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Regarding the letter to you written by Alex Villanueva and his recommendation for the candidates for Sheriff.
Before I begin here are my credentials. I am a retired Deputy Sheriff with 32 years of active service. I attended the academy in 1980. After graduating from the academy I worked the jail for 22 months. In May of 1982 I was transferred to West Hollywood Station where I worked patrol, the Special Problems Unit, and was on loan to Vice and Narcotics Bureau. In November of 1986 I transferred to East Los Angeles Station where I worked patrol, the Special Problems Team, and as a station detective. I was the East Los Angeles Station Detective of the Year for three years in a row. In November of 1998 I was transferred to Headquarters Detective Division, Homicide Bureau where I worked for 13 1/2 years before retiring. While at Homicide Bureau I was notified I was to be promoted to sergeant. I chose to remain at homicide bureau and work as an investigator. While a member of the Sheriff’s Department I received numerous awards and commendations including the Gold Meritorious Medal for Bravery, the Distinguished Service Award and the Meritorious Service Award.
During my time with the Sheriff’s Department I interacted with Alex Villanueva. When I worked at East Los Angeles Station Alex was there. In his article I read about his “battle scars” from working the streets. I must honestly state as a detective at East Los Angeles Station I never had him run any significant arrest he made or handled a significant investigation initiated by him. I do know that Alex was the president of LASPA, an organization that attempted to take over the job of representing Deputy Sheriff’s from ALADS. He later ran for sheriff announcing his candidacy at the entrance to Sheriff’s Headquarters. He complains about Sheriff Baca and Paul Tanaka yet that was the regime that promoted him. Twice! To me it seems like Alex fancies that the department would be better off with him as an executive. I believe it is executives that share his work ethic and view of law enforcement that are the root of any problem within the Sheriff’s Department. Alex and these executives want to be managers when what are needed is leaders.
I admire you for giving Alex such a large portion of your paper to voice his opinion. However, the next time you should really look into the qualifications and history of that person whose opinion you are taking the time to publish.
Regarding who should be elected as the next sheriff I think that the good people of Los Angeles County should look into the qualifications of the candidates and give them their vote based on the candidate that best shares their values.
Boyd R. Zumwalt III