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la county

MET team deputy helping a homelss man in a wheelchair. there are three people from Vetran affairs talking to a man in a large white sun hat, he is dressed in a long sleeve gray shirt,the wheel chari has an orange backpack on the back, the homeless man is in his 60s.
LASD HOST Team at Venice Boardwalk 900 675 SIB Staff

LASD HOST Team at Venice Boardwalk

LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team on a Humanitarian Mission in Venice

Law enforcement personnel are often the first contact with those experiencing homelessness. For that reason, the Homeless Outreach Service Team (HOST) was created to exemplify the county’s efforts to combat homelessness and preserve public safety.  The LASD HOST’s mission is to positively impact the homeless crisis in the county while increasing public safety and preserving the rights and dignity of persons experiencing homelessness.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva visited the Venice Boardwalk recently and promised he would do everything he could to help the homeless community if local politicians failed to act regarding the homeless crisis. 

Two white easy ups with the words "City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks". There are tables set up underneith in the shade. Social workers are sitting and talking to over 4 homeless people who need various services.
Image of Veince boardwalk with large amount of trash falling out of trashcans, and rows all along the boardwalk of tents and make shift shelters. there are people jogging with dogs and playing
There are two shelters made of blankets on the sand next too the water. A woman is talking to a female deputy. there are other belongings next the the camp site. A life guard tower is visible just infront of the water's edge.

On Tuesday, June 8, 2021 the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (LASD HOST), the Mental Evaluation Team (LASD MET) and the Veterans Affairs Administration, Venice Outreach workers and several other non-profit groups were on Venice Boardwalk assessing the humanitarian crisis in Venice.  

Homeless man in a floppy white sun hat sitting among a large amount of garbage and refuse on the Venice Boardwalk. The homeless man is in a wheel chair

Deputies and service workers were on scene contacting the homeless population on the Venice Boardwalk, connecting them with service providers who coordinate housing. In this exchange, we met Robert, a 76 year old Navy veteran, who has spent years living on the street. 

Our HOST (Homeless Outreach Services Team) has spent many days talking to Robert, building trust & understanding.  After long conversations in person, Robert had finally agreed to accept services from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. 

Image of a Deputy talking to a man that is walking out of a tent that is se tup among many other tents that are on the sand, the man is dressed in a short sleeve plaid red shirt with tan shorts, he is wearing aviator sunglasses. There is another man stanind next to the deputy holding bags fo items next to a bike.
A female Deputy is talking to a woman in a black shirt an paisly blue pants she is in a camp site among shelters made of large umbrellas and tarps, there are belongings strewn about the site and bikes laying on their side aswell as a spraypainted on parking sign,

LASD’s HOST (Homeless Outreach Services Team) & MET (Mental Evaluation) Deputies are the best at what they do showcasing everyday how leading with compassion & genuine concern makes a difference in solving this public safety crisis.

The LASD’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) continues to assist those experiencing homelessness throughout the County. Los Angeles County has established subsidies to support our most vulnerable residents, and it has proven affordable and effective. The County is redoubling efforts to combat this issue, and as part of the county family, the Sheriff’s Department is as well.

Two Deputy sheriffs are talking to a man sitting in a lawn chair, the man in the chair is set up infront of a row of tents. There are bikes near the camp sites.

Through our contacts with thousands of homeless neighbors, HOST has earned a reputation for being compassionate, accountable, innovative, and bold.  HOST has transcended the role of traditional law enforcement.  For years, HOST has accomplished the mission with zero uses of force.   

Sheriff's Car in the parking lot of the Venice beach park. there are palm trees all around play areas and slides and swings.
Two deputies are looking over the venice beach from a grassy area that is in front of the sand, there is a black tent set up on the sand and beach towels on the beach with people playing on the sand.
LASD Homeless Outreach Services Team Assessing the Humanitarian Crisis at the Boardwalk in Venice, CA
Sheriff Villanueva speaking at a podium surrounded by Consulates from the Asian and Pacific Island nations of LA County
Zero Tolerance For Hate Crimes In Los Angeles County 800 408 SIB Staff

Zero Tolerance For Hate Crimes In Los Angeles County

Press Conference: Sheriff Villanueva, Along With Local Asian Community Groups, Call For Zero Tolerance For Any Hate Crimes And Incidents In Los Angeles County

On Thursday, March 25, 2021, Sheriff Alex Villanueva held a press conference in front of the Hall of Justice to announce his support for the Asian community.  He was joined by; Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, Akira Muto; Honorary Consul General of Cambodia in Los Angeles, Mr. Kim Chha Hout; Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles, Kyung Jae Park; Mayor of Monterey Park, Yvonne Yin; Mayor of San Gabriel, Chin Ho Liao, the support of Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Los Angeles, Zhang Ping, the Sheriff’s Community Advisory Counciland other highly respected community leaders.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in hate crimes against the Asian-American community. The fatal shooting of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, is the latest attack against Asian-Americans, and it shook the nation. Unfortunately, it was not an isolated incident. On Sunday, March 21, 2021, a man disrupted a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ protest in Diamond Bar by driving through a group of protesters while hurling insults against China.

Sheriff Villanueva called for zero tolerance for hate crimes in Los Angeles County, especially towards Asian Americans. He urged people to report crime by calling 911 if it is an emergency, contacting a local law enforcement agency, or remaining anonymous by calling LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222 or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org.

Undersheriff Tim Murakami talked about his experience as a 4th generation Asian-American. He explained that historically, the Asian community has been very quiet. For the most part, they accept things, overlook them and move on. He urged the community to stand up as a group and realize “they’re Americans, they have the right to be here, they have the right to be respected and the right to be protected.”

Sheriff Villanueva reminded everyone that everyone is looking for the same things in life, security and a sense of belonging at the end of the day. “If you’re a recent arrival or you’ve been here for generations, all of you are welcome in Los Angeles County. We welcome you in this great nation of us,” he concluded.

COUNTY CONTINUES TO DEFUND LAW ENFORCEMENT 680 380 SIB Staff

COUNTY CONTINUES TO DEFUND LAW ENFORCEMENT

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

WAS THE CEO GIVEN A $1.5M GOLDEN HANDSHAKE 680 380 SIB Staff

WAS THE CEO GIVEN A $1.5M GOLDEN HANDSHAKE

WAS THE CEO GIVEN A $1.5M GOLDEN HANDSHAKE?
August 27, 2020

On August 26, 2020, I became aware of a demand letter written on behalf of County of Los Angeles CEO, Sachi Hamai, by her attorney Skip Miller (who also represents the Board of Supervisors in multiple ongoing matters). The anonymous letter outlined a proposed settlement in the amount of $1.5 million to be paid to Sachi Hamai upon her departure as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The reason for the settlement was described as “combat pay” resulting from a valid and legitimate policy disagreement during a department head conference call with more than 40 other people listening. As described, this act constituted the appearance of a possible “gift of public funds.” This, compounded with the optics of corruption created from the process allegedly occurring behind closed doors and outside of the public eye, compelled me to immediately forward the information to the appropriate oversight entities.


Every taxpayer in Los Angeles County should be infuriated upon hearing the CEO is getting $1.5M handed to her and demand the following questions be answered:


• How is it not a conflict of interest for County contract attorney Skip Miller to have represented both the CEO and the Board in the same transaction?
•Was an initial complaint ever filed by the CEO putting the Board on notice of this alleged “hostile work environment?” Were the proper channels followed for reporting and investigation? What was the outcome of the investigation?
•Was an actual “Claim for Damages” ever filled by the CEO?
•Was an actual lawsuit ever filed by the CEO?
•Over the last 30 years, how many $1.5M+ settlements were awarded by the Board, based on an unproven allegation and zero litigation or Court action?
•Some would describe this as a backdoor way to give someone a “golden handshake” after they leave their position. Has this ever happened for other similar allegations? What proof exists to justify $1.5M?
•In addition to the $1.5M, the CEO has also demanded to receive full-time security for the next few years; how much will this cost taxpayers and what does that entail?


This news comes during a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and other County Departments are facing major budget cuts that will result in huge layoffs.


I have vocally opposed the CEO’s actions because she has underfunded our budget, defunded our Department, and is presently recommending the layoff of 745 public safety employees. Yet I am rejecting the CEO’s plan, as I know there are other options which do not result in layoffs. As Sheriff, I was elected to fight for what is right, not for what is politically favorable.


Our Department is currently dealing with managing a catastrophic budget reduction and may face future layoffs. This is being done while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, fires throughout LA County, an increased murder rate, and on-going civil unrest.


Settling CEO Hamai’s allegations without a legitimate inquiry, bypassing standard procedure, gives the appearance of an illegal gift of public funds. A possible gift for someone who last year earned $684,704 in salary and benefits. A possible gift for someone whose early retirement is occurring far before the optimal retirement age.


The County should have allowed CEO Hamai’s case to run its course in a court of law, in order for the public to have learned about the facts of the case, just like they have in the past and will continue to do so in the future.


This appears to be a gross mismanagement of tax payer dollars during a pandemic where millions of Southern Californians are struggling to pay their rent, keep their healthcare insurance, maintain a job, and more importantly survive the COVID-19 pandemic. We should be working together to find ways to better serve the citizens of Los Angeles County and not allowing cuts to law enforcement that will damage the service and security to the citizens for years to come.


Sheriff Alex Villanueva