Saturday, December 3, Robert Luna took the oath of office as the 34th Sheriff of Los Angeles County during a ceremony at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration Board Hearing Room. Sheriff Luna officially assumed his duties on Monday, December 5. I attended the oath of office ceremony, along with PPOA President Nancy Escobedo, First Vice President Jose Rios, Board Director Chris Lee and PPOA Attorney Jim Cunningham. The event was very well attended, especially as it was being held on a Saturday in downtown Los Angeles.
Robert Luna was the second candidate to defeat an incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff in over 100 years. He is now the second Democrat in over 150 years to be elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County. Four short years ago, the first of those was then-retired LASD Lieutenant Alex Villanueva, who defied all political odds and became Los Angeles County’s 33rd Sheriff.
The November 8, 2022, general election once again saw a huge increase in voter turnout as 2,237,866 Los Angeles County registered voters cast their votes in the sheriff’s race, compared to 1,482,506 in the June 7 primary election. The overall voter turnout for the November election was 43.65%, compared to 28.48% in the June election, even though the total number of voter registrations dropped to 5,627,796 in November from 5,690,637 in the June election.
One interesting takeaway from the November election was County Measure A, the charter amendment proposal providing authority to remove an elected Sheriff for cause. PPOA opposed Measure A and recommended a No vote. Nonetheless, Measure A passed overwhelmingly, with Yes voters winning with 71.84% of the 2,274,279 votes cast. The sheriff’s race was won by Robert Luna with 61.26% of the 2,237,866 votes cast. Measure A won by 993,557 votes and Robert Luna won by 503,808 votes. Congratulations, Sheriff Luna!
Since the election, PPOA members and public safety colleagues have inquired about the relationship PPOA will have with Sheriff Luna, because PPOA did not endorse his candidacy. I can say without reservation that PPOA will make every concerted effort to work collaboratively, professionally, ethically and honestly with Sheriff Luna and his leadership team, just as PPOA did in the past 72 years with Sheriffs Biscailuz, Pitchess, Block, Baca, Scott, McDonnell and Villanueva. PPOA remains steadfastly committed to continuing a “Tradition of Success” for our entire membership, and our first organizational action has been to put the election behind us and commit to work with Sheriff Luna to assist him as he leads a world-class law enforcement agency, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
For success to occur, however, PPOA will not waver on continuing its proud tradition of protecting and enhancing our members’ individual and collective rights through legally established memorandums of understanding, civil service protocols and legislation. PPOA will continue its relentless practice of requiring the Sheriff, District Attorney and Medical Examiner to follow the meet-and-confer process that is codified in the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA) regarding wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.
PPOA’s 72-year history has prepared our organization to continue to do very well in professionally handling the many opportunities and challenges that 2023 will bring. Through the unified strength of our active and retired sworn members as well as our public safety professionals, PPOA will continue to confidently protect, defend and care for our amazing members who daily commit themselves to the betterment of the millions who live and work in Los Angeles County, through their exemplary selfless work ethic at the Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office.