As Sheriff I’m aware of the challenges our planet faces regarding climate changes. Our State and Los Angeles County face drought and fire danger annually. As the leader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department I believe I can play a role in addressing these environmental challenges within my powers of running the largest Sheriff’s Department in our nation. Under my command as Sheriff of Los Angeles County I am committed to doing our share and will make our Department a “GO Green” Department within 30 days of taking office.
Though I’m limited within the scope of my position and within the boundaries of Los Angeles County, I will take positive steps to help our environment and save our citizen’s tax dollars. Solar Power, hybrid, electric vehicles, water reclamation, and water conservation are all options I will implement Department wide to help reduce our carbon footprint. I am committed to lowering the LASD Fleet emissions 25% by 2026 and 50% by 2030.
In addition, I will direct our Fiscal Purchasing Department to seek out and purchase recyclable goods whenever possible to help in our “Go Green” effort.
Once elected as Sheriff, I will rebuild our problematic patrol stations with negative histories. Each station will be environmentally and community friendly. Energy efficient options such as the use of solar power, vehicle charging centers, hardscape and recycling options with water usage and recyclable products will be our primary focus and goal.
In consideration of these options, as it pertains to Solar Power, I will, in collaboration with the County Board of Supervisors, evaluate the feasibility and cost of the installation and maintenance of solar panels at LASD buildings, stations and jails.
As Recycling options, I will increase the amount of cardboard, plastic, and glass recycled at stations and facilities. For Water reclamation, I will review long-term water purification and treatment options which will use reclaimed water for use at the Pitchess Detention Center Nursery, for the outer landscaping of our facilities and for washing our fleet of vehicles. A pilot program would be initiated at the Pitchess Detention Center, which contains three custody facilities housing over 3,300 inmates. There are over 2,600 acres that are safe and secure and a prime location for a water reclamation plant.
Our Department has over 18,000 employees, 23 patrol stations, specialized units, courts, jails, inmate transportation buses, etc. The executive staff, Captains and above, who are authorized to drive a department vehicle as part of their job duties, comprise approximately 120 personnel of my command. It is now sensible and feasible to purchase electric or Hybrid vehicles for their use.
The traditional black and white patrol vehicles used for responding to calls for service and routine police work would remain gas powered due to the need for them to be used in the case of long distance chases and other demands on the vehicle that are currently not met by EVs. Parking enforcement, detective bureau, and other non-emergency uses would be assigned non-gas-powered vehicles. The fast-rising gas prices and the abundance of less expensive electricity is a primary cause for expediting this change.
Sheriff’s Department charging stations would be installed at stations, bureaus, and facilities parking lots. There is an initial cost to purchase and install the equipment; however over several years they would pay for themselves.
As a comparison for consideration, the New York Police Department has 2,776 hybrid/EV vehicles and is the largest alternative fuel fleet in New York. The Los Angeles Police Department has used Ford hybrids in an administrative capacity for several years; executives have used 200 BMW’s. This is a viable option.
The Sheriff’s Department utilizes diesel buses to transport thousands of inmates daily to and from courts, or the Inmate Reception Center for release. On average a diesel-powered commercial bus costs $500,000. To purchase a propane bus would increase the costs by $6,000 more, and an electric bus costs approximately $250,000 more.
Many schools are using propane gas buses: Anaheim, Fullerton, Riverside, and Baldwin Park. Schools save on average $3K - $5K per bus per year vs., gas/diesel. With the current price of Gas/Diesel the cost savings will now be even higher.
I will support employees to carpool in accordance with the AQMD and will allow unit schedulers to partner employees up to carpool when feasible.
I will encourage employees to submit ideas to help create a greener Department.
Increasing deputy foot patrols, to allow for more mobility and quicker response times for calls for service; deputies could use T3 scooters, Piaggio or Vectrix scooters and Segways. They would be supplemented by bicycle patrols.
I will re-examine and require new articulation for the need of “take home” vehicles, not just executives and specialized units but including and not limited to Department maintenance trucks and vehicles.
As we are now in the post Covid environment; I’ll evaluate the feasibility of more employees telecommuting from home and compressing their work schedules for the professional staff.
Although my scope and influence is limited; this will not prevent me from actively moving toward and accomplishing my goal of creating a greener LASD which is long overdue. Whether it’s a small step or large leap taken, I will continue to remain dedicated to the creation of a cleaner and less fossil fuel dependent and use all the Department’s purchasing power to help fight Climate Change within the Sheriff's Department.