Letters to the Editor: ‘Measure A (for Alex?)’ — Sheriff Villanueva’s legacy in L.A. County
When we left the last update with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Office, the department has a new chief as Sheriff Jim McDonnell was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to replace Sheriff Lee Baca in January of this year. The department has undergone a lot of changes as a result, from deputy to sergeant to captain to acting commander. They are also responsible for running the jail, which is a “very small operation” but it is “essential to the operation of the County of Los Angeles.” The changes have been great. The number of deputies in the office went from 50 to 40 (the old L.A. County Sheriff’s Office had more deputies than the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department), the number of sergeants went from 25 to 20 (we had 31 sergeants, a high number for the Sheriff’s Office), the number of captains went from 10 to 12, and the number of commanders went from 6 to 7.
In my opinion, the best change was the increase of sergeants. The most common reason is that in the past two years, the officers in the “sergeants’ office” were not being trained in all aspects of the job. They were not working in teams. They were not allowed to communicate with other deputies and to go out on patrol. In my opinion, these changes make the job easier for the officers.
In the last few months, two new officers have transferred into the office. One of them is Frank Pinedo, an ex-officer from the Fresno Sheriff’s Department in California. He was the commander on the SWAT team and worked for the SWAT team on a daily basis, and was responsible for the SWAT team’s training.
The other officer is Joe Martinez, the son of a retired LASD Captain. He started to work for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as a jailer, but the next thing I