Sheriff’s commission will create redundancy in oversight

Tomorrow morning, the Board of Supervisors is set to discuss creating a civilian commission to oversee and monitor the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

At this time, I do not see a need to create an entirely new oversight commission to serve as the public’s watchdog over the Sheriff’s Department. Doing so now would only slow down the implementation of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence recommendations and create a redundancy in oversight that our Office of Inspector General is just beginning to provide.

One of the dozens of recommendations made by the CCJV last year was to create an Office of Inspector General to provide oversight and monitoring of the Sheriff’s Department. In December, the Board of Supervisors appointed Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman to lead this new agency.

At the time, the Department was in crisis–drowning in federal indictments and claims of physical abuse by deputies in our jails. Since then, Sheriff John Scott and Max Huntsman have been instrumental in reforming the county’s jail system and changing the Department’s archaic culture.

Let’s give Sheriff Scott, Max Huntsman and the next Sheriff an opportunity to continue implementing the reforms and fostering change in the Department before we consider adding another level of bureaucracy.