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COVID-19

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA PROVIDES UPDATES ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC 1024 683 SIB Staff

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA PROVIDES UPDATES ON COVID-19 PANDEMIC

SHERIFF ALEX VILLANUEVA PROVIDES UPDATES ON THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

On Monday, April 20, 2020, Sheriff Alex Villanueva started his weekly press briefing by offering his condolences to those that have been affected by the COVID-19 virus. He shared that his own niece is in quarantine as a result of exposure to the virus and the department has now two Custody Assistants in the ICU on ventilators. Over 600 people have now lost their lives in Los Angeles County and the Sheriff stressed the importance of physical distance, hand washing, and wearing a face covering to help during this fight.

Sheriff Villanueva expressed his gratitude to the public safety personnel, medical professionals, grocery workers, transportation professionals, and those performing jobs which are vital during this difficult time. He proceeded to share the latest crime statistics and compared to last year, violent crimes are down by 10%; homicide is down by 21%; rape is down by 29% and property crime is down by over 11%. There has been one COVID-19 related arrest and 30 citations issued since the Governor mandated the stay at home order on March 29, 2020. Sadly, domestic violence-related calls have increased. Last year during this time, there were 863 calls and this year, the number has gone up to 933. Sheriff Villanueva urged the public to call 911 if they see or hear indications of domestic violence.

Villanueva moved on to speak about COVID-19 statistics in the department. A total of 307 sworn and professional staff are on quarantine; 51 have tested positive; and 543 are back to work. A total of 1,724 inmates are quarantined; 64 are in isolation; 26 have tested positive and 7 have fully recovered and are back with the inmate population. Sheriff Villanueva noted that now two negative testes are required in order to protect employees as well as inmates.

The next topic on the agenda was budget. The Sheriff made it known that despite tragic events such as the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash and the Saugus High School shooting, the department estimates that this fiscal year, it will spend $11 million dollars less than last year in overtime. He announced that several months ago, a portion of the LASD budget was frozen and those funds are needed in order to continue operating properly and without compromising the safety of the community. He gave several examples of why the release of funds is imperative. He shared that there is a fleet of approximately 300 new patrol cars parked and collecting dust and they need to be equipped with computers and emergency equipment. The COVID-9 pandemic has resulted in an increased in expenses such as more cleaning and hygiene supplies for jails, which was not previously budgeted for. Other essential supplies that will be affected are rape kits, which are an absolute necessity to protect one of the most vulnerable of all, victims of sexual assault. The process for gathering evidence and submitting DNA to a lab requires supplies and those supplies are low so the need is critical.

Other police agencies within Los Angeles County contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to help provide services to the residents that they serve, such as testing DNA and rape kits in a laboratory, or using one of the few rescue helicopters that are operational to save lives of stranded citizens in the mountains or sea. Sheriff Villanueva shared the importance and the high cost of operating rescue helicopters which are used to save lives of hikers and nature lovers that get stranded or injured. He emphasized that access to these funds would allow the department to continue providing the basic necessary safety services for the community we serve and operational needs for the department.  

Close up of hands worning on a Sewing machine.
Inmates Use Pedal Power to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 774 396 SIB Staff

Inmates Use Pedal Power to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Inmates Use Pedal Power to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

When COVID-19 entered the picture, immediate consideration was taken for our vulnerable custody environment, which holds not just our inmate population, but thousands of sworn and civilian personnel, and medical staff.  With roughly 17,000 inmates cycling through seven custody facilities and thousands of employees interacting with them, immediate action was necessary to protect the health of all. 

Custody Assistant Sue Tupper is the sewing instructor who oversees the Century Regional Detention Center (CRDF) sewing program.  She teaches interested females housed there to imagine, cut and follow sewing patterns, and create things which are not just useful, but detailed, functional and pretty. Officer Tupper explains the differences between the English and metric measuring systems, defines various sewing terms, demonstrates the use of different applications, and outlines the different kinds of sewing machines and their capabilities. 

Deputy Christine Badaracco, assigned to North County Correctional Facility (NCCF), oversees the male inmates in the sewing shop where they produce all the inmate uniforms for the Department.  They have one sewing instructor and more than 280 sewing machines.  The men sew clothes but also mend various Department assets to keep them in good shape and extend their use, and create new pieces of equipment, like holster bags.  Some of the more experienced men learn upholstery and other specialty work, which can be useful and even lucrative on the outside, such as custom items, custom-covered furniture, boat canopies, and car covers.  Their goal is to teach the inmates a valuable vocation as a skill for life, so they can find work on the outside, make money to support themselves and, hopefully, not return to jail.

When COVID-19 began to affect the jail system, Deputy Badaracco and Officer Tupper took the health crisis as an opportunity to do something good with benefits, which came two-fold.  On Friday, March 27, 2020, Officer Tupper crafted a prototype fabric face mask and taught inmates how to sew them, too.  That day, they made 33 of them.  In a short time, the creations increased in numbers, and became helpful precautions against spreading the virus through droplets from sneezes, coughs and everyday speech.  Employees and inmates who wear them are slowing the spread, and inmate-students who made them learned a new and beneficial project. 

The masks were initially created for CRDF inmate workers with assignments as trustees and kitchen workers.  Now, the majority of women there have a mask, with the goal of providing each inmate within our jail system with at least two masks.  When an inmate is released, they may keep their mask, to encourage them to practice personal safety measures.  So far, the women created more than 1,200 masks and continue to produce them, cranking out an impressive 100 pieces in an eight-hour shift! 

An average of ten females are assisting Officer Tupper in the production, alongside a half-dozen staff who help speed production by preparing the material and cutting it into patterns.  Whether inmate or employee, everyone involved in the mask project sees this as a basic human need and takes great pride in participating.  The project grew so much in popularity, inmates are waiting to be selected to help!

Officer Tupper puts her heart into her work and teaches with an earnest desire to see her pupils’ success.  “You put your best foot forward so that, if even one person makes it, it was worth it,” she said.

The CRDF sewing shop has five industrial sewing machines and ten domestic machines, which were donated.  The material also comes from donations or from scraps from the North County Correctional Facility (NCCF) sewing shop, where they produce the inmate uniforms.  Since Tuesday, April 7, 2020, the CRDF mask-producing enterprise was in conjunction with male inmates at NCCF. 

Deputy Christine Badaracco and vocation instructors at NCCF have trained 15 inmates to put the pattern pieces together and sew them into a complete product.  With a staff of five, they work side-by-side with inmates in a fluid production line:  Cut material into squares, fold three pleats and baste, heat-press the pleats, sew the edges with bias tape to create tie-strings, snip to separate, and box them up.  Because there is no elastic in the masks and they don’t stretch, they are crafted into two different sizes to accommodate large and small faces.  The favored material at that facility for making masks is the brown material used to sew clothes for inmates housed in the medical ward because it is softer.  So far, they made more than 3,000 and are making more every day. The men, who normally sew clothing, enjoy the change of pace in making something different, and like the sense that they are contributing to others’ health and wellness.

Personnel assigned to Custody Division were given N95 masks and are using them if they do not have a surgical, dust or fabric masks.  The hand-crafted masks will be made available to staff, as well, but not until all inmates have a mask or have access to one.

Before the mask movement, male inmates in the NCCF sewing shop learned their sewing skills on the heavier-duty material to keep the jail population clothed.  Female inmates in the CDRF sewing shop used the heavier-duty material from the inmate uniforms to create tote-bags for wheelchairs, walkers and crutches.  More delicate material was used to make quilts and stuffed toys; the tote-bags, quilts and toys were donated to a variety of outlets, including children participating in the 999 for Kids program and the Special Olympics.

As each facility is unique, so may be their circumstances.  Although there are 75 inmate-students at NCCF, no more will be trained to sew masks, as staff wish to avoid compromising the others from becoming ill or infected.  For now, though, we press forward together for the wellness and betterment of all, and hope for a quick ending to the COVID-19 pandemic.

lasd Welfare checks for elderly or at risk persons 900 900 SIB Staff

lasd Welfare checks for elderly or at risk persons

lasd Welfare checks for elderly or at risk persons

Are you concerned about a home bound family member, neighbor or friend who is either elderly or at risk during the face of this pandemic and you live in the Los Angeles County County Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction?  We can help you by conducting a welfare check.  A “welfare check” is the term The Sheriff’s Department has for conducting a safety and wellness check of a person if you have not heard from or seen in a reasonable amount of time.  

If you believe a loved one may be at risk or know someone who may not have the resources to get their essential needs such as groceries, medical prescriptions or mental assistance please locate the information for your nearest Sheriff’s Station by visiting https://lasd.org/stations/.  

When you call the station, a dispatcher will enter a call for service and deputies on patrol will drive to your loved ones home and attempt to make contact.

Examples of high-risk persons include the elderly community or those who suffer from blood disorders, chronic liver disease, compromised immune system, current or recent pregnancy, metabolic disorder, heart disease, lung disease, or neurological conditions. Remember we are all in this together this service has always been provided to the communities we serve, however it is even more vital today. It can save lives and offer peace of mind for the requestor. 

We are all in this together, and LA isn’t LA without all of us. Stay Safer at home, and do your part to flatten the curve. 

 

LASD Sheriff's Department Logo
Sheriff Addresses Mental Health Teams and County Emergency Ops Amid COVID-19 300 68 SIB Staff

Sheriff Addresses Mental Health Teams and County Emergency Ops Amid COVID-19

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Addresses Mental Health Teams and County Emergency Operations Amid COVID-19

Press Conference

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Addresses Mental Health Teams and County Emergency Operations Amid COVID-19

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday, March 24, 2020
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Youth Services Unit Distance learning 755 1024 SIB Staff

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Youth Services Unit Distance learning

THE LOS ANGELES COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, YOUTH SERVICES UNIT DISTANCE LEARNING

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Youth Services Unit, has developed an online curriculum for explorer recruits for Academy Class 104. This explorer recruit class is comprised of 160 recruits from LASD and participating police agencies.

This online curriculum allows recruits to attend online “live” classes to continue the academy from home, without compromising their ability to graduate.

For the first time, the 16 weeks LASD Explorer Academy has ever gone “online.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is committed to keeping our young recruits safe while practicing social distancing.

Sheriff Villanueva holding a press conference
Sheriff Updates 800 470 SIB Staff

Sheriff Updates

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides Information and Updates Related to the Emergency Operations Center, COVID-19 Scams, and L.A. County Board Motion to Remove Him as Emergency Operations Director

Sheriff Alex Villanueva Provides Information and Updates Related to the Emergency Operations Center, COVID-19 Scams, and L.A. County Board Motion to Remove Him as Emergency Operations Director

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Thursday, March 26, 2020
Child using a laptop with and Unkown person trying to message them.
Children Internet Safety 900 900 SIB Staff

Children Internet Safety

Please discuss internet safety with your children.

With recent school closures due to #COVID19 many children are using the internet and have recently created email accounts or social media profiles to communicate with their friends or complete school work & programs.

Tips from LASD

💻TALK about Internet safety with children of ALL ages when they engage in online activity.

📲Review & approve games and apps before they are downloaded… especially video, voice, and messaging apps.

🔑Make sure privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible for online gaming systems and electronic devices. You can use parental controls or ask children to scan their device as needed.

👀 Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep electronic devices in an open, common room of the house. You can add parental controls & google “vault” or popular “hiding apps”

✅Check your children’s profiles and what they post online. Make sure they are not posting age, address, phone numbers etc.

📸Explain to your children that images aka selfies posted online will be permanently on the Internet.

❌Make sure children know that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult and law enforcement.

🚔Remember that victims should not be afraid to tell law enforcement if they are being sexually exploited. It is not a crime for a child to send sexually explicit images to someone if they are compelled or coerced to do so.


safer at home order 680 380 SIB Staff

safer at home order

Safer At Home Order

The safety and security of all LA Co residents has always been my top priority. Please view my videotaped message on my social media platforms, explaining how LASD will respond to the “Safer at Home” program implementation and enforcement measures. Together, as a community, we will get through these tough times.

Microscopic image of the coronavirus.
Update to LASD Community Programs – East L.A. Station 747 749 SIB Staff

Update to LASD Community Programs – East L.A. Station

In a continuous effort to maintain ourselves and our community’s health and safety, we are strongly encouraging #socialdistancing.

We have canceled most of our community oriented program, one of them being the Youth Activity League (YAL). As of March 9, 2020, the YAL program will be canceled until further notice. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause, but we have determined given the current times it is the best course of action.


To learn more about #socialdistancing and up-to-date information on the #coronavirus, please visit the @lacountypublichealth IG account.

ONLINE INMATE VISITATION SCHEDULING AND REGISTRATION SYSTEM reGARDING COVID-19 1024 682 SIB Staff

ONLINE INMATE VISITATION SCHEDULING AND REGISTRATION SYSTEM reGARDING COVID-19

Online Inmate Visitation Scheduling and Registration System REGARDING COVID-19

“Pursuant to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, we are making efforts to ensure the health and welfare of all those who live, work, and visit the County jails and patrol stations.

At the recommendation of the Los Angeles County Correctional Health Services, all public visits have been cancelled as part of the County’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) prevention efforts starting from Friday, March 13, 2020. Only attorney and professional visits will be allowed during this period. The inmate visiting at all Los Angeles County Jail facilities and the patrol stations’ jails will remain suspended until further notice.

As this Department values visitation as an essential part of rehabilitation, we will remain committed to providing public visiting once these unique circumstances allow for in the nearby future. We are committed to supporting you and loved ones in our care during this time of uncertainty. If you have any questions or concerns regarding visitation, please contact the Inmate Video Visitation System Help Desk at IVVSPublicHelpDesk@lasd.org or call (213) 680-IVVS (4887), Monday through Friday, 7:00am – 2:00pm.”