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  • Robert Luna

'Villanueva under fire at Sheriff’s debate'

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

"Just days after Villanueva sent a cease-and-desist order demanding the LA County Supervisors stop using the phrase 'deputy gangs' to refer to secretive cliques that have developed at sheriff’s stations, SMDC President Jon Katz asked the five candidates how they would propose to combat the problem.

'Deputy gangs have been a longstanding issue with the LA Sheriff’s Department,' Katz began.

He asked the candidates: 'Do you view deputy gangs as a problem? And, if so, how do you intend to meaningfully address it?'

One by one, all four challengers railed against the issue.

Luna said that not only were deputy gangs a problem, but they were 'absolutely unacceptable, with an exclamation point.' Luna offered two solutions: emphasizing mental health, and bringing in the Feds.

'We need to get back to the basics about talking about employee and deputy wellness, to deal with the mental aspects of the job, which are probably taking people that direction to begin with,' Luna said. 'And then we need to bring in the FBI, Federal DOJ, State, DOJ, whoever it takes, because we’ve been talking about this way too long. That’s why I keep on telling everybody, you need an outsider to come in and fix this.'"

Click here to read the Santa Monica Daily Press's article on my recent debate.

Article by Emily Sawicki

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