Public Safety

Supervisor Knabe Statement on Suspension of LA-RICS

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued a statement following the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announcement that it would be halting funding of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) and giving LA-RICS until April 13 to submit an amended project plan that is acceptable to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles City Council and NTIA.

“The news today out of Washington, DC that the NTIA is suspending funding of the LA-RICS is disappointing and frustrating. Living in a region that is susceptible to wildfires, earthquakes and other disasters, residents throughout all 4,000 square miles of Los Angeles County are at risk. Our first responders must have the tools and equipment necessary to protect lives, most importantly, the ability to communicate quickly and reliably in the event of disaster.  Recently, disingenuous rhetoric about the project was put out to scare residents into believing that this communications network could cause more harm than good. There have been two concerns voiced: safety and the locations of the cell towers.  I believe that the scientific evidence is clear: the LA-RICS towers do not pose a health hazard to the public. We now have 10 days to formulate a new plan of action to make this interoperable communication network a reality. Whether we have to reconfigure where we place the towers or refresh our outreach to communities, as the largest county in the nation, it is important that Los Angeles County be the first to make this project operational.”

Board of Supervisors Approves Reward for Information Related to Death of Newborn Eliza Delacruz

LOS ANGELES, January 6, 2015 — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion introduced by Supervisor Don Knabe to establish a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) involved in the death of Eliza Delacruz.

On Saturday, January 3, 2015, at approximately 5:50p.m., the father, mother and uncle of 3-week-old Eliza Delacruz were shot while in their home in the 100 block of W. 51st Street in Long Beach, by a male suspect who entered the home.  Eliza was abducted by the suspect, and subsequently found deceased the following day in a trash dumpster in San Diego County.  Detectives have few leads in the case and believe a reward will prompt reluctant witnesses to come forward.  They can remain anonymous.

“I made this motion in collaboration with the Long Beach Police Department to support their aggressive work to bring to justice the person(s) who committed this heinous crime,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.  “We are asking anyone who has any information to please come forward – they can remain anonymous.”

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Detectives Donald Goodman and Mark Mattia at (562) 570-7244

Long Beach Police Department – Homicide Detail

L.A. County Board of Supervisors Appoints Orange County Undersheriff John Scott as Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has appointed current Orange County Undersheriff John Scott as interim Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Scott will assume command of the Department following Sheriff Leroy Baca’s retirement, effective January 30, 2014.

Scott has over 40 years of experience in law enforcement, and began his career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1969. During his tenure with the department, Scott rose through the ranks from Deputy to Acting Chief, where he was responsible for the Custody Operations Division. Following his retirement from the Department, Scott was brought into the Orange County Sheriff’s Department by Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in 2008 to serve as Undersheriff.

Board Chairman Don Knabe issued the statement below following the Board’s selection:

“The Sheriff’s Department is at a crossroads, and John has the necessary experience and skills to step in right away and lead in the interim.  During his over 40 years in law enforcement, John has served in capacities across the board, from operating the County’s jails to patrolling unincorporated communities.  This wide range of experience will allow John to continue our efforts to aggressively implement recommendations made by the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, while maintaining the great work of the thousands of men and women who keep our communities safe.  During his tenure with Orange County, John has been instrumental in turning around a department that faced similar conditions to those we face today in Los Angeles County. I would like to thank Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens for allowing John to take a leave from his duties as Undersheriff to return to Los Angeles County. Sheriff Hutchens began her law enforcement career with Los Angeles County, and she cares greatly about the department’s future.  The Board looks forward to working closely with John over the next 10 months before a newly elected Sheriff takes over the department.”

John Scott, Interim Los Angeles County Sheriff Biography:
John Scott joined the Sheriff’s Department in January of 1969. As a deputy, he patrolled the Lakewood Station area. In 1974, he was promoted to Sergeant and held assignments at Firestone Station, the Special Enforcement Bureau and the Emergency Operations Bureau. Following his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in 1984, Commander Scott took assignments at Men’s Central Jail, Carson Station, Field Operations Region II Headquarters, the Office of Emergency Management, Employee Relations, and was the Executive Aide to the Assistant Sheriff. In 1995, he took command of Carson Station following his promotion to Captain. In June 2001, he held the rank of Acting Commander, leading the Custody Operations Division, North Facilities.

Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Redlands University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Communications from Pepperdine University.

CV for Undersheriff Scott available here: Resume

Knabe Statement on Retirement of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca

LOS ANGELES, January 7, 2014 – Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe issued the statement below, following the retirement announcement of Sheriff Lee Baca:

            “Sheriff Baca has dedicated his life to public service, working his way up the department’s ranks to serve as Sheriff for nearly 15 years.  He has been steadfast in his commitment to the department and his focus on keeping the public safe has led to decreasing rates of violent crime in our County. Over the last few years, the department has been challenged by on-going scrutiny and investigations into the actions of a few, which has cast a cloud across the work of thousands of employees who risk their lives every day to protect our communities.  Given these challenges, I think now is an appropriate time for the County to continue its implementation of the recommendations of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, allow our new Inspector General to get underway and keep the momentum for reform moving forward.”

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L.A. County Releases Second Report on Maternity Hotels

Twenty-four confirmed Maternity Hotels were cited in Los Angeles County, but overall, new complaints from the public about suspected birthing centers have decreased significantly, according to a new quarterly report released last week by the Chief Executive Office of Los Angeles County.

In total, the multi-agency taskforce, consisting of various County departments including Regional Planning and Sheriff’s, as well as Mandarin and Cantonese translators, has inspected 82 locations throughout the County and was able to gain access to 70 properties suspected of operating maternity hotels. Numerous violations were found at these locations including unsafe health conditions, unpermitted room conversions, and properties operating as boarding homes without proper licensing. In the last three months, only three new complaints about suspected maternity hotels were logged.

“The inspections conducted by the taskforce have proven to be a successful deterrent to new maternity hotels setting up in our neighborhoods and communities,” said Supervisor Don Knabe, whose motion created the taskforce and called for an ordinance to regulate maternity hotels in Los Angeles County.

A proposed ordinance to regulate maternity hotels was not recommended at this time because the Department of Regional Planning is still conducting inspections. The Department can still issue notices of violation where maternity hotels are operating illegally because under current County codes, boarding houses are not allowed in a single-family residential zones with more than five persons unrelated to the operator.

To view the second quarterly report on Maternity Hotels in Los Angeles County, visit

Knabe to Call for More Regulation of “Maternity Hotels”

At the Tuesday, January 29th Board of Supervisors meeting, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe will call for more rigorous zoning restrictions to combat the rise in maternity hotels in LA County, particularly in the San Gabriel Valley.

“Across the United States, the recent trend in “birthing tourism” has led to money- making schemes that put the health and safety of mothers and babies in jeopardy,” said Supervisor Knabe.  “We have had an increase in complaints from neighboring residents, concerned about the well-being of those in these homes, as well as concern about the quality-of-life in residential neighborhoods when these facilities are allowed to operate.”

In response to the January 14, 2013 Status Report on Knabe’s Board Motion Regarding Postpartum Recovery Homes, he will ask for the Board’s support to direct County Counsel to draft a proposed ordinance to regulate these boarding houses, while also calling for the CEO to lead multi-agency inspection teams.  He will also request funding to assist the inspectors with additional staff and Mandarin/Cantonese translators to communicate with occupants.

“These maternity hotels have grown beyond the scope of a zoning issue.  The conditions inside some of these houses are putting the lives of the mothers and babies at risk and we must do what we can to protect them and stop this illegal activity,” said Knabe.

Knabe Nominates Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell to Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe announced Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell as his appointee to the “Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence.” The Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors to investigate use of force by Sheriff’s deputies in the County jail system and report back with recommendations for a corrective action plan.

“Chief McDonnell has had a distinguished career in law enforcement and is a respected leader in policing issues,” said Knabe. “His experience serving in Los Angeles County’s two biggest cities will be vital to formulating new ideas on how to deal with the issues in our jails.  Chief McDonnell’s knowledge as a user of jail systems and his understanding of the incredibly difficult job our deputies face will bring a unique perspective to the Commission.  I appreciate his willingness to serve.”

Chief McDonnell was a 28-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, before taking over as Chief of the Long Beach Police Department in 2010. Chief McDonnell served as one of former LAPD Police Chief William J. Bratton’s top assistants, and was a leader in instituting reforms to the department. While with the LAPD, he was awarded the department’s highest award for bravery, the Medal of Valor.

Fraudulent E-Mail With Los Angeles County Fire Department Logo Circulating

A fraudulent e-mail containing the heading “Acid Rain Precautions” and the County of Los Angeles Fire Department logo has surfaced, warning residents that radioactive particles released from the Fukushima Nuclear Plan in Japan could mix with rain and “cause burns, alopecia or even cancer.”

“The County of Los Angeles Fire Department has not issued this statement nor do we believe the statements within the e-mail to be factual,” says Battalion Chief Jon O’Brien. Residents within the County seeking information on the potential impact from the release at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant are advised to obtain their information from a reputable agency. Additionally, individuals are reminded to use caution when viewing e-mails and to always verify the source of information.

For information relating to the potential impact on Los Angeles County, please visit the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

Supervisors Appoint Daryl Osby New L.A. County Fire Chief

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today selected Deputy Fire chief Daryl Osby as the County’s new Fire Chief, succeeding P. Michael Freeman. Chief Osby has moved through the ranks of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, since joining in 1984, most recently serving as Chief Deputy in charge of Business Operations.

Commenting on the appointment, Supervisor Don Knabe said: “Congratulations to Chief Osby on his appointment as the County’s Fire Chief. We have worked together closely for years and I know that he will do an excellent job in his new role. Chief Osby has expertise in all aspects of fire administration and emergency response and his knowledge and professionalism will well serve the over 10 million residents of our County. He is a proven leader who I am confident will build on Los Angeles County’s reputation as the best fire department in the nation.”

County Adopts Recommendations for Raves

The Board of Supervisors today approved 10 recommendations to enhance safety for attendees at electronic music festivals, also known as raves.  The motion, co-authored by Supervisors Don Knabe and Zev Yaroslavsky, was in response to a report from the Department of Public Health (DPH), which has been collaborating with public and private entities to improve security at these events.

In July 2010, the Board approved a motion by Supervisors Knabe and Yaroslavsky to establish a task force to develop procedures to increase safety measures at raves, following the death of a 15 year-old girl who was attending the annual Electric Daisy Carnival last summer.  The DPH, in cooperation with the Department of Health Services, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, the Coliseum Commission and event promoters, recently submitted a report with proposals to enhance law enforcement activities and health precautions for these popular events.

The task force’s recommendations included broadening multi-agency planning, imposing an 18-year minimum age requirement for all attendees, enforcing strict alcohol policies, coordinating emergency medical services, and establishing public education programs on the dangers of illicit drug use, in particular, Ecstasy.

“I am pleased that this broad-based task force was able to work together to come up with some solid recommendations on how these festivals can be conducted in a safe and lawful way,” said Supervisor Knabe.  “The most important thing we can do is protect the young people who attend, by enforcing the laws governing these events.  As the recommendations are implemented, we will continue to monitor the situation in conjunction with law enforcement and festival operators.”