Emergency Preparedness & Response 

 

Emergency management, response and preparedness is a critical component of our duties. Given the current weather fluctuations that relate to Climate Change, these responsibilities are most relevant for those who live in the foothills and fire prone areas in Los Angeles County. These areas are affected from both natural and man made disasters such as wildfires, floods and critical incidents requiring evacuation and protection for the residents and communities in these areas.

 

Our responsibilities also include many beach areas and rural areas where response times become critical when lives are in danger. As Sheriff I plan to reassess our Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan to meet the growing needs of these more common threats of Fire and Floods.

 

Current Status of Director of Emergency Services (Los Angeles County) 

 

In  March of 2020, The Board of Supervisors removed Sheriff Alex Villanueva as the head of emergency operations, a critical component in leading Los Angeles County through any type of emergent crisis. His removal was due in part to an audit that identified the Sheriff's shortcomings during the 2018 deadly Woolsey Fire wherein Los Angeles County officials were unprepared to handle the mass evacuations, numerous disruptions and calls for mutual aid went unanswered. 

 

The Sheriff's Department’s role and response to any type of critical incident such as evacuations, handling a global pandemic, protecting critical infrastructure or responding to mutual aid requests, etc., requires a plan of action to ensure all personnel are trained, ready to respond and knowledge in all areas according to their job responsibilities. 

 

One of the current Sheriff’s greatest failures is his inability to work collectively with other agencies. The responsibility of working with other participating agencies, from Federal, State and local Public Safety Agencies is a must. 

 

As Sheriff I will perform this duty in partnership with all agencies to better serve the residents of Los Angeles County.

 

Modernization of Emergency Operation Center

 

In the 1990’s, the Sheriff's Department had the state of the art building, technology  and  equipment to combat wildfires, mudslides, floods, pandemics and any other unforeseen  emergency along with  a 24 hour command center and trained personnel. 

  

The current state of the department requires the LASD to invest in technology, staffing of incident management teams to handle the crisis at hand, continuous training courses for sworn personnel, 24 hour command center to track, monitor and capture all events both locally nationally and globally.

 

To prepare and continue the LASD’s role as the primary law enforcement agency to handle any county wide response, as Sheriff I propose the following:

 

  • Re-engage and reconnect and work in partnership with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

  • Rebuild relationship with Board of Supervisors and regain title and role as the Director of Emergency Management for the entire LA County

  • After Action Report written and submitted to the Board of Supervisors and OEM within 90 days after the incident. 

 

24 hour - County Emergency Operations Center 

 

  • Renovate and modernize the current Emergency Operations Bureau Building in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) into a state of the art facility.

  • LASD and OEM to work in tandem during critical incidents inside the County Emergency Operations Center. This is the hub wherein all supporting agencies respond to and work together as one collaborative team. 

 

Critical Infrastructure /Technology  

 

  • Create a 24-hour - 7 days a week Department Operations Command Center (DOCC) to handle all department operations routine, emergent and critical incidents.

  • The DOC will be the intake facility to monitor all critical information as it affects cities at a local, state and national level and notify executives and make all pertinent notifications as needed during both routine and emergency situations.  

  • The DOC will be activated for all significant events regardless of size or locations in order to monitor and receive the most updated information to include the deployment of personnel during routine and emergency situations.

  • 24 hour call center with Alert LA notifications and social media updates releasing critical updates especially for mandatory evacuations and traffic exit routes.

  • Develop/ Purchase state of the art software programs, computers, radios, Mobil digital computers to track, monitor and communicate with outside agencies, nationally and globally.

  • Establish a Cost recovery Command Resource Center for residents and business owners to have access to Federal, State and or County assistance programs. 

 

Internal Advancements

 

  • Training (both in and out of state) for personnel assigned to the Emergency Operations Bureau, Incident Management Teams and Department Operations Center on a quarterly basis (area familiarity, fire, quake, flood, airplane/train crash, etc)

  • Upgrade Computer equipment and software to work with other law enforcement agencies nationally and globally

  • Update the Emergency Operations Procedures manual on a yearly basis 

  • and community notifications process with Alert notifications and 24 /7 call center to handle any inquiries or complaints.

  • Upgrade our Data Systems Bureau computer system and hire additional computer programmers.  

 

Community and Business Partnerships

 

  • Expand the CERT program. Provide quarterly training for community members.   Seek the community's involvement to participate in training exercises area/brush clearance and response team. (evacuations/shelter in place, earthquake, fire, flood, airplane/train crash, etc

  • Quarterly Community - Volunteer training days. 

  • Partnership with Businesses as Resource centers for supplies in the event of an emergency 

  • Maintain and Identify primary listings for shelters for families, Locations to house small and large animals, family reunifications locations along with other miscellaneous services to help the residents.

  • Promote Ready set Go program! initiated by the Fire Department for better situational awareness and safety.

  • Create written correspondence-handouts/maps  with all pertinent information for the residents. 

 

Training

  • Participate in quarterly table top training exercises with representatives from   the fire department, law enforcement municipalities  and  community and social service programs and associated agencies.

  • LASD Personnel assigned to the DOC and Incident Management Teams to participate in monthly training sessions.

  • Provide training for community leaders as it relates their their roles and responsibilities 

 

Media Relations

  • Re-Design the Sheriff's Information Bureau to handle all media inquiries, press releases, rollouts to critical events, conduct social media inquiries for any and all routine or emergent incidents.

  • Expand Social media to push out alerts and updates to all community members based upon station locations.

Oversight & Post Action

  • Establish an oversight commission to review and prepare after action reports on any and all major incidents. Commission to include a representative from each of the involved agencies such as fire/Law/social services/municipalities/Judicial/members living in fire zones) 

  • Identify and document  all corrective after action and lessons learned recommendations. Implement any and all recommendations within a 90 day timeline.

Financial Recovery Team 

  • Work with the  Board of Supervisors, Office of Emergency Management and FEMA to create a financial recovery team -  responsible for state and federal disaster guidance in  seeking reimbursement for law enforcement, fire and  participating agencies seeking reimbursement. 

Going Green

  • EOB to oversee the department's viability, research  and reduction of the  departments carbon footprint in creating positive measures to help our environment and save our citizen’s tax dollars by utilizing Solar Power, hybrid, electric vehicles, water reclamation and water conservation to include to lowering the LASD Fleet emissions 25% by 2026 and 50% by 2030.  In addition, having the Department seek out and purchase recyclable goods whenever possible to continue our “Going Green” effort.

 

Emergency Management has long been overlooked and underdeveloped.  Any type of emergency or disaster runs the risk of taking the life of another. We as a law enforcement agency must work collaboratively with all parties, DA, and other police agencies to ensure the safety of all personnel, their loved ones and their pets.