It all started on September 29, 2022, when California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB960 into law. The bill amended the state’s government code by adding language that allowed non-residents/non-citizens to apply for and be hired as peace officers in California. At the time, there was no mention or language in the bill that specifically allowed illegal immigrants to become officers; rather, it allowed any non-citizen with permission and or legal authorization to work in California under federal law to become peace officers.
The bill’s author and proponent, State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-09) specifically said that it was the University of California Police Department that approached her for the change in the government code language. She also said that it would not apply to illegal immigrants, or in her words, “undocumented workers.” However, Skinner and the Democrats lied to you. You see, DACA residents are still classified as illegal residents because they were brought into the country as minor children by their parents. Fast forward to January 2024, according to a confidential source that I spoke with at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, they have hired seven DACA residents as deputy sheriffs. As of this writing, four of the seven have graduated from the Academy, while the remaining three will graduate in three weeks.
Sheriff Robert Luna, in his infinite wisdom, hired seven people who currently violate federal immigration law to become deputy sheriffs to enforce the law. The irony and hypocrisy of Luna and his decision are both laughable and dangerous at the same time. Allowing someone who is, by their admission, breaking the law to enforce the law makes no sense whatsoever. However, there is a much more hypocritical aspect to their immigration and status as peace officers that the average citizen and politicians never take into consideration. Illegal immigrants, including DACA residents, are forbidden by federal law to purchase, own, or possess a firearm and ammunition in this country. This means that the four deputies and three deputy sheriff trainees cannot legally buy guns and ammunition even for carry while on duty. The other side to that coin is the department is committing a federal crime by supplying guns and ammunition to a federally prohibited person. The Los Angeles Police Department is also facing the same issue as well.
According to my source, who is currently assigned to the department’s Training Bureau, the four deputy sheriffs currently assigned to the Custody Division have to leave their issued duty guns at work. If they are assigned to training at any location other than their unit of assignment, their guns have to be transported by other department personnel to wherever they need to go. The same applies to the academy trainees as well. This presents a logistical nightmare for the department, but again, it glaringly shows how the department under Sheriff Luna is in blatant violation of state and federal firearms laws. For the deputies on the job already, they cannot buy what is considered standard by most, if not all, police officers in the country — backup firearms. A backup gun is usually a small-frame revolver or automatic pistol that is carried in a pocket or ankle holster in case their primary duty gun is compromised for any reason.
Sheriff Luna is putting these employees in extreme danger as well. At some point, these deputies will be assigned to work patrol at one of the 23 patrol stations spread around the County of Los Angeles. Some of these stations are slower or faster than others, but all pose the same inherent risks to their deputies. Criminals love to see who goes in and out of the parking lot and follow them home to find out where they live to either burglarize their homes or worse, kill them. It has happened before, and unfortunately, it will happen again. For these deputies, because they can’t purchase an off-duty gun or take their duty guns home, they’re completely defenseless to a growing criminal element that would love to see more dead cops.
According to my source, the department had a fifth DACA deputy but they resigned due to family pressure. The person said that the deputy’s family was concerned that the deputy was changing their personality and forced them to quit a job where they were making six figures. The former deputy is allegedly trying to rescind the resignation as of last week, according to my source.
Luna is not on a good leadership streak for the Sheriff’s Department. The decisions he, along with his command staff, is making and they are putting more people’s lives at risk. My source in the Training Bureau told me that my four-part series detailing the general morale and feeling of the department under Luna barely scratched the surface.
Read the Four-Part Series Here:
How L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna Is Bringing Deputies to Their Knees – A Series, Part 1
How Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna Is Destroying a Once Great Department (Part 2)
After Four Colleagues Commit Suicide, an L.A. County Deputy Sheriff Writes a Heartbreaking Letter
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: A Shadow of Its Former Self – A Series, Part 4
According to my source, the morale and energy of the line personnel are at rock bottom and the number of deputy vacancies in the department is growing as more and more deputies either lateral to another department or quit outright. The overtime assignments for line personnel are now averaging 32 hours a week, and deputies, along with their custody assistant counterparts, are working so much overtime that it amounts to working a second full-time job. People are coming to work looking like “zombies” because they aren’t getting much if any sleep between shifts.
Last year for the LASD was an extremely tragic one, with two deputies, a custody assistant, and a commander all taking their lives in one day, while another deputy was ambushed and murdered while in his patrol car; the mood was somber to say the least. Luna’s response to all that was pathetically lackluster and without any semblance of reality or compassion or empathy. The approximately 1,100 vacancies the department had when he took over haven’t gotten any lower — in fact the number has grown significantly. Needless to say, law enforcement in California has taken a plummeting nosedive as far as recruitment and retention, and the ability for deputies and officers to perform their duties has become unbearable. However, “leaders” like Luna take an already poor situation and make it far worse. Salt in the wound doesn’t scratch the surface, according to my source, who says the rank-and-file deputies that he knows and the consensus of the department members is that Luna is a disgrace.