Public Safety

Residents Warned to Stay Out of Flood Control Channels

Supervisor Knabe joined County officials this week to advise residents to stay out of County flood control channels, rivers and debris basins during storm season. While the County’s vast network of bike trials remain open n to the public on dry days, residents should never enter flood control channels when it rains.

“The message is simple: when it rains, stay out of the water ways,” said Supervisor Knabe. “Do not tempt mother nature by entering these water ways during a storm. You will not win. That’s a guarantee.”

At peak flow, the  Los Angeles River moves close to 183,000 cubic feet of storm water per second out to the ocean equaling the pressure of 40 million garden hoses running at full blast.

Click here to watch a Storm Weather Preparedness video and learn more about the dangers of flood control channels during storms.

Supervisors to Request Amendment to Non-Revocable Parole Program Criteria

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to send a five-signature letter to the state legislature and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger requesting to amend the criteria for the non-revocable parole program so that known membership in a street gang will disqualify an individual from the program, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

SBX13 18 requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to screen offenders for eligibility to unsupervised parole prior to release from State Prison.

“Excluding known street gang members from non-revocable parole will ultimately make our communities safer,” said Supervisor Knabe. “Known gang members require intensive supervision and potentially pose a significant risk to public safety.”

While SBX3 18 contains provisions to disqualify individuals from non-revocable parole if they are validated members of a prison gang, the program does not include criteria to exclude known membership in a street gang. Offenders who are placed on non-revocable parole are not required to report to a parole agent.

Protect Your Pets On Fourth Of July

The Fourth of July is one of the busiest times for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC). Dogs and cats can become startled and disoriented by the loud noises of fireworks. Pets may panic and attempt to escape your property. To ensure the safety of your pets, here are a few tips:

• Make sure your dog’s license is current and be sure the tags are securely affixed to your dog’s collar.
• Keep your pets indoors in a cool, comfortable place.
• Do not keep your pets in the backyard, even if they are tied up. Dogs, in particular, can break free from restraints and jump fences when frightened.
• Do not take your pets to community fireworks events. Most events do not allow pets, and the noises are terrifying for pets.
• If you are leaving town for the weekend and cannot take your pets with you, make sure you leave them with someone who will be cautious during the Fourth of July celebrations.

If your pet becomes lost over the Fourth of July weekend, DACC will be maintaining its regular shelter hours to accommodate pet owners. The hours for the Fourth of July weekend are as follows:

• Saturday, July 3, & Sunday, July 4, 2010: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, and
• Monday, July 5, 2010 between the hours of 12:00 PM-7:00 PM.

The addresses to the shelter locations are:

1. Agoura Animal Shelter- 29525 Agoura Road, Agoura Hills, 91301
2. Baldwin Park Animal Shelter- 4275 N. Elton St., Baldwin Park, 91706
3. Carson Animal Shelter- 216 W. Victoria St., Gardena, 90248
4. Castaic Animal Shelter- 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Rd., Castaic 91384
5. Downey Animal Shelter- 11258 S. Garfield Ave., Downey 90242
6. Lancaster Animal Shelter- 5210 W. Avenue I, Lancaster 93536

If you have any questions, you can visit our website, or contact your local animal shelter.

Father’s Day at Paramount’s Fire Station 31

It was baby Marvin’s eight-month birthday recently when his parents took him to Los Angeles County Fire Station 31 in the City of Paramount to meet the station’s crew but that was not the real reason for their visit. Baby Marvin and his parents, Daniel, 26, and 29-year-old Marvin, domestic partners and adoptive parents to the baby, were there to officially thank the firefighters who found newborn Marvin abandoned last October outside the front door of the Paramount fire station curled up in a Reebok shoe box.

Marvin and his parents first gathered inside the station’s front office together with Assistant Chief Gerry Heinzel, Battalion Chief Dan Ertel, Fire Fighter Paramedic Phil Muller, Fire Fighter Jeramy Virgin, and Community Services Representative La Fonda Riggins. Virgin was the first to discover the baby last year when he peered into the box and found him lying inside, wrapped in a towel and seemingly healthy, with a five-inch umbilical cord, unclamped.

Fire Station 31 members were returning from a call on October 9, 2009, when they saw a young female dressed in a hooded pullover sweater at the station’s front door. She was there to surrender Marvin under California’s Safely Surrendered Baby Law, they now know, but after parking rigs in the apparatus bay and walking out to the front door, they realized that she had departed and only the shoe box remained, which is considered to be an abandonment. The law requires the surrendering adult to physically hand the baby to firefighters on duty or to hospital staff if the baby is taken to a hospital.

Both of Marvin’s parents praised the firefighters and their own Los Angeles County social worker for going beyond the call of duty, as they described. I am really proud of this fire station, said Daniel, and of our own L.A. County social worker for the way that we and Marvin have been treated. Marvin’s doctors have declared him a fully healthy young baby boy. But for now at least, the firefighters were excited, the parents were gracious and Marvin was all smiles as the group gave thanks that a potentially tragic situation resulted in such a happy ending.

Knabe Applauds Sheriff’s Department As Overall Crime Continues To Decline

Supervisor Don Knabe is pleased to announce that as of May 31, 2010, preliminary crime data shows that criminal homicides in Sheriff’s patrol areas have decreased by 17.24 percent, compared to last year. This follows a five-year continuous decrease, resulting in nearly half as many homicides as there were five years ago and the lowest homicide rate since 1975. Most notable were decreases in homicides in the Century Station area and Compton Station area. Century Station had 16 homicides during the same period last year, as compared to 10 homicides this year, for a 37.2 percent decrease. Compton Station homicides have reduced by 38.2 percent, with 21 homicides last year compared to 13 this year.

I am pleased with the overall hard work and commitment of our Sheriff’s department, said Knabe. They passion and dedication continues to protect our citizens and keep our communities safe from crime.

Reported incidents of violent crimes have declined 7.19 percent, and serious property crimes have declined by 4.73 percent in Sheriff’s patrol areas countywide, compared to last year. Sheriff’s stations experiencing the most significant decreases in overall violent crimes over the same period last year included Walnut Station at 46.2 percent, Industry Station at 31.2 percent, and Norwalk Station at 17 percent.

Voting Hours Extended For In-Person Early Voting

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk (RR/CC) Dean Logan reported that In-Person Early Voting hours at the RR/CC Headquarters in Norwalk have been extended the following two weekends leading up to the June 8, 2010 Statewide Direct Primary Election.

We are committed to providing options to LA County voters to give them every opportunity possible to cast a ballot. The option to vote on the weekend is a service much appreciated by many, whose hectic schedules do not provide that opportunity on Election Day, said Logan.

To vote early, voters can visit the 3rd floor of the RR/CC Headquarters located at 12400 Imperial Hwy., Norwalk, CA, through June 7. In-person Early Voting will be available Monday thru Friday during regular office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the weekends of May 29-30 and June 5-6 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Logan also reported that on April 9, the RR/CC began processing Vote by Mail ballot requests from voters wishing to cast a ballot by mail for the June 8 Election. To date, over 752,000 voters have been issued Vote by Mail ballots, and nearly 95,000 have returned their voted ballot by mail or in-person to the RR/CC, stated Logan.

Voters who requested a Vote by Mail ballot can check the status of their request using the RR/CC’s online look-up. Visit and click on the Vote by Mail button in the Quick Links box located on the main page. Voters may also call the RR/CC at (562) 466-1323.

In order to be counted, ballots cast by mail must be returned with sufficient time for mail delivery to the RR/CC by 8:00 p.m. on June 8, 2010 (postmarked ballots will not be counted). Vote by Mail ballots may also be returned in person to the RR/CC Headquarters, or delivered to any polling place in Los Angeles County before the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day. A voter may authorize a designated family member to return the voted ballot to a polling place or to the RR/CC in accordance with the procedures outlined on the Vote by Mail ballot return envelope.

Further information, regarding early voting and Vote by Mail services, can be obtained by going online at or by calling (800) 815-2666.

Child Support Arrest Warrant Project Reaches Another Milestone

A special effort by Los Angeles County to target parents who fail to pay court-ordered child support has reached another milestone achievement. The Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department reports that investigators assigned to the County’s Child Support Arrest Warrant Project have cleared more than 2,000 arrest and bench warrants since the Project’s inception in December 2007.

The Child Support Arrest Warrant Project is a joint collaboration between the Criminal Prosecution Unit of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department and the Office of District Attorney. A team of eight District Attorney Investigators is assigned full-time to locating and arresting or citing non-custodial parents who have failed to appear in court or failed to comply with terms of court-ordered probation after conviction for failing to pay support.

In addition to clearing the 2,000 arrest and bench warrants, the project also has resulted in dramatic increases in the amount of support paid by defendants charged with criminal non-support. Since December 2007, more than $11 million in support has been collected from parents who were paying nothing before being charged.

Our goal is not to put parents in jail; rather, it is to ensure that they do the right thing for their children, said Steven J. Golightly, Director of L.A. County CSSD. But if a parent with resources fails to abide by court orders, we will not shy away from doing whatever it takes to ensure compliance.

The joint Child Support Arrest Warrant Project was made possible through funding provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, on an initiative of Supervisor Knabe. The County’s investment, matched 2 for 1 with funding from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, fully underwrites the costs of the law enforcement team.

In the last year, the Child Support Arrest Warrant Project has received public recognition for its achievements. In September, 2009, the Project won the LA County STARS award for Service Excellence. In October, it received recognition from the County’s Quality and Productivity Commission at its annual awards ceremony, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Music Center.

County Shuts Down Marijuana Dispensary In Unincorporated South Whittier

A medical marijuana dispensary operating illegally in unincorporated South Whittier was forced to close last week, Supervisor Don Knabe announced today.

County officials shut down the dispensary in the unincorporated Whittier area on Friday because it didn’t have the proper County permits and licenses. The dispensary, located at 11331 La Mirada Boulevard near Leffingwell Road, was discovered to be operating illegally in late April by County officials who initiated immediate action to close it down.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s medical marijuana ordinances in 2006, which allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate within most commercial and manufacturing zones in the unincorporated areas of the County with a conditional use permit and a business license. Dispensaries cannot be located within a 1,000-foot radius of sensitive uses, such as schools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, places of religious worship, child care facilities, etc., and they may not be located within a 1,000-foot radius of other dispensaries unless a variance is obtained from the Regional Planning Commission. The County requires dispensary operators to have all required permits and licenses prior to opening their doors for business.

Representatives of the County Departments of Regional Planning and Treasurer and Tax Collector conducted on-site inspections of the dispensary in late April and issued notices of violation to the dispensary operators for not having the proper permits and licenses. The dispensary closed its doors after County Counsel contacted both the dispensary operators and the property owners, and told them that civil action may be pursued against them if the dispensary did not cease operations immediately.

This is a big victory for the County, said Supervisor Knabe. This is not about whether medical marijuana is right or wrong – the voters have already answered that question. What is most important is ensuring the safety of our children and our communities, and ensuring that properly-permitted dispensaries operate within the law. Closing this dispensary was a high priority and ensures we are keeping our neighborhoods safe.