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May 28
1888 - Olympian Jim Thorpe, "America's greatest athlete," born in Indian Territory (probably near Prague, Okla.); later in life, appeared in many B-Westerns shot in Placerita Canyon [story]
Jim Thorpe


Although Santa Clarita Valley station didn’t figure significantly in the report, sheriff’s watchdog Merrick Bobb has some serious concerns about the department’s training and “perception” in its recently-released report.

Training and record keeping emerged as the focal points of the report, with increased frequency for situation training and better data maintenance the analyst’s two major recommendations.

The 30th Semiannual Report of Special Counsel, dealing specifically with deputy-involved shootings, was issued Wednesday. Over the 15 years that Merrick Bobb has been evaluating the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, 178 people have been shot and killed by department personnel, and 204 have been wounded.

The issue of unarmed suspects and “state of mind” or “perception” shootings perceive, accurately or not, whether a suspect is armed or going for a gun, has come to the forefront.

Also called “waistband shootings,” these shootings are often justified because the deputy saw the suspect reaching for their waistband and feared that the suspect was armed or saw an unknown object they feared was a weapon.

Over the last six years, one-fifth of all suspects hit were unarmed. In 2010, that segment rose to one-third, rising more than 50 percent over the last year.

A review of the suspects in ‘waistband shooting’ cases reveals that of the 30 suspects shot at after reportedly reaching for their waistband, only two were white; in comparison, 16 were Latino and 12 were black.

Although only four suspects were killed in a waistband shooting (three of them unarmed), 11 others were hit and wounded. It is troubling that all but two of these suspects were people of color, and even more so that about a third were initially approached due primarily to suspicious behavior, rather than knowledge of a serious crime.

Waistband shootings have long been the subject of controversy. Most recently, in December 2010, the NAACP held a public rally to demand that police agencies take action to stop such incidents, particularly of black men

Experience at the LASD over the past six years demonstrates that in nearly two-thirds of cases where the deputy acted on a waistband movement without seeing a weapon, the suspect had no weapon and thus must have been doing something other than arming himself. Whether the subject is actually trying to reach for something or just pulling up his pants is often not clear. According to LASD personnel and a review of the files, suspects often say they were trying to keep their pants up while running, or that they were trying to ensure that identifying effects such as their cell phone or wallet did not fall out of their pocket.

The report contained concerns about Century Station, which was involved in one-fifth of the department’s cumulative shootings.

“Century deputies patrol a high-density area that has some of the highest crime rates, particularly violent crime,” the report noted. Research also revealed that more than half of the Century Station shootings involved deputies with multiple shootings in their past.

Officers involved in shootings at that station also had somewhat sporadic refresher training.

Regarding training, the department currently requires deputies to go through eight hours of tactics and survival training every two years; four hours of classroom instruction and four hours of simulated scenarios using paintball ammunition.

The importance of training frequently was underscored by the high number of training-lapsed deputies involved in hit and non-hit situations. Only 38 percent of deputies involved in shootings had gone through training within the last year.

“Instruction plays a key role in effective risk management by teaching deputies not only when and how to shoot, but also when and how to hold their fire.”

More than half of shootings by off-duty deputies involved personnel that had been on the job less than three years, prompting the strong recommendation that tactical firearms training be provided on an annual basis, instead of the current department guideline of once every two years.

Firearms discharges are at their highest since tracking began in 1996; in 2008, there were 93 incidents, in 2010, there were 119. The growth seems to stem from the number of animals shot (almost always dogs), which have more than doubled since 2004.

In tables that break down incidents of hit and non-hit shootings, Santa Clarita Valley Station does not even register.

The report also included the information that only four percent of deputies involved in shootings were women, making it much less likely that a female deputy would fire a weapon than their male counterparts.

Record keeping was also a failure discovered by Merrick Bobb.

“We have serious problems with LASD’s record keeping. It was with great dismay that we discovered that much of the data collected by the department with regard to shootings is missing, inaccurate, lost or lacking in basic internal integrity,” the report stated. “We also encountered needless compartmentalization of information, confusion about tracking systems and data entry and an apparent failure on the part of LASD management to audit its own data collection systems or to analyze the data contained therein.”

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Monday, May 27, 2024
On May 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a recommendation submitted by Supervisors Kathryn Barger, whose Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, and Lindsey Horvath instructing the L.A. County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA) to take the lead on future collaboration and coordination with the state and federal Departments of Veterans Affairs.
Monday, May 27, 2024
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has been notified of one case of measles in a non-Los Angeles County resident who traveled to Los Angeles International (LAX) airport while infectious on May 19, 2024.  
Friday, May 24, 2024
As part of the I-5 North County Enhancements Project, OHLA-USA will be extending the existing southbound Calgrove Boulevard off ramp.
Friday, May 24, 2024
A free scrap tire collection event will be held Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Via Princessa Metrolink Station, 19201 Via Princessa, Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
Thursday, May 23, 2024
"Splash in the Water" at Castaic Lake is a free boating and water safety event for children ages 7 to 14. Presented by California State University, Northridge, and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation. The program runs on Fridays now throuogh Aug. 9.

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The city of Santa Clarita has announced the return of Santa Clarita Transit’s Summer Beach Bus service, offering convenient transportation to Ventura Harbor on the weekends starting Saturday, June 1 through Sunday, Sept. 1.
June 1: All Aboard the Summer Beach Bus to Ventura Harbor
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The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station’s Search and Rescue Team will benefit from a fundraiser to be held Thursday, May 30 at Mendocino Farms from 2-9 p.m.
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1888 - Olympian Jim Thorpe, "America's greatest athlete," born in Indian Territory (probably near Prague, Okla.); later in life, appeared in many B-Westerns shot in Placerita Canyon [story]
Jim Thorpe
Several months ago, a student paused before class to ask Julie Larson, Ph.D., how she was feeling about her upcoming retirement. She laughed.
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The award-winning documentary “SPELLERS,” the crew of which included alumni of The Master’s University and a TMU faculty member, is now available to watch for free on YouTube.
Award-Winning Documentary by TMU Alumni Now on YouTube
On May 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve a recommendation submitted by Supervisors Kathryn Barger, whose Fifth District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, and Lindsey Horvath instructing the L.A. County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA) to take the lead on future collaboration and coordination with the state and federal Departments of Veterans Affairs.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised budget has helped some of the Golden State’s budget woes, though financial problems continue to loom on the horizon, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office said Friday.
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Jonathan Larson started the final round of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men's Golf Championships tied for ninth, but a 9-over 81 dropped him to T27 on the final day of competition.
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The community is invited to come tour Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark and enjoy the harmonies of the Blue Plate Special Barbershop Quartet Sunday, June 2.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has been notified of one case of measles in a non-Los Angeles County resident who traveled to Los Angeles International (LAX) airport while infectious on May 19, 2024.  
Measles Case Confirmed in L.A. County
As the summer approaches, the Santa Clarita Public Library offers our community the opportunity to embrace the power of reading.
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Commencement season at California State University, Northridge never fails to disappoint, and 2024 has been no exception: Eight joyous ceremonies kicked off May 11 with Honors Convocation, and continued May 17-20 as graduates from eight colleges crossed the stage.
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1971 - Community preview night (pre-grand opening), Magic Mountain [story]
opening night ticket to Magic Mountain
1956 - Placerita Canyon State Park dedicated [story]
Oak of the Golden Dream
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In
ARTree invites the Santa Clarita Valley community to be a part of this recycled bottlecap art project. Families can participate in the making of the mural at the Old Town Newhall Branch of the Santa Clarita Library on June 1, from 2:30-4 p.m.
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