Dear Sisters & Brothers,
It’s been six weeks since the County followed the National Emergency Declaration, and five weeks since many of us were pressed into different and more difficult assignments. In that time, ALL OF US, whether or not we are identified as peace officers, have demonstrated ourselves dedicated, professional, and able First Responders.
As a Union, we’ve weathered many storms, but I’ve never been more proud of all you as you have risen to this unprecedented challenge and shown the County just how valuable we are to the fabric of our community.
Throughout this time, your Executive Board has been in daily, and sometimes hourly, meetings with County management to advocate for your safety and rights. First the Probation Department, and then DCFS, management partnered with your Executive Board to provide notice of evolving assignments and deployments, as well as provide information on, and respond to questions about, members testing positive for COVID-19. At the same time, your Executive Board has disseminated frequent emails and countless Facebook postings on the many changes and issues facing you in the workplace.
As we continue under the COVID-19 pandemic, we will keep bringing you vital information about the daily operational issues we face. At the same time, we all need to direct our focus to long-range issues like the upcoming budget and the serious budget shortfall facing the County.
The County’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) notified the Coalition of County Unions of a multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall this year and her call to all County Departments to submit proposed budgets with 5%, 10% and 15% across the board cuts. CEO Hamai also notified the Coalition of its proposal to LACERA of postponing its pending retirement service payments. Many of you recognize the significance of these financial issues and we are working hand-in-glove with our Sisters and Brothers in the Coalition of County Unions to validate the shortfall provided to us verbally by the CEO.
to read our letter to CEO Sachi Hamai r
equesting a "Law Enforcement Exemption from Hiring and Promotion Freeze, Curtailments,
and Budget Reduction – For First Line Responders."
While keeping track of the critical daily operational issues, your Executive Board is also planning our bargaining position to maximize the protection of your careers and your families. As we have been pressed into critical assignments during the pandemic, we have demonstrated our value as first responders, and this will be the cornerstone of bargaining going forward.
We understand the Probation Department’s mission –
“EnhancingPublic Safety, Ensuring Victim’s Rights, and Effecting Positive Probationer Behavioral Change”
and DCFS’ mission –
“Promote child safety and well-being by partnering with communities to strengthen families, keeping children at home whenever possible, and connecting them with stable, loving homes in times of need.”
As peace officers under California Penal Code §830.5 and, as proven first responders, we embrace these core value of promoting child safety and rehabilitation and we believe that juveniles in the institutions and residential treatment facilities, and adults released to the community, have the ability to transform their lives into law-abiding citizens.
We are ALL Public Safety First Responders:
- Every single Local 685 member – adult, juvenile, and field services in Probation, and DCFS staff – enhance public safety.
- All of us work to ensure Victim Rights.
- We all use our specialized training, skills, and experiences to reshape juvenile and adult lives and ensure their re-entry to the community.
- We all serve as a resource for jobs, education, and special skills training to enable youth and adults to become productive community residents.
I know it’s been a hardship so far and we still have many miles to go. We have proven ourselves time and again to be valuable Public Safety First Responders and we will fight for your families based upon our value.