Tomorrow, June 5, is primary day here in California, and this year there has been an unusual focus on county-level races for District Attorney and Sheriff, positions with critical impact on the criminal justice system that have historically often been uncontested or un-noticed. The District Attorney races in Alameda and Sacramento have drawn a particular amount of attention, with progressive candidates putting on strong challenges to the establishment candidates. In Los Angeles, with less public attention, there is a similar progressive challenge to the incumbent Sheriff from inside the Sheriff’s department. Lt. Alex Villanueva is challenging incumbent Jim McDonnell on a reform campaign highlighting community policing and civilian oversight:
“Of all the pressing needs of the community and the LASD, here is a short list of the most critical:
- Rebuilding the LASD from the ground up based on community policing principles and ethical standards of conduct.
- Clean house of all sources of corruption, both past and present.
- Develop a long term strategic plan for the organization that includes adding 3,000 patrol deputies and shrinking a massive bureaucracy
- A coordinated recruitment drive targetting the County’s most under-represented communities
- Meaningful civilian oversight
My priorities are straight forward:
- Implement community policing countywide
- Develop a new generation of leadership built on public service
- Promote transparency, accountability, and meaningful civilian oversight
- Demand fiscal responsibility and live within our budget
- Improve the morale of the organization
- Restore the reputation of the LASD as the premier law enforcement organization it can be”