Letters to the Editor: It shouldn’t take the FBI to get rid of sheriff’s department gangs

Alex Villanueva
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, left, on July 16.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Some people in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department believe that cliques of gangbangers with badges have a 1st Amendment right to establish their own standards of association, rules and methods of policing.

The sheriff’s department has its own set of public rules of conduct and work performance. There should be no other symbol of association, and the true professionals within the ranks should not be expected to put up with brutish thugs who have infiltrated the organization.

All of these gangbangers’ apologists in leadership positions have sworn an oath of office. If they cannot fulfill that oath as members of the legally chartered organization designed to deliver constitutional policing to the people, then they should resign or be brought to the bar of justice.

It is pitiful that the failures of the sheriff’s department leaders are so entrenched that it will take the FBI to weed out those whose testosterone-driven moral fog runs in the gutter of violent gang culture.

Stephen Downing, Long Beach


The writer is a retired deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.


To the editor: To quote Nancy Reagan, just say no.

The public doesn’t want gangs in law enforcement. No organization wants gangs in its ranks -- not the city, not the sheriff’s department, not the Girl Scouts.

Cliques in tightly woven law enforcement agencies are bound to form. That energy should be channeled into bowling leagues or badminton teams, not gangs.

Greg Hilfman, Topanga