[The Episcopal News] Five of the nine candidates in the June 7 election for Los Angeles County sheriff have responded to a questionnaire provided by the Bishop’s Commission on Gospel Justice and Community Care in its ongoing work of sharing information on issues of policing and its impact on the public’s well-being and safety.
Candidates who provided responses (accessible by clicking on linked names) are:
- Robert Luna, retired chief of Long Beach Police Dept.
- Cecil Rhambo, chief of L.A. International Airport Police and former L.A. assistant sheriff
- Britta Steinbrenner, retired captain, L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.
- Eric Strong, lieutenant, L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.
- Eli Vera, retired commander, L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.
No replies have been received to date from incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva and additional candidates Karla Carranza, sergeant, L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.; April Saucedo Hood, state parole agent; and Matt Rodriguez, retired captain, L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.
The questions – developed by commission members to reflect priorities on which the commission’s work is focused – are:
- What solutions would you support for the issues at the Men’s Central Jail?
- Please define the boundaries you believe an officer must consider before using force against an individual and the instance(s) requiring lethal force? How will you ensure your deputies will be properly equipped to meet these standards?
- Do you think a Civilian Oversight Committee is in the best interest of the LASD? If not, why not? If yes, why and define a good, positive working relationship between your department and the COC?
- What would be your top priorities regarding the unhoused?
- How should the Sheriff’s Department respond to a call involving a mental health crisis?
- What are your concerns, if any, about the Sheriff Department’s appropriations from the county budget?
- Please define your understanding of the term “community policing”. Who are the primary stakeholders you believe should be involved in order to achieve a successful community policing model?
- What is your position on officer stops for minor traffic violations, e.g., broken tail lights, expired tags?
- Do you believe faith-based organizations have a role in your organization? If so, how would you partner with such organizations to increase community involvement, communication, and safety in our neighborhoods?
Candidates were informed that their responses were sought for informational purposes only and in no way to solicit an endorsement.
“I am thankful for all candidates who responded,” said Sister Patricia Sarah Terry, commission chair, “because it helps us have an informed electorate in our diocese.”