 met with positive results.  “We’ve done everything within our power to reduce or prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our jail system,” said Sheriff Villanueva.  

In addition, there were 320 LASD personnel quarantined, in total, comprised of 227 sworn and 93 professional staff throughout the Department. Of those quarantined, 107 tested positive; 71 of them sworn and 36 of them professional staff. Fortunately, 927 employees returned to work, 612 of them sworn, and 315 of them professional staff.  

The Sheriff outlined the decline of violent crimes, in general, by nine percent, with criminal homicides rising seven percent and rape reporting down by 29%. Property crime reduced by seven percent, and since Sunday, March 29, 2020, there were four COVID-19-related arrests and 65 citations.

collage of images: Portrait of entire M.E.T team. Image of team celebrating with Special Olympics gold medal winner. Image of MET team leading a person away from a bridge edge. MET team training with a person with Autism.
Mental Health Awareness Month 2020 – M.E.T Team 900 900 SIB Staff

Mental Health Awareness Month 2020 – M.E.T Team

A Closer Look at the LASD Mental Evaluation Team, in Recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department personnel have been working closely with Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) staff to support the wellbeing of Los Angeles County residents.  The pandemic triggered different facets of mental health in many, like depression, fear, anxiety, frustration, and panic, and we want to let you know we are here to help.  We are here for you.

With mental illness also a crisis in our population, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has a long-standing tradition of groundbreaking programs to approach it.  In November,1993, ours was the first law enforcement agency to collaborate with LACDMH and formed a full-time Mental Evaluation Team (MET).  Since the inception of its first five teams, the MET concept of co-response has grown into a 27-team configuration; they operate around the clock and the team is expanding every year.

Our MET teams provide crisis assessment, intervention and targeted case management services.  They diffuse potentially violent situations, prepare appropriate documentation to assist in the placement of persons with mental illness in acute inpatient psychiatric facilities, and link these individuals to outpatient mental health services or appropriate community resources.  The goal of this co-response model is to reduce the number of incidents in which force is used, reduce the number of hospitalizations and avoid unnecessary incarcerations of severely mentally ill citizens.

Despite the current circumstances, MET staff are delivering the same level of outstanding service, as in the past.  They continue to seek and innovate creative mental health programs for the betterment of the communities we serve.  In addition to responding to calls for service, they provide mental health and de-escalation training for other law enforcement agencies.  They look forward to starting an intake booking diversion program, aimed at reducing our jail population, and strengthening our mental health programs for military veterans.  MET staff work regularly with experts from the Veterans Administration and aided in creating a Veterans Mental Evaluation Team component (VMET) at the Long Beach Veterans Administration facility. 

Los Angeles County is expanding two innovative programs:  The first, to help stop those facing mental health challenges from going to jail and get them the treatment they need, instead; the second, by dispatching the Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services Team, to connect those experiencing homelessness with available services.

In 2018, the MET triage desk began helping patrol deputies in the field on a full-time basis; they held consultations and provided mental health resources to help divert patients away from incarceration when mental evaluation teams were unable to respond.  The triage desk centrally dispatches and helps expedite responses of MET units, to support patrol deputies responding to mental health crises countywide.

Another responsibility of MET is acting as lead agency of the Project Lifesaver Tracker program, which involves 82 other law enforcement agencies in the Los Angeles County area.  Project Lifesaver is a system in which a device similar to a wristwatch is worn by persons with disabilities, such as dementia and autism; the device can be tracked if the wearer leaves their residence, leading to a quicker location of the lost party.

Over the last few years, MET has grown rapidly and provided periodic updates to Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ Justice Deputies, the Civilian Oversight Commission, and the Office of Diversion and Re-entry. 

If you are looking for mental health information or resources, visit the LASDMET Twitter page at @LASDMET and the Los Angeles County Mental Health Department website which provides materials and resources for you.

Visit the link:  https://dmh.lacounty.gov/covid-19-information/

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
Hand Texting on mobile Phone
Text 9 1 1 900 900 SIB Staff

Text 9 1 1

Text 9 1 1: Call If you Can. Text if you can’t

Residents of LA County, you now have a silent way to reach out for help! If you need law enforcement, the fire…

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Friday, May 1, 2020
Large sign that reads, : Covid-19 Regional Decontamination Center.
Innovation and Fiscal Responsibility, in the Face of COVID-19 900 643 SIB Staff

Innovation and Fiscal Responsibility, in the Face of COVID-19

Innovation and Fiscal Responsibility, in the Face of COVID-19

During a virtual press conference given Monday, April 27, 2020, Sheriff Alex Villanueva was joined by Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Service; Chief Daryl Osby, Los Angeles County Fire Department; Captain Chris Kovac, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department-Custody Support Services; and Director Wesley Grose, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department-Scientific Services Bureau. 

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Speaking at a podium infront of thousands of masks inside a decontamination Center.

The event was held at the COVID-19 Regional Decontamination Center, located at the first Los Angeles County custody facility built in 1963 specifically for women and named for philanthropist and women’s rights advocate, Sybil Brand.  The Sybil Brand Institute, located in East Los Angeles, was innovative for its time and continues to be so, in contemporary times, as well.

Front of the Regional Decontamination Center. Masks sit infront of a large window, viewable from the courtyard.

Sheriff Villanueva began the conference with a reminder to continue practicing physical distancing protocols, then outlined the reflection of lowered percentages in crime statistics calculated during the COVID-19 quarantine, as compared to last year.

Because medical and public safety personnel often find themselves in positions and situations with a greater potential for exposure to COVID-19, Sheriff Villanueva collaborated with some of our county partners to create a decontamination center, from which they spoke.  Captain Kovac recognized the need for such a place, in light of a world shortage of N95 masks and gowns, and counterfeit products.  He questioned if it were possible to sanitize and reuse the personal protective equipment we already have.  Research identified a process called Hydrogen Peroxide Vaporization, which could make cleaning and reuse of the equipment possible, and extend the life of our inventory, as well as our budget.  “Innovation and fiscal responsibility,” said the Sheriff, is what we must practice.

The four-step cleaning process is conducted inside of a decontamination chamber the size of a small dishwasher.  It dispenses a mist of vaporized hydrogen peroxide over the masks, eliminating 99.9% of all pathogens within a few hours, without removing any of its protective properties.  A system of conditioning, gassing, dwell time, and aeration give new life to used personal protective equipment, with water and oxygen as its only byproducts.

The process was vetted by numerous studies, cited by the Centers for Disease Control, and is in motion within Los Angeles County now.  It will take place around the clock and is expected to sanitize more than 30,000 masks per day.  The LASD will manage the program with our stakeholders and county partners, allowing front line workers across the board to reuse the same N95 mask up to 20 times.

Thousands of facemask haning on racks inside the decontamination center.

With prices for N95 masks fluctuating between $3.75 and $12.74 per piece, the economic impact of extending the value and life of our equipment, as opposed to additional purchasing, will certainly benefit all county agencies across the board, and ultimately save tens of millions of dollars.  Decontamination costs pennies on the dollar, as opposed to the cost of continuously replenishing stock.  For example, the cost of 250,000 masks at $3.75 per piece is $937,000; a $50,000 cost of putting them through 20 decontamination cycles makes their adjusted total purchase cost $987,5000.  In an estimation of five million masks needed to get us through the pandemic, the savings on decontamination versus purchasing five million more new pieces would lead to a $17,762,000 savings.  If the five million pieces went through 50 decontamination cycles, this would lead to a staggering $18,325,000 in savings.

The equipment used in the cleaning process was generously provided by the University of California-Los Angeles.  Their dedication to helping others was articulated in a statement:  “Just as others have supported UCLA’s front-line health care workers, UCLA is pleased to support the Sheriff’s Department in its important effort to establish a decontamination center for N95 masks used by first responders.  UCLA is honored to make available hydrogen peroxide fogging equipment used to clean many of our research labs now idled for safety reasons because of the pandemic. We are all in this together, helping our community in a time of need.  #TeamLA”

Sheriff Villanueva standing inside the center with staff among hanging masks.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “Our medical and public safety personnel place themselves in positions where the potential for catching COVID-19 is greater.  It is our role as public safety leaders to do everything we can to provide our personnel with the equipment they need to do their jobs.  This center will decontaminate masks around the clock.  It is our expectation the center will decontaminate over 30,000 masks per day, ensuring first responders have access to what they need to protect others.”

The Sheriff also addressed the decrease of crime in the county.  Violent crimes in general are down by 11%, criminal homicide by 24%, rape reporting by 33%, property crime by 9%, as well as calls for service.  There were three COVID -19-related arrests and 41 citations issued since Sunday, March 29, 2020.

Personnel, of course, are also part of the communities we serve and reflect the numbers of those physically affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  There were 167 sworn and 83 professional staff quarantined, 61 of whom tested positive for the affliction, and 754 who returned to work.

The inmate population is vulnerable to the daily movement and fluctuations within it, and it is under constant, protective supervision to preserve balance.  The quarantine of inmates is still taking place, always on the side of caution.  Whenever someone is identified as displaying symptoms, the entire dormitory is quarantined.  This may cause numbers to fluctuate, however, it is conducted simply as a preventative measure.  So far, 2,563 inmates were quarantined and 71 were isolated to prevent the perpetuation of disease further, among both population and staff.  Of the 123 who tested positive, 31 are fully recovered.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides LASD Status Update in the Face of COVID-19. 04/27/2020

PRESS CONFERENCE: Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides LASD Status Update in the Face of COVID-19.04/27/2020

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Monday, April 27, 2020
Woman filling out Police report on a tablet computer
File Police reports online 900 900 SIB Staff

File Police reports online

File Police reports online

In case you did not know, you can file a police report through our website.  The Sheriff’s Online Report Tracking System (SORTS) allows you to file a specific type of crime or incident report.

Once your report is reviewed and accepted, you will receive a free copy of the approved report via email for your records. All cases filed within this system will be reviewed.

If you are a victim of any of these incidents, you can file a police report using SORTS:

  • Lost or stolen cell phones valued $950 or less
  • Lost or stolen property valued $950 or less
  • Vandalism, excluding graffiti, where damage is valued under $400
  • Theft from an unlocked vehicle valued $950 or less
  • Theft from an open or unsecured area valued $950 or less
  • Supplemental Loss Form (Must already have a LASD report number)

Department policy will dictate the level of investigation needed for the incident you report to us. A Deputy Sheriff may need to follow-up by email, telephone, or in person, if the incident requires further investigation.

If you need to file a police report, click on the link  http://shq.lasdnews.net/shq/SORTS/sorts_intro.aspx to start the process today.  

In case you did not know, you can file a police report through our website. The Sheriff's Online Report Tracking System…

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Friday, April 24, 2020