Richard Cesaroni | Why the County Is Riddled with Crime

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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The following letter was sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Subject: Mismanagement of funds for law enforcement.

First of all, I am retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (1960-1994), so I know of what I speak. For the 33.8 years that I served the LASD and the citizens of Los Angeles County, I have never seen the political strife among the supervisors as I have seen in the current board. 

I am speaking of the Board of Supervisors versus the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

Crime has risen greatly in the major crimes of murder, robbery, rape, burglary, etc. Homicides have risen 95%, just to mention the most terrible crimes. 

I have heard time and again from the Board of Supervisors that they want to put a stop to these terrible crimes, they want to keep their districts safe and they want the communities in their district to support them in their efforts. 

The more money you defund, the more the crime rate will rise. The board clamors for results from Sheriff Alex Villanueva. 

Fact: The Board of Supervisors defunded the LASD $145 million in the last budget. The current budget is scheduled to take away $143 million from the Sheriff’s Department. 

The Men’s Central jail is bulging with murderers, robbers, rapists (some of the most violent and deadliest criminals in the world) and the board tells the sheriff something must be done to alleviate the problem. Then they keep defunding the LASD.

The board has taken millions of dollars away from the LASD and squandered it to who knows what and has let the LASD struggle to stay afloat. The board even gave $50,000 to District Attorney George Gascón for some ridiculous commission. Gascón, the man all criminals can depend on NOT to send them to jail. A man for all criminals. 

I would suggest that Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell sign up for the LASD “Ride Along” program and join a deputy for a ride-along in their districts and see how bad things are. That program starts again on June 15. Their districts have the highest crime rates for murders of all five districts.   

By defunding the LASD you are depriving the citizens of your districts of their right to be safe and protected in their homes. Defunding the LASD only creates a problem of how to assist other units. The sheriff has to cannibalize one or more units and move them to another assignment to help them do their job. This is crazy. You want more, but you give less. 

Try a ride-along and see what reality really is all about. 

Of course, when I was working the streets, the board and the LASD were always squabbling at budget time, but back then the BOS knew what was important to the community, and that was safety for all. 

All I ask is for the board to STOP playing politics.  You are just playing a dangerous game with people’s lives.  Your priorities are very much blurred, and they should be brought back into focus. 

Start supporting the men and women who are out on the streets 24/7, 365 days a year keeping the bad people at bay and away from your front door, and the streets safe. Sitting in your offices in downtown Los Angeles, you do not take the brunt of the violence that these men and women go through each day. You do not have to listen to the citizens of the community who complain about everything imaginable including slow response time from the deputies. They just have to do what they can with what they have. And you are responsible for what they do not have. And that’s an adequate number of deputies on the streets.  

All I would like to see from the board is for you to do what is right and put aside your petty politics and egos and start supporting law enforcement instead of listening to these groups of hate mongers and police haters who want to take over the community. 

One taxpayer’s opinion.

Richard Cesaroni


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