June 4, 2020
The News Behind the News
Today, many of you received a brief message from Chief Leyva announcing a “complete review” of the Department’s Investigations and Discipline process (see below). This announcement came as a result of the Executive Board’s work with Chief Leyva on discipline and investigations. 

We started these discussions in a meeting we had with Chief Leyva in mid-February. Since that time, President Hans Liang, Chief Steward Jonathan Byrd, and Local 685 staff attorneys have met and conferred with the Chief’s new staff leadership over the Investigations and Discipline Units. 

We were pleased to see the Chief’s official announcement of the results of this work, and we will continue to work with the Department to see it implemented in individual cases.
Message from Chief Leyva
Every employee of the Los Angeles County Probation Department has the absolute right to expect to be treated fairly and professionally in all aspects related to their employment. This includes those rare instances when employees find themselves being investigated for allegations of potential misconduct. It is my strongly held belief that an organization works best when management, supervision, line staff, and employee bargaining units share a mutual respect and trust in each other.

With this in mind, I have ordered a complete review of all aspects of the administrative investigation process, including how administrative investigations are initiated, conducted, and evaluated, with an emphasis on consistent objective decision-making. This review will, out of necessity, include a top-to-bottom analysis of the Internal Affairs and Performance Monitoring units, as well as our Department Manual and all other relevant documents, policies and procedures.

It is anticipated that this exhaustive review will take a number of months to complete. I ask that all employees be patient as this process moves forward. Please know that I am absolutely committed to ensuring that all of our people are treated fairly, with honesty, integrity and high regard for their individual well-being.
Pomona Field Office Meets with Local 685 President Hans Liang and Chief Ray Leyva
On May 29, Chief Ray Leyva, along with Local 685 President Hans Liang and several Local 685 Executive Board members, met with approximately 40 staff at the Pomona Area Office. 
The Chief started the discussion by talking about how great he believes the probation officers in this Department are, but that not enough people know how good we are. The discussion expanded to how important structure is for the juveniles in the facilities and that the DPOs need to take back control of the Halls and Camps. “This is our house and we cannot let the juveniles run rampant through our facilities, punching holes in the walls, costing the County thousands of dollars,” stated Chief Leyva.

President Hans Liang, who the prior day had participated in a roundtable discussion group with “Crime Survivors,” an advocacy group representing victims of crime throughout California, talked about the push by certain groups to release all juveniles from the Halls and Camps. 

Click here to listen to the audio from the Crime Survivors roundtable discussion.

“Probation provides the tools, the options, and restorative justice that helps the offender understand his or her crime,” said President Liang. “You can’t just release people, even young people who are committing violent crimes. We need to rehabilitate them before they go out into the community.”
Rest in Peace, Larry Aubry – Former DPO III, “Godfather of South LA”
“Larry Aubry, an icon of black activist Los Angeles who witnessed white resistance to school integration and the Watts and 1992 riots without losing faith that hard work and outrage would manifest racial justice, has died. Aubry, 86, died May 16 after a short illness, writer Erin Aubry Kaplan, one of his five children, said. A writer as well as an activist, he composed more than 1,700 hard-hitting columns over 33 years for the Los Angeles Sentinel and served two terms on the Inglewood School Board.”  Click here to read story in the LA Times .

The following is an article written by Local 685’s Cookie Lommel in 2016:

Larry Aubry was taking a political science class at UCLA, when a recruiter from The Los Angeles County Probation Department, visited and gave a presentation, this enticed him to join the department, he was 34 years old at the time. Larry is a renowned Civil Rights Activist, a distinguished reporter for the Los Angeles Sentinel and he worked with The Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission for over 32 years. However, Probation is a career field that had a huge impact on Larry’s life, though he left the department over 35 years ago, he still regularly attends Probation Officer Retirees gatherings, interacting with long time probation friends, he is now 82.
Larry recalls his first assignment was at the Long Beach Area Office: “After a year, I was transferred to IDC (Intake Detention Control), back then, probation decided which crime was a felony and which would be considered a misdemeanor. Next, I went to Adult Supervision, narcotics unit, this was a very difficult job, because I witnessed how many people on my caseload had such difficulty resisting the physical pull of these narcotics.

"One young man I supervised was a master violinist, who won a competition at UCLA, however he was not allowed to receive the award because he was on probation. Then I supervised the controversial stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce, who was constantly being arrested on Obscenity charges, I did not have him for very long as the FBI was after him and upgraded his charges to federal offenses."
Larry was one of the first DPO III staff, he worked as a Court Officer at Central Juvenile Hall Court.
General Membership & Stewards Meetings Canceled for June

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and orders from local, state, and federal officials, the Local 685 General Membership and Stewards Meetings are canceled for the month of June 2020.

Please stay safe and healthy in these difficult times!
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COVID-19 Resources

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