Thank you so much. We’re gonna talk about the department. How many deputies are under your command?
We had 18,300 budgeted positions. The board of supervisors defunded us and reduced it by over 400. So now we’re down to about a little over 17,000. Of those 17,000, we have roughly 9,500 that are sworn.
Sworn meaning that’s how many in a day that you split up among all the cities?
Sworn as in sworn peace officers. Versus professional staff, and we’re divided up into 12 divisions; 4 patrol divisions, a detective division, two custody divisions, court services division, and then countywide services.
What about the diversity on the force?
We are the most diverse sheriff’s department in the entire nation. 83% of my command staff are women or people of color. A full 20% of my sworn personality are female, which is the highest in the nation. The entry level, we’re an actual reflection of the communities diversity, and that is not by accident.
I have the very, first LGBTQ Assistant Sheriff Holly Francisco. The very very first.
And Captain Bill Moulder in West Hollywood. We’ve had, we’ve had several gay captains, he’s not the first, I think he is the 3rd or 4th. So we have a lot of success in that arena, and another reform. When I took office, we dismantled the good old boy network. And we actually made now made becoming a station Captain an inclusive process where all lieutenants can compete and the community plays a part.
Like Captain Bill Moulder in West Hollywood, he was a finalist in a very thorough vetting process. He had to interview to become a finalist from the semi-finalist group and then the community, the civic leadership of West Hollywood, I think the City Manager, a member of the Board of Supervisors or representatives, they interviewed the five finalists and he was appointed as the winner. That process did not exist before I took office.
I have a couple of questions from the Mayor of West Hollywood, Lauren Meister. She asks: If you were to get reelected. What could be done to lower liability costs?
Well, I’ve got some good news to report. We’ve registered a 17% reduction in lawsuits against the department since I’ve taken office comparison to McDonnell. A 21% reduction in use of force in the county jails. A 31% reduction in citizen complaints. These are big numbers, the 36% reduction in employees suing the department and a 39% reduction in people suing me as a sheriff . So all the numbers are trending downward.
We got the track, the Emergency Vehicle Operation Center, the train track up and running. We just opened it …did the ribbon cutting ceremony about five months ago. Now, we have two facilities to train our deputies in patrol . Because one of the biggest drivers of liabilities is actually preventable traffic collisions. A lot of young deputies are in a hurry to getting everywhere cause there’s not enough deputies, so now we’re getting them to slow down and be a little more mindful of avoiding collision. It’s working. So all the numbers are trending downwards. So I’m gonna approach to bring liability down. To see how they actually calculate, to see if we can start bringing that number down and give some money back to the cities.
Lauren’s second question: How can we establish more productive partnerships with the Supervisor and Sheriff?
That’s a very good question — because it’s kind of hard to establish a productive relationship with someone kicking you in the teeth. And I think when the community, the voters, register their preferences, I think everyone doesn’t come into respect those preferences and start working collaboratively.
And I think a prime example, I just finished a meeting we have an overdose response task force for fentanyl poisonings. We’re trying to chase around drug dealers for the deaths they are causing by selling fentanyl, and that’s a collaborative effort internally and we’re working with the United States Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration. These are all collaborations that are successful. The County Board unfortunately has had a majority that’s been dominated by people that look at law enforcement as liability that needs to be defunded and shrunk, whereas the community views law enforcement as an important components of their safety.
I think the elections coming out in November and by December. I think it’s in the new majority conceded on the board supervisor that I think we’re getting a good position to have to a good working relationship with them.
Did any West Hollywood City Councilmember reach out to you to talk to you about the problems before registering their votes on removing any deputies from?
No, by the way, they did reach out to Moulder. Either it became a three/two split, the vote yet.
Lindsey Horvath was the mayor for 18 months during that time. Have you ever met?
I met her a few times but she never never talked to me about it.
Lindsey had a reputation previously of being pro-police. And all of a sudden things changed. Do you have any thoughts on what changed?
I think that’s called “weathervane politicking. ” Figure which way the wind blows. You’re just what you’re okay with because you view your future electability based on that.
Council member John D’Amico who voted to defund had a couple of questions.
By the way for the record, you’re very thorough. I like this.
Thank you. Just trying to do my best and not make any mistake. Council member D’Amico asked: Does every contract city get changed the same rate per deputy?
Yes, every contract city pays the same rate per deputy. We do not establish the rate. It’s established by the auditor control office. And this is very important because there was a lot of false information being put out.
I think what someone from the Public Safety Advisory Committee —the daughter of the LA Times owner — was absolutely false. Everything she put in print. Because the auditor control establishes it and it gets audited like crazy. So we do not overcharge or undercharge — we charge exactly what the cost is to provide the service.