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LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva On LASD Response To COVID-19, Outbreak’s Impact On Crime Rates & More

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at a news conference.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva speaks at a news conference.
Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

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First responders are among those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak, and that’s no different for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is tasked with not only law enforcement across Los Angeles County but also administration of the county jail. The man elected to oversee it all is Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who in his first term as L.A. County Sheriff has had to navigate a crisis the likes of which few, if any, of his predecessors have seen. 

The good news for local law enforcement is that arrests and reports of crime are both down for LASD since the implementation of statewide “stay at home” orders. But the outbreak has not come without its challenges, like figuring out how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among inmates in the county jail while also protecting corrections officers and other jail staff in close contact with the inmate population. The Sheriff has also had to navigate a contentious relationship with the L.A. County Board of Supervisor -- last week, the supervisors voted to remove Villanueva as head of the county’s emergency operations center, a move they said was unrelated to his decision to keep gun shops open as essential businesses during the outbreak but that still raised questions about the timing and reasoning behind it.

Today on AirTalk, Sheriff Villanueva joins Larry Mantle to check-in on how LASD is responding to various challenges posed by COVID-19 and we’ll take your calls and questions for Sheriff Villanueva at 866-893-5722.


Alex Villanueva, Los Angeles County Sheriff; he tweets @LACoSheriff