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Criminal Justice

Robert Luna To Be Sworn In As LA County’s 34th Sheriff During Troubled Time For The Department

Robert Luna, who's a man with a medium skin tone wearing a dark suit, stands at a spot lighted podium with a microphone in his hand. He's speaking while two people with medium skin tones stand next to him. In the background is a large United States flag.
Incoming Sheriff Robert Luna speaks to supporters at his election night party in Long Beach on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
(Robert Garrova
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Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna takes the oath of office Saturday as L.A. County’s new sheriff. He’s an outsider coming into an organization notorious for rejecting them and he takes over an agency reeling from four years of mismanagement by outgoing Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Why it matters: The LASD is the largest sheriff’s department in the country, patrolling a wide swath of L.A. County and operating the massive jail system.

The backstory: Villanueva was elected four years ago promising to be a progressive reformer. But he ended up being a darling of Fox News as he mocked reforms and constantly attacked the Board of Supervisors and Civilian Oversight Commission. Luna soundly beat Villanueva in last month’s election.

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What’s next: This is a crucial time for the department as it faces an investigation by the California Department of Justice into allegations of civil rights violations, including excessive use of force, deputy gangs, and challenges with recruiting new deputies.

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