Sheriff: The consequences of defunding the police

During a press conference held Tuesday morning, December 14, 2021, at the Hall of Justice, Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed the significantly defunded budget of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).

He started the press conference by showing a segment of the December 7, 2021, Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting in which Los Angeles County CEO, Fesia Davenport, and Fourth District LA County Supervisor, Janice Hahn, discuss the Sheriff’s Department budget. Supervisor Hahn believes it’s a myth that the BOS is defunding the Sheriff’s Department and asks Davenport for clarification. Davenport explains that last year and this year’s budgets are about the same, “but in 2019 the Board approved the CEO’s recommendation to set aside about 143.7 million dollars in the Sheriff’s budget for services and supplies. What essentially happened, supervisors is, we set that money aside at the outset of the budget year…” says Davenport, as Supervisor Hahn interrupts and says: “That’s not the answer that we want…” while she covers her mouth.

Sheriff Villanueva continued the press conference with a presentation in which the first slide showed the LASD budget of the last 10 years. The information obtained from the Los Angeles County CEO’s budget website, showed a decrease of the percentage of total county budget from 11.7% (during former Sheriff McDonnell) to the current 8.9% under Villanueva’s leadership. “If Supervisor Hahn’s position is that there is a myth here, well, then they’re perpetuating this myth, and the grim reality is the fact that we’re being defunded and at the worst time possible in the history of County,” said Sheriff Villanueva.

Sheriff Villanueva noted that cities and states that defunded law enforcement agencies across the United States including: Rochester, NY; Rochester, MN; Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, and the City of Los Angeles, had regretted it and had reversed the decision, except for Los Angeles County. In addition to the defunding, a total of 1281 were removed from the department’s budget. On top of the positions removed, the current vacancy is 1,370, of which 686 are sworn and 684 are civilian positions. One might argue that if a position is vacant, it wasn’t needed anyway, and won’t be missed if eliminated. On the contrary, vacant positions across LASD are necessary and, because of already-existing staff shortages, are filled by paying overtime spots, which only compounds budget issues.

The national average for all metropolitan law enforcement agencies across the nation is 3.8 cops per 1000 residents; New York Police Department has more than four, Los Angeles Police Department has 2.2. The average for all agencies throughout the nation is 2.5 cops per every 1000 residents. LASD is operating at 0.9 cops per 1000 residents. Academy classes were cut from 12 to four per year, and as a result, there are not enough deputies to cover attrition. Patrol stations are currently at 71% staffing, which means mandatory overtime for deputies. LASD is the only county department that remains on a hiring freeze.

Cutting the LASD budget affects the services we provide and takes away vital law enforcement services from everyone. Defunding law enforcement ultimately hurts public safety and that is not a myth.

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DesertBob
DesertBob
29 days ago

This loser got in because of his Spanish surname and a less-than-bright electorate. He’s gotta go…NOW. McDonnell had his issues, mostly with ALADS, but he was head and shoulders above this goof.

Last edited 29 days ago by DesertBob
WehoFan
WehoFan
28 days ago
Reply to  DesertBob

You are a racist.

Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
29 days ago

THIS IS THE MOST OFFENSIVE LIE TOLD THE Sheriff USED TO 1. EXCUSE HIS DEPARTMENTS FAILURE TO DO A SINGLE MEANINGFUL THING TO STOP THIS NATIONAL OUTBREAK OF CRIME. A LIE LIKE THAT WHEN THEY DON’T RESPOND TO CALLS OF ASSAULTS, VIOLENCE AND THEFT BY LOCAL RESIDENTS WATCHING IT HAPPEN LIVE IN REAL TIME OFTEN FROM THE WINDOW IN THEIR HOMES AND 2. MY STILL HURT AND ARE RINGING AT THE LOUDEST DOG WHISTLE, COMING FROM THE HEAD AND LEADER OF OUR HIGHLY PAID AND ONLY LAW ENFORCEMENT PROTECTION FOR WEHO … THE RINGING OF HIS DECLARING WITH THE LIE… Read more »

john
john
29 days ago

This loser has to go. total Trumper if you can’t tell

J Cross
J Cross
29 days ago
Reply to  john

IQ bell curve lower 15% maga middle 70% lib midwits upper 15% maga

WehoFan
WehoFan
28 days ago
Reply to  john

You sound like the loser John.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
30 days ago

JF1, This particular commenter are always going after people that differs from their opinions but don’t care about the opinions of others. He/they in my opinion are wrong they have so many insults to everyone in favor of police and against this type of drastic police removal but no alternatives or solutions to uniformed police officers.They don’t want police! It is not reform but eradicating police entirely! Look what happened in Seattle and Portland with crime without punishment. They want WEHO & LA County to comply with their demands but no solutions brought forth to protect the public safety! They… Read more »

Last edited 30 days ago by Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
30 days ago

JF1, This particular commenter and others have so many replies to everyone in favor of police and against this type of drastic police removal bit no alternatives or solutions of what happens with armed officers. They don’t want police it is not reform but eradicating police entirely. Look what happened in Seattle and Portland with crime without punishment. now they Weho and LA County to comply with their demands but no solutions brought forth for pubic safety. They Complain but don’t like to or choose not report on grim statistics. Violent Crimes go up and brutal attacks on people you… Read more »

WEEDS
WEEDS
1 month ago

Realignment would’ve been the choice rather than a moronic defunding. If you have weeds overtaking your garden, pull them out and plant it with plants that will flourish with the correct attitude.

gdaddy
gdaddy
1 month ago

I support funding the police and think the defunding movement was ridiculous. That said, the police need to be smarter with the money they have. The incessant sending up the helicopter in WeHo is ridiculous. Sending the helicopter up to respond to a homeless person using garden shears to try and break a chain to Pump last year shows the incredible waste of them. They could’ve walked there faster. Again, the police need to remain funded, but also be smart about how they use their money.

Joshua88
Joshua88
1 month ago

LAT did a great piece yesterday.
There is something to be said for how numbers may be used vs accuracy.
https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2021-12-15/organized-retail-theft-crime-rate

carleton cronin
1 month ago

Aside from the dreary fact that that our current sheriff was elected for all the wrong reasons (and underscores the idiocy of electing people we know nothing about tom such offices), de-funding the police is ridiculous. Altering their behavior is imperative but fraught with problems: teaching old dogs, etc. – although we must try that tack. How we select and train those who would choose such a career is a far better place to begin to “reform the police.” Police culture is mired in the past and is resistant bro change, let alone comment. We have to look to Gascon… Read more »

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 month ago

Thank god we have Villanueva.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

He’s fighting a hard battle.

Josh Kurpies
Josh Kurpies
1 month ago

Can someone explain to me how the County cutting the Sheriff’s budget (if they did at all) affects the City of WeHo and the services we contract for from the Sheriff’s Department? If we are not getting the services contractually obligated to us, then we should get a refund. We are surrounded by LAPD and BHPD so it’s not like we gain or lose much when the County increases or decreases funding directly to the County Sheriffs Department – we’re already paying for the services for our area. The “savings” we get by contracting for services come in the savings… Read more »

Stevie
Stevie
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

The Sheriff’s contract with the city provides for basic services, it does not include the specialized units for such things as the Emergency Operation Bureau (which oversees the law enforcement side of the large city events), the Aero Bureau, Major Crimes (human trafficking), Special Victims Bureau (sex crimes) and many other services. These, along with other needed specialized departments, are often the first to be scaled back when defunding occurs.

Curious
Curious
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

City Council is going to discuss reinstating the Entertainment Policing Team Sergeant and Deputy that were reduced in fiscal year 2020-21 due to COVID-19 budget reductions.

Ruth Williams
Ruth Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Josh Kurpies

I totally agree with Josh – we have a contract and that contract needs to be upheld and we either get what we pay for or a refund!! One thing for sure is that Villaneuva has GOT TO GO and I’ve been saying that since day one!!!

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ruth Williams

Villanueva isn’t going anywhere. You can leave Ruth.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

Literally everyone I know will be voting law and order candidates. The riff raff ruining LA County need to be terrified into inaction. The defunders need their liberal hearts to bleed out. F-ing idiots. You can’t have it both ways. Claiming blacks are treated unfairly when they are committing most of the current crime in LA. Wake the f up. The time for being overly nice to a generation that has had it just fine is over.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

#blacklivesmatter. Racism has no place in this city.

Wry Fontaine
Wry Fontaine
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Reparations not Representation

Say it loud and proud. We demand Equity – that is, the equity in your homes, businesses, and investments.

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