L.A. Supes Poised to Approve Civilian Oversight Panel for Sheriff’s Department

A proposal to establish a civilian oversight commission for the troubled Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is showing new vital signs, thanks to the recent shakeup on the Board of Supervisors.

Newly-elected supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl both openly support the plan, which was proposed by Gloria Molina and Mark Ridley-Thomas over a year ago. Kuehl’s predecessor, Zev Yarsoslavsky, had cast the swing vote against it in August. But, with Kuehl and Solis on the board, the proposal now enjoys majority support.

The board will take up the issue again on Tuesday. According to Ridley-Thomas, some of the supervisors feel motivated by a new sense of “urgency” stemming from the wider, national debate over law enforcement actions and procedures.

"The events across the nation as well as the events in Los Angeles County make it very, very clear that this is the appropriate and right action," he said.

Newly-elected Sheriff Jim McDonnel is also in favor of a civilian oversight panel. He and other supporters believe it will bring much needed scrutiny and accountability to the department, which has been plagued by numerous scandals in recent years.

Read more about the impending vote here.


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