LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Following the formality of a swearing-in ceremony over the weekend, Robert Luna is expected to officially assume his duties as Los Angeles County’s 34th sheriff Monday afternoon.
The former Long Beach police chief took the oath of office Saturday morning during a ceremony at the County Administration Hall in downtown Los Angeles, where his wife Celines pinned a gold star to his fresh tan and green uniform as two adult children stood nearby.
Midday Monday — after a controversial campaign that led to the ousting of incumbent Alex Villanueva — Luna officially assumed command of one of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies, with more than 18,000 sworn employees.
“Today I stand before you in this brand new uniform – and now I have a badge to go with it – with an incredible amount of respect, because it’s the same uniform worn by those MPs who patrolled the neighborhood I grew up in.” , Luna said Saturday, referring to his East LA home
In a 20-minute speech, Luna promised a new direction, saying he would focus on accountability for MPs and working with elected officials. He’s tasked with bringing down violent and property crime, which has skyrocketed in the county, which is the country’s most populous at about 10 million people.
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Luna said he was “elected with a very clear mandate to bring new leadership.”
“We have to keep embracing change,” he said. “If our streets are unsafe for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, if our homeless crisis causes despair and misery…then we will never have public safety.”
Luna spent 36 years with the Long Beach Police Department, becoming chief in 2014. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State Long Beach.
Villanueva’s tenure was marred by clashes with members of the district executive and criticism that he downplayed allegations of misconduct by some MPs. He blamed the controversy on “false narratives” by his political opponents.
Villanueva said his accomplishments include managing the prison system during the pandemic, treating homelessness humanely and overhauling the department’s body camera program.
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.
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https://abc7.com/robert-luna-sheriff-los-angeles-county-first-day/12528446/ Robert Luna officially assumes duties as Los Angeles County Sheriff today