Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Los Angeles on Aug. 17, 2023. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
Just days after four Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) members committed suicide
within a 24-hour period, a memo from Sheriff Robert Luna and Division Chief Dennis Kneer went out to Palmdale deputies asking for input on their proposed solutions to alleviate the mandated overtime causing extreme stress and hazardous work conditions for patrol deputies.
The inter-department memo sent on Nov. 13 read:
“It’s obvious overtime requirements is wearing on our line deputies, and it’s taking away our detective’s ability to do their daily jobs. The Sheriff along with our Chief is asking for realistic ideas on how we can reduce the amount of mandatory overtime. Obviously, hiring more people and getting our custody deputies out quicker would be nice. Again, email me or call me about ‘realistic’ ideas.”
The current overtime requirements for December at the Palmdale station is six overtime spots per deputy per month, aside from their patrol schedule and commute time.
The current quandary at LASD culminated from a laundry list of political ploys, both locally and nationally, with the clear intention to strip the power and influence from the most prestigious and largest sheriff’s department in the world, and weaken the core of public safety in the county.
The agenda has been strengthened by Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s no-cash bail
policy and the Soros-backed district attorney’s pro-criminal directives.
The Palmdale station has suffered the most devastating blows this year starting with a high-profile use of force incident
followed by the murder of deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer
, ambushed just outside the station.
The use of force event came on the heels of a separate incident
that occurred the week prior in Lancaster. The Palmdale use of force incident was resurrected from the archives, according to Mr. Luna at a press conference, by Division Chief Kneer—although the incident, which occurred under previous Sheriff Alex Villanueva, was investigated and the deputies were cleared to return to patrol.
The unearthing of the year-old incident is indicative of Mr. Luna’s agenda to satisfy the Board of Supervisors and the Civilian Oversight Commission whose primary focus has been to eradicate deputy gangs, a considerably small group of individuals among the 9,000 sworn deputies, at a handful of stations throughout the county.
The Palmdale station recently instituted a two-captain command structure as part of the strategy to eradicate deputy gangs.
The wife of one of the deputies who committed suicide earlier this month allegedly confronted Mr. Luna and Chief of Custody Sergio Aloma at the hospital, blaming crippling work conditions contributing to her husband taking his life on Nov. 7.
Three weeks later, on Nov. 27, the family of murdered Mr. Clinkunbroomer filed a government claim, the first step in filing a lawsuit, against Los Angeles County and LASD for the wrongful death of their son, citing work conditions, specifically the overtime requirements, which they allege contributed to extreme fatigue and his inability to be cognizant of his surroundings to properly protect himself in hazardous situations.
Sheriff Robert Luna was named in the claim under the heading, “Public employees causing the injury, damage or loss.”
Deputy Clinkunbroomer was stopped at a red light just outside the Palmdale station on Sept. 16, when Kevin Salazar drove up behind him, then approached the side of Mr. Clinkunbroomer’s patrol car and shot him in the head. A manhunt ensued, and Mr. Salazar was arrested 36 hours later.
Unfortunately, the sheriff and his executive staff appear at a loss on how to resolve the debilitating work conditions.
While Mr. Luna has inherited some of the issues from his predecessor, he has exacerbated an already dire situation due to his allegiance to the Board of Supervisors and his mentor
Mr. Gascón, which has been felt profoundly by the rank and file leading to the mass exit of department personnel via early retirement, voluntary transfer to another agency, quitting outright and suicide.