Three days after announcing a number of budget cuts, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department urged residents Thursday to call the county’s Board of Supervisors to voice concerns about the impact on communities.
In a series of tweets Thursday morning, the department outlined closures and cuts that would be made as its $3.9 billion in costs were cut down to $3.5 billion for fiscal year 2020 to 2021. Due to the looming $400 million budget shortfall, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva “has been forced to make drastic cuts,” a tweet from the department says.
The move comes as tensions rise between Villanueva and Supervisor Kathryn Barger. The Los Angeles Times reported that the standoff reached a boiling point when the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to remove Villanueva as the director of the county’s emergency operations center, which he called a “silent coup.”
According to the department’s tweets, the cuts include:
- The Marina del Rey and Altadena stations will be closed and consolidated into the South L.A. and Crescenta Valley stations, respectively, and eliminating a couple dozen administrative positions to save $12 million.
- County parks and community partnership bureaus will be eliminated, saving more than $62 million a year. Parks will be patrolled by the nearest sheriff’s station instead.
- Search and Rescue Coordinator Deputy positions at stations will be removed. Search and Rescue Volunteers will respond to situations instead.
- Dedicated Community projects and Nuisance abatement services will be eliminated.
- Vacancies at L.A. Regional Human Trafficking Task Force will go unfilled, reducing the number of investigators from the Homicide, Fraud, Major Crimes and Special Victims bureaus.
- Ten positions in the Homeless Outreach Services Team which help connect those experiencing homelessness with shelters and other services, will be cut, reducing the team to six people to save $1.4 million.
- Recruitment efforts and academy classes will be reduced from 12 classes a year to eight classes, affecting the department’s ability to hire deputies to fill vacancies.
Barger said that Villanueva has chosen to shutter stations and make other cuts “instead of more sensible adjustments” the county executive’s office had recommended, the Times reported.
Last month, all five county supervisors asked Villanueva to “correct the misimpressions” related to remarks he made over deputy sick leave amid the coronavirus.
On Thursday, the department’s tweets urged concerned residents to contact supervisors — and included a link to official contact information for each of them.
KTLA reached out to the Board of Supervisors’ office for comment and is awaiting a response.