In a press conference, Sheriff Villanueva made it clear that he would be challenging George Gascón and the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors. In this interview, we finally get to hear what’s on his mind with just days left before January 1st when he officially takes office as Sheriff in 2020
(CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva spoke at a news conference on Wednesday about how killings have increased by 94 percent in the previous two years and auto thefts have increased by more than 50 percent, as well as a variety of other concerns that he claimed are impacting the department.
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When it came to attacking his favorite targets, District Attorney George Gascón and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Villanueva didn’t hold back.
Their acts, or inactions, he believes, have been the most difficult challenge he’s had to overcome as sheriff.
“They need to stop doing all of the virtue signaling over there and start making hard choices based on facts that will make the neighborhood safer,” Villanueva added.
The sheriff did take time to highlight some of his accomplishments, including as clearing up various homeless encampments, such as the tents in Venice, and noting that as a consequence of his body-worn camera program, the number of complaints has reduced dramatically over the last year.
“It’s working,” he remarked of the body-worn camera system.
The sheriff’s main gripe is his lack of overall manpower, which he blames on a hiring freeze imposed by the Board of Supervisors. The agency now has 9,500 sworn personnel, and Villanueva would want to add 800 more.
“Librarians will be hired.” “They’ll recruit clerks in every other county department, but they won’t let us hire deputy sheriffs,” he said.
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In regards to Gascón, Villanueva believes the DA’s office takes far too long to investigate deputy-involved shootings. He also mentioned the dramatic two-year spike in murders, none of which he blamed on himself.
“A lot of it will be determined by who is the district attorney and the policies that are followed, such as the zero bail schedule and Proposition 47.” “There are a lot of factors that go into that figure,” Villanueva said.
The sheriff also said that he has an open door policy and that he is still ready to work with the existing supervisory group, albeit he hopes for a change.
George Gascón, the District Attorney (CBSLA)
the election in June
Alex Bastian, Special Advisor to District Attorney George Gascón, remarked when asked about Villanueva’s news conference:
“This District Attorney places a high focus on police accountability. He is attempting to rebuild public trust in the criminal justice system by bringing law enforcement officials who break the law responsible. For on-the-job infractions, District Attorney Gascón’s administration brought criminal charges against 21 officers from seven agencies in his first year, including five sheriff’s deputies. In addition, the District Attorney expanded resources for investigating and prosecuting police misbehavior. We take these issues extremely seriously and perform a detailed and thorough examination as quickly as possible, based on all evidence.”
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