Sheriff Martin Aguirre, a Hero

Today marks the historic anniversary of the third Latino Sheriff of Los Angeles, Martin Aguirre (pictured left), risking his life to save citizens during a torrential flood in 1886. 

From shq.lasdnews.net: "On January 19, Deputy Martin Aguirre rushed to Los Angeles only to find it inundated by flood waters. There was so much water that levees were carried away and the Los Angeles River was overflowing and still rising. Deputy Aguirre rode all night warning everyone who lived by the river to evacuate. The next morning Aguirre spent rushing into deep waters to rescue the helpless victims who ignored his warnings. After it was over, Deputy Aguirre had saved the lives of nineteen people, some of them children. Many were amazed at the deputy's courage and physical endurance." 

Aguirre would later be elected Sheriff in 1888. 

 

Posted on 19 Jan 2018, 12:33 - Category: History



NAHREP-MSELA Gala

On January 12, 2018, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of hard working Hispanic realtors working in the Montebello and Southeast Los Angeles areas. They also happened to represent the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Montebello Southeast Los Angeles chapter. It was an evening to remember, as I was happy to meet more members of the community and speak about why I am the right candidate for sheriff of Los Angeles and this community. You can watch part of my speech and check out photos from the evening below.

 

 

Posted on 14 Jan 2018, 16:28 - Category: Events



Crime Increases Under McDonnell's Watch?

Original LASD Press Release: Sheriff McDonnell Announces Significant Decreases in Crime Rates Across Communities Served by the LASD 

Sheriff McDonnell used his executive staff and public office to campaign for reelection by misrepresenting crime stats under his watch.  Focusing exclusively on the calendar year 2017, which had not ended, the incumbent held a press conference, claiming “significant decreases in crime rates across communities served by the LASD.” 

The introduction to the sheriff’s press release read as follows: “In a continuing effort to provide transparency to the public, Sheriff Jim McDonnell stood beside his leadership team to present preliminary details of Part I and Part II crime statistics for 2017 and to highlight the decrease in crime from the previous year.”

A quick fact-check shows this is a complete lack of transparency on the part of the incumbent.  He refused to produce the annual Year in Review for 2016, which negated the ability of the public to see for themselves the crime trends year to year and be able to form an educated opinion.  We have been able to cobble together actual statistics from available public sources that show a far different picture.

Part 1 crimes have increased significantly under McDonnell’s watch.  Using calendar year 2014 as a baseline, Part 1 crimes (which include violent crimes) increased 6.84% in 2015, McDonnell’s first full year in office.  They increased another 6.89% in 2016, and decreased slightly by 4.64% (preliminary) for 2017.  Using 2014 as the baseline, Part 1 crimes have gone up a staggering 8.9% since McDonnell took office.  At the same time, arrests and self-initiated patrol activities, such as completing Field Interview cards, continue to drop significantly (LA Times, April 1, 2017).

While we all welcome decreased crime rates, if and when they actually occur it will be in spite of McDonnell, not because of him.  Morale within the LASD is at rock bottom, and it is showing in the performance of the organization as a whole.

 

Posted on 31 Dec 2017, 13:02 - Category: news



Sheriff Unaware of Misconduct?

From the LA Times article by Maya Lau

According to the Los Angeles Times article dated December 19, 2017, "McDonnell said his effort to give the Brady list to prosecutors is part of reforming and "restoring credibility" to a department that was disgraced by a jail abuse scandal..."  Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.  The so-called Brady list suffers from the fatal defect of being the product of a compromised investigative process.  20 years of unchecked corruption is not repaired with a publicity stunt like this fake list.

 

In order to properly reform the LASD and restore lost credibility, it will take a top to bottom damage assessment of the entire organization to have a clear understanding of what when wrong, who was involved, and who was damaged in the process.  There are department employees who participated in serious misconduct, which discredits their ability to testify truthfully in a court of law.  They remain on the job and unrepentant, and most disturbingly, not on this Brady list.  Likewise, you have individuals on the list who were placed there for purely retaliatory reasons, and the underlying discipline was imposed without merit and with full the knowledge of department executives.

 

That means there are literally thousands of individuals who faced criminal prosecution and were convicted in part based on the tainted actions of sworn department members.  Of most concern are those where the defendant was arrested solely on the testimony of the department member, and there were no witnesses or victims to corroborate testimony.  It will be up to the District Attorney's office to determine how to properly assess the scope of tainted prosecutions and the legal remedies that need to be made available to each defendant.

 

The damage doesn't end with criminal cases, however.  It extends to Civil Service Commission hearings, Employee Relations Commission hearings, and internal affairs investigations that were compromised based on the prevalent political patronage system in use for the last twenty years.  This good ol' boy system assigned favorable and unfavorable employment decisions such as discipline and promotions based on the relationship between the employees involved and department executives.

 

It is going to take a robust Truth and Reconciliation Process to get to the bottom of the problem and provide proper relief to all those involved, and a measure of accountability to those who unlawfully harmed others.  As sheriff, I am committed to make this happen.  

Posted on 21 Dec 2017, 21:25 - Category: news



L.A. County sheriff’s office failed to follow policy for issuing concealed weapon permits, audit says

Patrick McGreevy: "L.A. County sheriff’s office failed to follow policy for issuing concealed weapon permits, audit says"

This article represents a recurrent theme with the incumbent sheriff, who claims once again that an outside entity (in this case a state auditor) misunderstood department policies. The auditor found that the LASD did not follow its own policies when dealing with CCW permits.

Photo Credit: John Locher, Associated Press

"Handguns are displayed at the Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas in 2016." 

 

"

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has repeatedly failed to follow its own rules for issuing concealed weapon permits, the state auditor concluded in a report released Thursday.

L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell disputed some of the key findings of the audit, saying state officials misinterpreted the policy.

The department policy requires applicants to provide “convincing evidence” of a “clear and present danger to life or of great bodily harm” to get a license, but the audit found the department issued 24 licenses during the last few years without sufficient evidence. 

Most of the 197 active licenses in L.A. County as of August went to current or former law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors, the audit found. The lieutenant in charge of reviewing applications told auditors that people in law enforcement satisfy the department’s requirements by the nature of their jobs.

“However, making that decision based solely on the applicant's profession both directly contradicts Los Angeles's written policy — which specifically states that no position or job classification in itself shall constitute good cause for issuance — and has led the department to treat applicants inequitably based on their occupations,” the audit says.

McDonnell said the audit identified some legitimate issues, and the department has added a checklist to the application process in order to show requirements have been met. But he disagreed on the report’s sweeping conclusion that the department consistently failed to follow its own policies.

“The LASD policy simply requires that the applicant provide ‘convincing evidence’” that their life or physical safety are threatened. He said the policy does not require additional documentation of that evidence if sufficient information is provided in the application.

Auditors also concluded that Sacramento County issued some licenses without proper documentation and San Diego County's renewal process led it to inappropriately renew some licenses."

Posted on 15 Dec 2017, 14:33 - Category: news



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