Supervisor Hahn wants LA Metro to be prepared for the possibility that LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva follows through with his threat to end his department’s contract with the transit agency and pull his deputies from buses and trains in July.
“We can’t take the Sheriff’s threat lightly,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who serves on the Metro Board of Directors.
“If he chooses to pull his deputies from our trains and buses, we need to be prepared and have other law enforcement agencies ready to step in. At the end of the day, we are responsible for the safety of our riders.”
Today, the Los Angeles Metro Board of Directors Operations Committee unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Inglewood Mayor James Butts directing the Chief Executive Officer to report back to the Metro Board in May on how Metro can modify its existing contracts with the LAPD and Long Beach Police Department to ensure continuity of service and continued law enforcement services coverage throughout the Metro Bus and Rail Transit System should the Sheriff chose to end his department’s contract at the end of June.
The motion will go in front of the full Metro Board of Directors next week.
In 2017, Metro adopted a multi-agency approach for its law enforcement contract, with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and Long Beach Police Department.
This multi-agency contract has brought about increased presence of law enforcement on the Metro Bus and Rail System as the three law enforcement agencies patrol and provide services in their respective jurisdictions.
In December 2021, the Metro Board of Directors voted to increase the law enforcement contract by $75.2 million and to extend it by 12 months, from June 2022 to June 2023.
While the Board authorized an extension, the three law enforcement agencies must also each agree to the extension in order to continue these services on the Metro Bus and Rail Transit System through June of 2023.
The 12-month extension allows Metro staff additional time to procure a new law enforcement contract.
Further, the Board has authorized additional funding to supplement the law enforcement contract with initiatives that include transit ambassadors, customer experience improvements, mental health outreach, and resources for people experiencing homelessness on the system.
On April 13th, the Los Angeles Sheriff held a press conference, followed by a submission of a formal letter to the agency, stating that he will not extend the existing five-year contract beyond its original June 30, 2022 expiration date, if Metro continues to also contract with LAPD and LBPD.
If the Sheriff opts to decline the opportunity offered to him by the Board to extend LASD’s contract with Metro through June 30, 2023, he will leave a void in law enforcement services on the Metro system.