California Contract Cities Association Forms Public Safety Working Group to Address Law Enforcement Issues

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West Hollywood Sheriff's Department neon sign - Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

Lindsey Horvath, the Mayor of West Hollywood and President of The California Contract Cities Association (CCCA), announced the formation of CCCA’s Public Safety Working Group (PSWG), a group comprised of elected officials and city managers to address public safety issues and review law enforcement use-of-force policies and a list of other community safety concerns.

In a newsletter released today, CCCA acknowledged the collaborative and constructive partnership the association has had with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and their efforts to deliver exceptional services to city residents. However, the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Abery and several others at the hands of police officers, have sparked calls to local elected officials to review law enforcement use-of-force and other safety concerns.

Safety issues being addressed include: public safety enforcement & accountability mechanisms; law enforcement protocols and reforms; LASD contract terms/overhead rates; LASD liability/risk reduction efforts; and LASD response to issues such as mental illness and substance abuse within various communities.

Horvath states, “Our preliminary goal is to better understand these issues and work on
solutions and next steps, so that we can be accountable to our residents regarding
their concerns.”

The CCCA newsletter reads as follows:

“Dearest Member of California Contract Cities Association,

Since 1957, the California Contract Cities Association has represented the interests of
cities that contract for law enforcement services from the Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Department (LASD). The Association has enjoyed a collaborative and
constructive partnership with LASD, as well as our County partners, to deliver
exceptional service to our residents.

The recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery, among
others, have sparked nationwide calls on local elected officials to review law
enforcement use-of-force policies and to ensure that supportive care is prioritized in
response to the contributing factors for public safety concerns. Many of you have
contacted members of CCCA leadership and staff regarding incidents of use-of-force,
ongoing liability concerns, and other issues raised by residents in your communities.
Based on this communication, it is clear new discussions are warranted and timely,
considering the numerous challenges we face today throughout the country.

Additionally, there continues to be a significant burden placed on our Sheriff deputies
to address issues related to homelessness throughout the region, including mental
illness and substance abuse, in which most of the Department is not specialized.
In response to these concerns, our Executive Committee discussed creating a
committee to focus on these issues and provide support to our member cities. At our
meeting this month, the Executive Committee agreed to convene a Public Safety
Working Group (PSWG), comprised of elected officials and city managers from our
member cities, to better understand the issues and work on meaningful solutions for
the benefit of your residents and community stakeholders.

CCCA Public Safety Working Group members are:

Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath, City of West Hollywood (CCCA Executive Board President)
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Waronek, City of Lomita (CCCA Executive Board Vice President)
Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj, City of Artesia (CCCA Executive Board Secretary/Treasurer)
Mayor Gloria Olmos, City of South El Monte
Council Member Michelle Chambers, City of Compton
Vice Mayor Jose Gonzalez, City of Cudahy
Mayor Pro-Tem Cedric Hicks, City of Carson
Mayor Pro-Tem Bernadette Suarez, City of Lawndale
Council Member Toney Lewis, City of Duarte
City Manager Paul Arevalo, City of West Hollywood
City Manager Reva Feldman, City of Malibu
City Manager John Moreno, City of Paramount
City Manager Ken Stripland, City of Santa Clarita

The PSWG is intended to address a broad range of issues including, but not limited to,
public safety enforcement & accountability mechanisms; law enforcement protocols
& reforms; LASD contract terms/overhead rates; LASD liability/risk reduction efforts;
and LASD response to issues such as mental illness and substance abuse within our
communities. The PSWG’s purpose is to identify the range of experiences from our
member cities and engage key stakeholders within LASD and the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors to address the concerns and feedback that we have heard from
our communities, in relation to specific incidents, as well as the national discussions
currently taking place. The goal is to work with all parties to address the concerns
that have been raised, as they directly impact the daily activities of our deputies as
well as related budgetary decisions.

The first meeting of the PSWG will be used to set goals and establish the key topics
the group would like to discuss. We will also be inviting Sheriff Villanueva and others
from LASD, as well as the Los Angeles County Supervisors and other County staff, to
meet with the PSWG to address and discuss concerns that have been raised in our
communities. Our preliminary goal is to better understand these issues and work on
solutions and next steps, so that we can be accountable to our residents regarding
their concerns.

We will provide regular updates on the work of the PSWG at Executive Committee
and General Membership meetings. Should you have any questions, you are welcome
to contact me directly or reach out to Marcel Rodarte, Executive Director, by email at
marcel@contractcities.org or by phone at (562) 639-6736.
Sincerely,
Lindsey P. Horvath
President, California Contract Cities Association
Mayor, City of West Hollywood”

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