Protect Public Safety: Keep our Stations Open and Fully Staffed!
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On Monday, May 4th, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced his plan to close both the Altadena and Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Stations as of July 1st due to budget restrictions imposed on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department by the Board of Supervisors. The Marina Station serves unincorporated areas of the County including Ladera Heights, View Park, Windsor Hills, and Marina del Rey, and the Altadena Station serves the unincorporated community of Altadena in addition to unincorporated Pasadena, northeast Pasadena, Angeles National Forest Mt Wilson area, Eaton Canyon, Chaney Trail, Kinneloa Mesa, La Vina and Pasadena Glen. The Altadena and Marina Stations are the only stations that serve 100% unincorporated areas (i.e. there are no contract cities to generate extra revenue).
Ladera Heights Civic Association, United Homeowners’ Association II, and ViewPark.org have organized a community-wide response together with Neighbors Building a Better Altadena, Beautiful Altadena Official Group, ACONA and other community groups to encourage the Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors to reverse this irresponsible decision that will adversely impact our communities by compromising our public safety. On May 12th after hearing from a very large number of constituents, the Board of Supervisors adopted a motion calling for the Sheriff to halt his closure plans and confer with the County CEO and Auditor-Controller to identify appropriate budget measures that do not jeopardize public safety. Now Sheriff Villanueva is attempting to change the narrative by claiming he never said he would close our stations and that he just wants to "consolidate" management staff while keeping our stations open, but we aren’t buying that ploy either – not one of our deputies or community programs is expendable!
The Sheriff’s proposals will increase response times, reduce patrol unit presence, and eliminate important programs serving our and neighboring communities, in exchange for a very small anticipated savings compared to the total budget deficit facing the Sheriff’s Department. Why does Sheriff Villanueva think that it is ok to close and/or reduce command staff or services at the only two stations that just serve unincorporated areas? Does he think that our property tax dollars are less valuable than those that flow from contract cities? Why isn't he requiring all stations to absorb these budget measures under a more equitable approach?
At a time when we need to continue building on the great community relations developed by each of these Sheriff's stations with their respective communities, why would Sheriff Villanueva act in a manner that risks destroying all of that goodwill? Do we all need to become honorary members of the Civilian Oversight Commission or start a recall petition in order for Sheriff Villanueva to understand that he needs to consider a different course of action?
We believe it is vital for Sheriff Villanueva and the Board of Supervisors to hear directly from their impacted constituents about how critical it is for them to collaborate to solve these budget challenges. In addition to signing our petition that asks the Sheriff and the Board of Supervisors to work together in good faith to find better ways to solve these budget issues, we strongly encourage you to personally express your concerns about this poor public safety decision by doing two more things:
1. Click this link to send a pre-populated email blast to the Sheriff and Board of Supervisors to let them know you do not accept any budget decision that will effectively close or reduce command staff or community programs at our stations.
2. Call Sheriff Villanueva on (213) 229-1850 or (213) 229-1700 and let him know that you want him to work in good faith with the County CEO and Auditor-Controller to identify reasonable budget measures that do not effectively close our stations or reduce our command staff or community programs.
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