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LA Sheriff Now Says He Hasn't Decided Fate Of Altadena And Marina Del Rey Stations

A screenshot of Sheriff Alex Villanueva at a press conference on COVID-19 Monday, March 16, 2020. (L.A. County Sheriff's Department)
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Nothing gets the attention of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors more than a sheriff who says he plans to close patrol stations. Supervisors know a lot of their most vocal residents will complain – residents who likely vote.

So it was no surprise this week when the board voted to tell Sheriff Alex Villanueva to axe plans to close stations in Altadena and Marina Del Rey. But because the sheriff is elected, the board can't dictate how he spends his budget. Villanueva pointed that out Wednesday.

“It was all bluff and posturing,” the sheriff told reporters.

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At issue is the board’s plan to give Villanueva $400 million less than he requested for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Supervisors say they’re concerned about the sheriff’s deficit spending the last year and a projected $1 billion drop in tax revenue because of the coronavirus.

But after dramatically announcing last week his plans to close the stations — two of 23 operated by the department — Villanueva said Wednesday he hasn’t actually made a final decision. And the sheriff said if he does move forward, administrative functions would stop, but local patrols would continue.

“The deputies will remain at their stations,” Villanueva said.

All the back-and-forth left Altadena resident Rene Amy’s head spinning. “I think that I can’t trust anything that anybody says,” Amy told us. He was one of 200 Altadena residents signed up to comment at a virtual town hall on the issue Wednesday night sponsored by the Civilian Oversight Commission.

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