Blog

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LASD COVID-19 Update to Cities (05.12.2020)

A/S Gross – Welcome, good afternoon

–         Department is transitioning into the recovery phase

–         Staffing savings due to redeployment which resulted in overtime savings

–         Sheriff directed early on that we focus our deployments based on our core functions of patrol and custody

o  Able to support the mission by bringing specialized units to the field instead of switching to 12-hour schedule

o  Allowed us to continue to support elderly checks, juvenile checks, business checks and even exceed contract compliance in city and county areas

–         Reported crime statistics along the way

–         Record lows last year with crime stats, crime rate also reduced by up to 15% during these current deployments

–         Slowly increasing as it normalizes

–         The crime stats continue to be down

o  Overall crime rate down 7.12%

o  Violent crime down about 9%

o  Property Crimes down about 6.5%

o  Calls for service down due to people at home and extra patrols

o  GTAs have been spiking, as it is still one of the opportunistic crimes out there

      • 24% increase
      • Will continue suppression and enforcement efforts

o  Domestic violence is up 6%, likely due to people at home

–         Safer at home enforcement

o  4 total arrests (one this week)

o  10 Citations in the last week (65 total citations since March 19)

o  Still warning and advising citizens with citations and arrests as last resort

o  Most citations for illegal parking at closed beaches

o  Overall compliance with orders is still occurring

–         Personnel Status

o  Over 1,000 Department personnel have been in quarantine at some point

o  304 currently quarantined (up from 209 quarantined last week, 262 the previous week, 343 the week prior, and 429 the week before)

o  114 total confirmed cases (increase from 88 total reported last week, 64 total the week prior, 57 the week before, and 33 the previous week)

o  Approximately 1,000 returned to work after quarantined

o  We have been able to maintain service levels out in the field due to the deployment strategies employed by the Sheriff

–         Enforcement during re-opening

o  No change for us

      • Education, provide masks to people who don’t have them (based on availability), warnings, and cites and arrests for people who earn it

–         Budget Mitigation Efforts

o  Began last October with overtime in patrol operations

      • Mitigated $2 million in 10/2019

o  Identified unfunded positions and mitigated those positions

o  Detailed letters sent explaining last of mitigated unfunded positions

      • We have been working with cities and districts who have questions
      • We believe this process is now saving $22 million, now that we are finished with the process

o  Working closely with cities to ensure their needs are being addressed

o  We are aware of the cities concerns regarding the contract rate increases and liability trust fund increases slated for this year

      • We are supporting the cities with that and that was expressed in a letter from the Sheriff
      • We also understand and appreciate the budget challenges faced by the cities and will work with each city to ensure you have the best law enforcement services

o  Also working with Chiefs of Police for LA County

–         We have provided briefings to the BOS Justice Deputies and been trying to work with the Civilian Oversight Committee

o  COC gave the Department less than a day notice to attend their meeting regarding the budget and jail

      • No time to prepare, we did not attend, but advised them of that in advance
      • The COC had planned to have the Department speak about a jail lawsuit where the plaintiff was another speaker, and it was not prudent for us to participate in that same forum
      • COC responded by using their newly acquired subpoena power, instead of simply sending the Department a letter with questions that we could then answer
      • We found that after the meeting, a series of questions were sent to the CEO from the COC, which were answered by the end of the day, without any consultation, review, or knowledge by the Sheriff’s Department
      • Department does not agree with those answers, and we will be posting our responses in an online forum to be as transparent as possible
      • We support oversight, but we hope that his process will change so we can work closer with you on these issues in the future

–         Budget Update

o  Did not start with COVID-19, but earlier in the year when we were identifying unfunded positions in patrol

o  The Department is funded for $3.5 billion, but it costs $3.9 billion to run the Department

o  The Department has been traditionally underfunded, and they covered the costs with overtime, which is done because it can be cheaper to do that than fund the actual position

o  Even with our hiring successes, we still have vacant positions to fill

o  There have been claims we are over budget on overtime, but we feel we are under budget with the shortfalls

o  Since the pandemic, they have asked for additional cuts, on top of what we were already doing, plus being underfunded by $400 million, and now asked to take 10%, 15%, and 20% cuts, which can give you an idea with the budget mitigation efforts we are faced with.

o  We are still looking at options for Marina del Rey and Altadena Stations, but since patrol is one of our core functions, affecting patrol in any way would be one of the last things we would want to do

Sheriff Villanueva

–         A lot of politics are involved in the budget process. The budget is a political document, it speaks to what the priorities of the community are

–         Mismatch between what the Board is trying to communicate and what the demands of the community are

o  We know public safety budget is the biggest chunk of your budget and devotes the greatest amount of resources, which is true across the board, and should also be true at the county level

      • The county has other obligations as well, such as welfare, health services, public works, and other regional issues
      • Sheriff’s Department represents 16% of the County workforce, but only receives 10% of the budget
      • It costs $3.9 billion to run the Department, and that is with current obligations only. The county provides $3.5 billion (a $400 million shortfall)
      • We followed same plan as the previous administration in terms of our operation, and we have scaled back our operation, continued to hire to make up for understaffing, done all the right things. In spite of that, it is not what they are looking for… which is not consistent with mathematical realties
      • We hope to get an amicable solution which satisfies everyone’s concerns
      • Patrol, jails and courts will remain at the top of the priority list, and providing countywide services

o  We will be extremely transparent with everything so everyone has a clear understanding of the big picture

o  We must demand of the Board to identify their big picture and what are their budget priorities, which we need to see in writing, as it is currently unclear

o  We received your requests regarding the payment deferments, and we agree with you, and we’ve expressed that agreement to the BOS

      • Waiting on a response from them

o  Make it as painless as possible for the operations of your cities

A/S Gross

–         Continue to ask for your ongoing support

–         Deepest condolences to family of Jim Edwards and the city of Cerritos

Marcel Rodarte

–         Recidivism of people released due to COVID zero bail policy?

A/S Chase

–         Initial information shows recidivism rate of less than 10%

–         We continue to bring people in, but over the last couple weeks of March and the month of April, our intake was down considerably, since everyone was sheltering in place

–         Arrests are now going up across the county

–         We normally release about the same amount as we intake, which keeps the population stable. Over March and April, we released more than we took in

–         Some multiple repeat offenders, which is normal

–         Zero bail highlights reports of people rearrested multiple times

–         We have the ability to hold those people pending arraignment and preliminary hearing, which can be done via the bail deviation process, which all police agencies in the county can use to request judicial review to not release those people on citation