During a press conference Monday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced that the 2020-21 budget proposed by the Board of Supervisors leaves a $400 million gap for the sheriff’s department. To shrink the department’s deficits, Villanueva proposed cuts to academy classes, patrol divisions and homeless outreach services.
As a result, the Altadena and Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Stations will be closed July 1 to garner a combined savings of $12.2 million for the department. Altadena will be patrolled by the Crescenta Valley Patrol Station. According to Villanueva, the shutter will mostly impact administrative personnel.
Other cuts include the elimination of the Parks Bureau, reverting patrol duties for the county’s parks to the nearest sheriff’s station, and the Community Partnership Bureau (COPS). COPS teams provide supplemental services to residences in unincorporated areas.
L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger responded to Villanueva’s decisions in a letter to Altadena residents. In it she expresses disappointment in Villanueva’s decision, “Especially considering that there are more sensible adjustments that he can make such as reducing overtime expenses and scaling back training academy classes.”
Barger specifically pointed to the fact that the department has “run a substantial deficit that the County is unable to maintain”— a deficit made more unsustainable by expected revenue loss for the County caused by COVID-19.
The supervisor concluded by encouraging Villanueva to “find appropriate solutions that will help resolve the financial issues in his department, while still maintaining his commitment to protect and serve our residents.”