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Sheriff Lee Baca to 'lead from the front' and join command staff in filling gaps in patrol, jail duties


With deep cuts expected to move hundreds of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies from desk duties to street patrols, don't be surprised to see the most visible of their ranks cruising in a patrol car or walking the halls of the County Jail.

Sheriff Lee Baca told The Times he plans to "lead from the front" with the rest of his command staff, from the rank of captain and above, to fill possible shift gaps caused by cuts in overtime.

“I will go out into the field and into the jails,” Baca said Tuesday, noting he would be working those assignments once or twice a month and possibly weekend shifts in coming weeks.

Plans call for the Sheriff's Department to reduce its budget by $128 million over the next 16 months, amounting to about 9% of the nearly $1.3-billion total it receives from the county.

The overtime reduction will save about $58 million, and the department will glean another $26 million in savings by transferring hundreds of inmates from the 1,900-bed detention center in Castaic to other jails in the county system, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The department also will eliminate 300 frozen positions for a savings of $44 million.

Baca said everyone will have to make sacrifices in the tough budget environment.

"We don’t join law enforcement agencies to provide services based on convenience," Baca said. "Police work is the ultimate career of inconvenience."

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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Comments () | Archives (10)

More of our public servants should embrace this attitude. We are all in this mess together, and *everyone* will have to make sacrifices to get us out of it.

Baca in a radio car? That's a scary thought. If that is what he wants to do, make it a one-man unit in Compton. Let him handle radio calls, make traffic stops and roll on "in-progress" calls. Don't forget the new policy of engaging the bad guys. In fact, it would do all of the brass well to get into those "one-man" units a few times a month. But talk is cheap, LA Times, keep an eye on this story. No two-man unit gigs where they can be driven around for PR photo ops, nope, one-man units.

Yeah, this makes sense. Baca's income is almost $300,000 per year. How is that cost effective to be out walking patrol rather than administering the Sheriff's department. That will only make him the most expensively paid patrol deputy or jail guard in history.

Clearly, Leroy has no cause to complain about any budget concerns as it was under his watch that the Sheriff's Department was found liable by a jury to pay out 18 million dollars in a verdict that involved "his" deputies.

Will his Airsoft be effective against real guns?

Hey Baca,

You should start saving money by not allowing your deputies to drive squad cars and motorcycles home for the day. Can't these deputies afford to pay for their own gas like the rest of us. Then we won't have to watch them abuse their powers by driving solo in the carpool lane. Time for big changes. LOL.

Most pd that drive cars home are detectives i.e. homicide,burglary. Bomb squad, swat, hazmat which all get called in at odd hour, days off not like the regular joe or jane.

Lets Look at cutting some Brass Like Sheriff Hutchens in Orange County. Why is it always on the backs of street cops. Baca has 4 civillian spots that are political hacks and make over 100,000 a year with a car How is this public safety. Baca is obsessed with numbers and being the biggets department, he will not cut units in Dept that need to be cut. We all cant wait for 2014 when PT changes things.

All of Baca's cow patties pitching aside, I wanna see this man take responsibility for the role his departments played in Mitrice Richardson's abduction and dissappearence.
throwing the case off to LAPD when the woman vanished outside the Lost Hills Station was another bucket of manure under him and the flies are getting think.
Human lives aren't expendable and I wont let anyone forget that, the officer's of the LASD knew the risk of stranding a woman in that area but simply didn't care and neither does Baca.

Baca can't even control his sheriff department let alone anything else! The amount they are having to pay out in settlements & lawsuits, they will always be BROKE!! They are the real gang to be feared...Protect who?? Not us!!! Only themselves..Corruption & Cover Ups is what the LA Sheriffs represent.

Reality is sometimes hard to grasp but people need to come to the realization the police are not the Heroes everyone makes them out to be. (With the exception of a few)



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