WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING FOR
When it comes to the growing issue of homelessness, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has failed the people of L.A. County. His combative and divisive approach to our region’s homelessness crisis has exacerbated the issue and led to further government dysfunction. Further, Villanueva's refusal to collaborate with the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, as well as cities across the county, has led to a deeply toxic environment instead of what the people of L.A. County need, which is a real, actionable, holistic and commonsense approach to address this emergency.
This crisis is a regional issue that needs to be dealt with on a much more collaborative and collective scale and with extensive cooperation across a number of disciplines, including public agencies and nonprofits, elected leaders, clergy, and more. Villanueva took a model I helped build and eroded it, along with the public's trust. As Sheriff, I will work directly with the various stakeholders to ensure that our county’s chronically unhoused population has access to the critical services they need, including more mental health resources.
It's clear that all kinds of crimes - particularly violent crimes - are on the rise. This has all gone on under the watch of incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva and is just another example of his failed tenure. As Chief of Police at LAX, my job is to keep the public safe, and that's precisely what I will do as L.A. County's next Sheriff. I will use my background and experience in community-based policing, as well as analyzing data, and expanding mental health services, to bring progress to the LASD so that we can reduce all forms of crime, protect the people of our county, and also institute much-needed reforms at the department.
OFFICER DECERTIFICATION & SHERIFF GANGS
I support officer decertification for officers who are convicted of misconduct, including being a part of a deputy gang. That’s why I support the reforms instituted in AB 958, which would provide a comprehensive definition for law enforcement gangs and require law enforcement agencies to have a policy prohibiting them, and making participation in a gang grounds for termination and prohibit future employment in other law enforcement agencies.
I also believe that officers should be given mandatory training about how sheriff’s deputy gangs are formed and why these abusive subgroups are detrimental. The Sheriff’s department needs to institute a mandatory reporting system for gang involvement and recruitment, which will help both the public and officers trying to escape deputy gang activity. At the very least, those involved in the deputy gangs will be fired; at the most -- they’ll be prosecuted. I will have a no-tolerance policy on deputy gang involvement.
RE-HIRING FIRED OFFICERS
As Sheriff, I will never reinstate an officer who I fire, or a previous Sheriff fired. When officers are let go, there is an extensive process where they are given a number of chances to appeal the decision. If they’re not able to get those decisions overturned, I don’t think it’s in my legal authority to reinstate these officers.
USE OF FORCE COMPLAINT PROCESS
Instead of fighting oversight commissions that review use of force complaints from the Sheriff’s Department, I would find ways to work with them. I believe that these types of commissions are positive for police and police accountability in the long run, because they help law enforcement departments improve.
MEN'S CENTRAL JAIL
I support the efforts to close Men’s Central Jail as it’s an old facility that needs reimagining. I also believe this has to be shut down in a way that makes sense. Some dangerous, violent inmates need to still be housed somewhere separate from the general public. For those where it applies, I will attempt to send them to a mental health facility, and am open to hearing ideas from the community on how to best make these transitions happen in a way that is safe for all parties involved.
ENDING THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE
Too many of our young people, particularly Black and Brown youth, who grow up in poverty or neglected neighborhoods become part of the school to prison pipeline. That's why as Sheriff, I will be deeply dedicated to ending this trend by working collaboratively with leaders at the county, state and federal levels to invest more in education, counseling, drug abuse treatment and diversion programs, mental health, as well as workforce apprenticeship programs and job-training, for these at-risk communities. The way we accomplish this is by focusing on educating more and incarcerating less, so that more of our marginalized young people, especially communities of color, have opportunities to live a life where they reach their full potential.
For far too long the LASD has resisted change and reform. As Sheriff, I'll bring a new vision to the department and take it in a new direction. Beyond the new leadership I will deliver, I also believe there is an important role for oversight from outside of the department. That's why I will work collaboratively with the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, as well as community groups across the county, to make sure reforms are being implemented, transparency is enhanced, the corruption stops, and that the LASD is put on a path where we can provide the trust and integrity that the department and the people of L.A. County deserve.
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