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Robert Luna sworn in as L.A. County sheriff



Throughout his swearing-in ceremony Saturday, Sheriff Robert Luna vowed to guide with a spirit of integrity, accountability and collaboration, desirous to mark a brand new period for the division following 4 years beneath the management of his controversial predecessor.

“I need to thank the voters of Los Angeles County for electing me because the thirty fourth sheriff,” he instructed the gang, “and entrusting me with a really clear mandate to deliver new management and accountability.”

As a result of the Saturday ceremony on the Kenneth Hahn Corridor of Administration was one thing of a formality, Luna will formally take workplace at midday Monday, changing Alex Villanueva.

Beforehand a police chief in Lengthy Seaside, Luna — whose document on variety in that division emerged as a standard criticism from his opponent in the course of the marketing campaign — in the end sailed to a decisive win over Villanueva, whose tenure marked a very chaotic time for a division lengthy accustomed to tumult.

On Wednesday, Luna introduced that one in every of his first strikes might be to nominate division veteran April Tardy because the company’s undersheriff, marking the primary time within the division’s historical past {that a} girl will maintain the job. Tardy can also be Black, which is especially vital given the lengthy historical past of racial bias within the Sheriff’s Division.

Early Saturday, a bunch of deputies waited in line outdoors the county Corridor of Administration to get into the swearing-in ceremony that started at 11 a.m. As they chatted, catching up with each other, a person in a swimsuit approached, smiling.

“New chapter at present,” he instructed them. “We’ll see the way it rolls.” A number of deputies nodded.

Throughout the ceremony, Robert Garcia, the outgoing mayor of Lengthy Seaside, spoke about working alongside the brand new sheriff throughout Luna’s time as police chief. He was a collaborative, robust and type chief, stated Garcia, who was not too long ago elected to the U.S. Home of Representatives.

Garcia then pivoted to take a look at a number of members of the Board of Supervisors, who had very publicly clashed with Villanueva.

“You’re about to obtain Lengthy Seaside’s greatest,” he instructed them. “A pacesetter that’s going to work with you.”

“We’ll take him,” Supervisor Janice Hahn whispered aloud, smiling.

Cesie Alvarez, Luna’s daughter, later addressed the gang, saying that though she’d initially recommended him towards campaigning for sheriff — he deserved time without work to calm down, she instructed him — she shortly realized he was the best individual for the job.

He’s an attentive listener, who eagerly takes her typically overly emotional calls, she stated, the kind of individual to attend church each week, studiously taking sermon notes, and who, on a frenzied election night time, seen she hadn’t eaten lunch and made her a turkey sandwich.

“My dad is a extremely good dude,” she stated, noting that he hated when she referred to as him dude. He nodded.

A couple of minutes later, in the course of the official pinning of his new badge, his spouse, Celines, stood beside him, clipping the broach onto his tan uniform.

“Ouch!” Luna exclaimed, wincing after which smiling. “Simply kidding.”

After a choose swore him in, Luna provided transient remarks. He started by recognizing the recruits in Academy Class 464, a number of of whom had been injured when an SUV veered right into a incorrect lane throughout a coaching run final month.

“Simply completely heartbreaking,” he stated. “Please hold them in your prayers.”

He then instructed the gang that he was extremely honored to be standing earlier than them within the sheriff’s conventional tan-and-green uniforms, saying it reminded him of reminiscences from his boyhood in East L.A. and the way a lot the deputies he’d seen patrolling again then had impressed him.

“When my buddies performed cops and robbers, I at all times selected to be the cop,” he stated.

“We have to defend good policing,” he continued, “however I perceive, to be able to try this it’s our accountability to name out unhealthy policing.”

Luna stated he’d made errors by the years, together with throughout his time as police chief, however he’d owned as much as them.

“I’m not afraid to inform individuals I’ve screwed up, and I’ll proceed to try this,” he stated, including that the division had work to do.

“We should get rid of deputy gangs,” he stated, referring to teams of deputies, which have existed within the division for many years and lengthy been accused of utilizing violent, intimidating techniques.

Whereas Luna didn’t take any questions from the media in the course of the Saturday ceremony, he sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Instances earlier within the week. His high objectives, he stated, had been decreasing crime, addressing homelessness and restoring the general public’s belief within the division.

Within the days since he was elected, Luna stated, he’d hung out assembly with the division’s high watchdog, Inspector Common Max Huntsman, in addition to the 5 members of the Board of Supervisors and Dist. Atty. George Gascón — all of whom had publicly strained relationships together with his predecessor.

“There are, sadly, fractured relationships that have to be mounted,” he stated. “Generally, the best way you strategy governing makes an enormous distinction.”

Luna stated he was dedicated to addressing pervasive points inside the division, including that he’d already begun having discussions with some outdoors businesses about investigations into deputy gangs. He intends to supply “full cooperation” to the businesses he’s spoken with, he stated, however declined to quote the businesses by identify.

“We’re going to sit down down with them, and I need to know: Have there been any impediments by any means?” he stated. “Is anybody resisting providing you with information, for instance?”

The division’s management construction has turned over a number of instances in recent times. Luna is now the fourth individual within the high job since Lee Baca resigned eight years in the past, throughout a federal corruption probe that led to a jail sentence.

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