To my fellow deputies,
I would not be a candidate for LA County Sheriff had it not been the current Sheriff’s lack of leadership and for the group of deputies who were relentless in convincing me to run.
I am committed to giving back to our department that I am proud to serve. If asked, those deputies would give you an honest recap of who Britta Steinbrenner is. I am firm, fair and just. These are and have been my guiding principles as a Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. This will not change if elected Sheriff.
I have spent the past six years overseeing the County Services Bureau (CSB), the largest command for a single captain. CSB has a $130 million dollar annual contract with 450 employees (136 which are deputies) assigned to CSB, who provide building security and general law enforcement services for our (6) county hospitals, (85) libraries and (320) county buildings located countywide.
With that said the most important question that should be asked is why should I be trusted?
I have an exemplary record and 35 years of service. I began as a custody deputy working at Sybil Brand Institute for women. Throughout my years in patrol I worked at Altadena, Crescenta Valley, Marina Del Rey, Santa Clarita Valley and West Hollywood Sheriff’s Stations. I chose these stations because as a mother of four kids, I wanted the ability to be close to them if something went wrong.
For those who chose to question these assignments as not being “FAST STATIONS,” I hear you, but this has nothing to do with my capabilities to lead. Being stabbed or shot at doesn’t improve your leadership skills, but it does change your perspective on life. Although I was not shot at or stabbed, I was hit by a vehicle while on duty. I spent (2) weeks in the hospital, suffered a broken femur in one leg, a broken tibia and crushed knee in the other leg and a broken wrist. I had (3) surgeries and endured (5) months of physical therapy.
Despite being told I may never walk again; I was determined to rejoin the department and my fellow deputies to serve the people of Los Angeles County. The love for the job and my co-workers at both Altadena and Crescent Valley Sheriff’s Stations motivated me to return to work so soon.
What are my qualifications to be your next Sheriff?
I rose through the rank of Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant to now Captain, I worked at several specialized units, Sheriff’s Information Bureau, Risk Management Bureau, Reserve Forces Bureau. Emergency Operations Bureau, Personnel Administration. As a Captain, I oversaw the Sheriff’s Information Bureau, Community Partnerships Bureau and County Services Bureau.
I managed to get my BA and MBA in Business Administration while raising my 4 children, two who are in the military (Retired Navy & Active-Duty Marines) and two who work in the medical field
I spent my career working hard and did not rise in rank because of nepotism, the good old boys’ network, favoritism or being in a popular social club. I was promoted on my own merit.
My assignments and the challenges that went with them have prepared me for this position. What you see is what you get with me as I am honest, direct and dedicated to our profession.
Moving the Department Forward
Our Department has been challenged for more than 10 years. We ended the Baca/Tanaka Administration, McDonnell years and now the controversial Sheriff Villanueva years.
The public has demanded more from us, voted in Propositions 47 & 57 and a Civilian Oversight Commission to bring reform and more transparency to our department. WE MUST CHANGE and rise to the occasion and bring back confidence in who we are and what we do.
I recognize we have the toughest jobs of any County Employee given the political times we live in. We can and will get better, but we must change from within in order to represent ourselves and bring back a professional standard that the public yearns for and needs.
My vision is to create the best Sheriff’s Department in the Country. I want it to be a model for Modernized policing and I want you to help us get there. I will support better pay, better working conditions and training that defines excellence.
In order to do this, this requires a strategic plan. My plan begins with:
Surrounding myself with a command staff of experienced members of the department and new members of the command staff who have led other departments with expertise that makes us better.
Hiring a more diversified candidate pool. I want to hire deputies who better reflect the diversity of LA County, including hiring more ethnic minorities, Women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and others that are currently underrepresented in the department and in the communities that we serve. I will expand our search to include local college graduates, members of the military, and out of state applicants too.
I want paid training, providing de-escalation techniques, mental health training, tactical communication, weapons training, drivers training for example and paid incentives to pursue college degrees.
A complete staffing assessment to determine all vaccines in order to justify the need for more hiring to the Board of Supervisors. This is critical in order to get our department to the staffing levels needed.
Create new task forces to take on the increases in crime such as Smash and Grab, Hate Crimes, Human Trafficking, Drug Cartels, etc. We will rise to the occasion under my command.
A Fiscal assessment to better understand where our department needs more resources, overspends and justify the needs of the department to the County Board of Supervisors. This is imperative, unfortunately the current Sheriff refuses to participate in this process.
Repair and or replace antiquated buildings: The weapons training range in Santa Clarita Valley, which is archaic, which was built in 1987. Turn the current shooting range into an indoor and outdoor range with lighting and a new classroom.
Rebuild and convert the ELA Station to a state-of-the-art facility and community center.
This will include a Parks and Rec Center with multi-sports playing fields, a gym, basketball courts and community amphitheater.
This will become a model facility that can be replicated in other parts of the county. This is important in order to rebuild our reputation and trust with the residents in these stations where our commitment is questioned.
A complete assessment of our motor pool will take place and the replacement of old patrol cars.
More “Less Lethal” equipment and training staff. Modernizing our technology equipment such as mobile digital command, digital dash cams, drone equipment, etc. Modernize all station gyms/fitness centers along with fitness pay incentives.
These are some of the examples I want to bring internally to make our department better.
THE IMPORTANCE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND THE CIVILIAN OVERSIGHT COMMISSION
It is completely irresponsible and unprofessional as both an elected official and the leader of this department to blame the Board of Supervisors for the Sheriff’s own failures. The Board of Supervisors funds our department. The Sheriff misleads us as Deputies because he does not fulfill his duties to justify our budget. For Example:
He does not provide documentation as is required by ALL COUNTY DEPARTMENTS.
He misrepresents the budget with general statements that our department budget is in the black, at the same time not acknowledging the one time Proposition 172 funding in revenue excess allocation for fiscal year 2021 of $144 Million Dollars.
This one-time funding will not be there in 2022 and his relationship with the Board of Supervisors puts us in jeopardy and on a collision course of complete financial doom.
When he openly blames the Board for not funding more recruiting classes, it is his duty to be transparent by providing the departments finances and justify the need for more recruits. That is the Sheriff’s duty to the public and us as Deputies. I will be transparent!
This is all part of the problem of staffing shortages, overtime issues and the morale of the department. I will justify the need!
For example: For Fiscal Year 20/21 the department’s overtime budget was $129.6 million. The Sheriff overspent by $50.8 million. This is complete mismanagement by any standard.
The Oversight Commission was approved and voted on by voters of Los Angeles and has been the law since 2016. The Sheriff refuses to testify and or answer questions. This is a complete dereliction of duty. We as Deputies when called to testify are obligated. This conduct will further lead to our demise with the public we serve and the Board of supervisors who fund our budget. This will change under my command!
In closing, I want to make the department a better place to work and better serve the community. My duty requires a vision and plan for the success of all who wear the badge.
Under my leadership, I will produce results, where the current Sheriff has failed us. If you want change, I’m your changemaker. I pledge to not mislead you, nor will I fail you to make the department better.