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August 3
1975 - Henry Mayo Newhall (Memorial) Hospital opens with 100 beds [story]
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Sheriff Alex VillanuevaLos Angeles County’s proposed budget cuts to the Sheriff’s Department — meant to address a $935 million shortfall in the wake of the pandemic — is a threat to public safety, according to a statement issued Saturday by Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

“The budget cuts announced by county CEO Sachi Hamai are targeted specifically to hurt public safety in Los Angeles County, while sparing virtually every other function of county government from any reductions,” Villanueva said in a prepared statement.

The statement is the latest salvo in a contentious back and forth over the last few months between Hamai and Villanueva.

His comment follows Hamai’s revised 2020-21 countywide $34.9 billion spending plan released Thursday, which called for “across-the-board” cuts of 8% and the elimination of 3,251 positions, of which 2,596 are already vacant, and 655 potential layoffs.

Specific to the LASD, the proposal plans for more than 400 layoffs and to slash $162 million from its budget of $3.3 billion.

Officials have stated the suggested cuts are largely due to sales tax revenues sharply declining amid an economic crisis brought forth by COVID-19.

“These cuts come at a time when jails were de-populated of over 5,000 inmates in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Villanueva. “Now that restrictions are lifting, violent crimes, such as murder, are on the rise across the county and other metropolitan areas, such as New York City and Chicago. Now is not the time to cut vital law enforcement services, that should be the last thing cut.”

The 2020-21 plan looks to eliminate the Safe Streets Bureau, a gang enforcement unit; Parks Bureau; Special Victims Bureau, which investigates sexual/physical abuse of children, rape and human trafficking cases; Community Partnership Bureau, Fraud and Cybercrimes Bureau and Major Crimes Bureau, as well as “drastically” reduce custody operations and Mental Health Evaluations Teams, said Villanueva.

Hamai said the proposed spending cuts to do not look to condemn any county departments.

“These proposed cuts are not intended to penalize any department, or to diminish the importance of their work,” she said. “Rather, these curtailments are part of an equitable process of cost reductions that will affect all county departments.”

Villanueva said Hamai and the County Board of Supervisors have embraced the Defund the Police movement in cutting LASD funding, while “the bloated county bureaucracy remains virtually intact, which should always be the first to suffer reductions.”

The sheriff has previously accused the county of underfunding LASD by $400 million and, most recently, has accused Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger of withholding $30 million for the department’s body-worn cameras. In March, Villanueva also called the Board of Supervisors’ vote that replaced him with Hamai as the chief of emergency operations a “power grab.” He was recently subpoenaed by the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission to testify about his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in county jails.

The supervisors are expected to continue budget deliberations Monday.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
Valladares Opens Nominations for Hispanic Heritage Month Honorees
During Hispanic Heritage Month this year, Assemblywoman Suzette Valladares, R-Santa Clarita, will recognize constituents of Hispanic descent who have contributed to their community in the 38th Assembly District.
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
Public Health Confirms First 2021 Case of West Nile Virus in LA County
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has identified the first case of human West Nile virus infection in L.A. County for the 2021 season.
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: 30,273 Total SCV Cases; Public Health to Host Virtual Town Hall on Schools Wednesday
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 20 new deaths and 2,293 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 30,273 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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1975 - Henry Mayo Newhall (Memorial) Hospital opens with 100 beds [story]
HMNMH
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