PPOA News Updates
  • Morale Survey Results Discussion with Sheriff McDonnell
  • Shop Amazon & Support The Star & Shield Foundation
  • Memorial Challenge Coin
  • PPOA Scholarships
  • 2016 Year End Dues Totals
  • Support LASD Sergeant Battling Cancer
  • SGT Al Lopez Dies in Line of Duty 10/24/16
  • PPOA Prez on Police Chief Apology
  • LASD Sergeant Steve Owen Killed in Line of Duty
  • Former PPOA Member Among Fallen Dallas Officers
  • Statement Re: Tanaka Conviction

  • Morale Survey Results Discussion with Sheriff McDonnell

    By Brian Moriguchi, PPOA President

    After Jim McDonnell's first year as sheriff, I had a conversation with him about morale. I told him based on the conversations I have had with both active and retired employees of the Sheriff's Department, I believed morale was lower today than ever before. He was stunned. He believed morale was high and that employees were happy with the direction he was taking the department. Unfortunately, the people he was listening to were the executives and staff that surrounded him. A classic example of "The Emperor Has No Clothes" syndrome.

    In order to truly determine if morale was better or worse, PPOA mailed a morale survey to union members. We calculated the data and the results indicated morale was low and that it was something that needed to be addressed by Sheriff McDonnell. I read every single comment made in those surveys and produced 23 recommendations based on those comments and the data from the survey.

    I presented the results of the survey, along with our recommendations, to Sheriff McDonnell and his Chief-of-Staff, Warren Asmus. They were shocked and expressed concern about the morale within the department. We reviewed the recommendations together and the sheriff agreed with many of them. But agreeing to make changes doesn't improve morale…making changes does.

    Sheriff McDonnell agreed to spend an afternoon at PPOA for a video interview regarding morale as part of our PPOA On Point interview series.

    Part 1 topics include discipline, treatment of employees, reform, personnel shortage, hiriing projection, executives & more.

    Part 2 topics include relieved of duty, guidelines for discipline, constitutional policing advisors & more.

    Part 3 topics include custody assistants, security officers, CCWs, DMV confidentiality, promotional process, CARPing & more.

    In addition, Sheriff McDonnell provided written responses to our recommendations.

    Click here to read PPOA's 23 recommendations and the sheriff's responses.

    You can also read all recommendations and responses in the May 2017 issue of Star & Shield magazine. The sheriff has made some steps in the right direction, but we are a long way from fixing the morale problem. For example, one of the biggest complaints was the hiring problem and the department's ineffectiveness at addressing this problem. The shortage of personnel impacts other areas such as CARPing and forced overtime which negatively impact morale. Another huge area of concern was an unfair promotion process that was based on favoritism and nepotism instead of experience and skill. There were many areas of concern that all pointed to one problem – management did not appear to place morale and the well-being of the employees high on their list of priorities.

    We are hopeful that the sheriff has a new perspective of morale despite what the sycophants around him choose to tell him. I don't mind being the naysayer while others tell him how wonderful life is. He needs to know the truth so he can make appropriate changes. I hope the sheriff will take our recommendations and begin immediately to implement some of them to get us moving in the right direction.

    Please take a moment to read the recommendations (and the sheriff's responses) to get a clearer perspective on the morale problem as seen by the members of PPOA and the sheriff's intent on addressing the issue.


    When you shop, Amazon gives. In fact, PPOA is proud to announce that Amazon will donate .5% of the proceeds of your purchases to the Star & Shield Foundation, established by PPOA members in 1999. All proceeds from Amazon Smile help the foundation support families of fallen officers and those truly in need. This is a simple way to contribute to a worthy cause every time you shop, at no cost to you. Shopping with Amazon Smile includes the exact same low prices and vast selection as the traditional Amazon.com store, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to our 501(c)3 foundation. Go to smile.amazon.com to help the Star & Shield Foundation make a difference.

    Memorial Challenge Coin

    The Star & Shield Foundation is honored to offer this new memorial challenge coin for $20. This polished, detailed coin features the names and badge numbers of fallen #LASD Sergeants Steve Owen and Al Lopez. Click here to purchase your coin(s). Proceeds benefit the foundation and shipping is free.

    PPOA 2017 College Scholarship Program

    Your union is once again proud to announce that 12 scholarships worth $13,500 total are available to help further education for PPOA members and their dependents. Deadline to apply is May 17, 2017. Click below for scholarship application, details and criteria:

    For more info, please call PPOA at (323) 261-3010

    2016 Year End Dues Totals

    The following year-end dues totals are provided to aid PPOA members with tax preparation. If you were not a PPOA member for the entire 2016 calendar year, please contact Clare at (323) 261-3010. Political contributions are not deductible for income tax purposes, and 10 percent of PPOA dues are used for political contributions.

    612 Lieutenant $1,212.00
    612 Lieutenant, DA $1,212.00
    612 Sergeant $1,212.00
    612 Supervising Investigator, DA $1,212.00
    614 Crime Lab Tech $659.00
    614 Criminalist $922.00
    614 Forensic ID Specialist I $879.00
    614 Forensic ID Specialist II $1,038.00
    614 Senior Criminalist $1,180.00
    615 Captain
    621 Civilian Investigator $894.00
    621 Court Services Specialist $613.00
    621 Crime Analyst $875.00
    621 Custody Assistant $723.00
    621 Law Enforcement Technician $667.00
    621 Public Response Dispatcher I $665.00
    621 Public Response Dispatcher II $761.00
    621 Public Response Dispatcher Specialist $814.00
    621 Supv. Public Response Dispatcher $836.00
    621 Security Assistant $408.00
    621 Security Officer $576.00
    631 Coroner Investigator $919.00
    632 Supv. Coroner's Investigator l $989.00
    632 Supv. Coroner's Investigator ll $1,117.00
    Service Member $120.00
    Retired Member $120.00
    Retired prior to 1980

    Support LASD Sergeant Battling Cancer

    PPOA recently learned that one of our members has been diagnosed with leukemia. Sergeant Jorge Chavez has served with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for 17 years. He is curently undergoing treatment at the City of Hope and is in need of a lifesaving marrow donor. Naturally, Sergeant Chavez's situation has led to unexpected expenses and medical costs. Please click below to donate to the Chavez family via PPOA's Star & Shield Foundation.

    PPOA member and LASD Sergeant Jorge Chavez was diagnosed with leukemia late in 2016. He has served with the LA County Sheriff's Deparment for 17 and is on the long road to recovery from treatment and a bone marrow transplant. Consequently, Sergeant Chavez's condition has led to unexpected expenses and medical costs. Please click below to donate to the Chavez family via PPOA's Star & Shield Foundation.

    All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law under 501(c)3 tax ID #95-4752410. Contributions on this website should not be made using county computers or on county time. The entire amount of every contribution (minus PayPal processing fee) will be forwarded to Sergeant Chavez. Thank you for your support!

    SGT Al Lopez Dies in Line of Duty 10/24/16


    On October 24th, this association was extremely heartbroken to learn that another PPOA member has died in the line of duty. Sergeant Alfonso "Al" Lopez, assigned to Compton Station, had 26 years of dedicated service with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. He left the station early this morning to provide help in a stolen vehicle pursuit and was involved in a single vehicle traffic collision. Sgt. Lopez was found unconscious and non-responsive in his patrol car. Despite CPR from responding deputies, he could not be revived.

    As all of you know, hearts are still very heavy for the LASD family — as Sgt. Lopez is the second department member and PPOA member (Sgt. Steve Owen was killed on Oct. 5th) to die in the line of duty this month. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children and his many colleagues and friends on the department.

    PPOA Prez on Police Chief Apology

    PPOA President Brian Moriguchi joined KPCC public radio as part of a roundtable discussion in reaction to a controversial apology for police racial abuse issued by the head of the International Police Chiefs Association.

    Click here to listen:

    LASD Sergeant Killed in Line of Duty



    On October 5, 2016, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department suffered a monumental loss. Sergeant Steven Owen, a 29-year department veteran, was responding to a residential burglary call in Lancaster when he was shot in the face by a suspect on active parole. Despite being rushed to the hospital by fellow deputies, Owen succumbed to his wounds. The murder suspect was later arrested after jumping into Owen's patrol vehicle, ramming a deputy's vehicle, and breaking into a home where he barricaded himself with two teenage hostages.

    "Sergeant Steve Owen was an outstanding cop," states PPOA President Brian Moriguchi. "He loved helping others and made the Antelope Valley a better place to live. Steve risked his life every day to make the community safer and we are saddened by this senseless murder of a fine public servant."

    Sergeant Owen was a hero in every sense of the word. In 2014, Sergeant Owen was awarded a meritorious conduct medal for his role in safely rescuing a hostage and arresting an armed kidnapping suspect who was holding a gun to the victim's chest and head. The fact that this occurred without a single shot being fired speaks volumes about Owen's police skills and ability to react quickly in the face of danger. His actions that evening were described by the sheriff's department as "courageous and nothing short of heroic."

    Sergeant Owen has been a PPOA member since promoting to sergeant in 2011. The 53-year old is survived by his wife Tania (an LASD arson/explosives detective), his two sons Brandon and Chad, and his daughter, Shannon. Owen's mother, wife and sons made it to the hospital and were all at his side when he died.

    Sergeant Owen stood tall and defended the public, even to the end. We will never forget his courage. We will never forget the fact that he devoted himself to others for three decades. And we will always remember his sacrifice.


    PPOA members were asked to select only one board member this year, with Unit 621 featuring two custody assistants competing for one seat. In that election, Custody Assistant Rosario "Tony" Coleman was elected by his peers to serve as their representative on the PPOA board of directors. Official ballot count results are below.

    PPOA Unit 621 Board Seat (representing Custody Assistants)

    Total ballots mailed to PPOA members: 1114

    Candidates Votes Received (percent of total vote)
    Rosario "Tony" Coleman 233 (73.9%)
    Danya Hazen 82 (26.0%)

    Coleman will be officially sworn in to a two-year term at the January board meeting.

    The ballot count was conducted on November 21, 2016 by the firm of Martin and Chapman. Special thanks to the PPOA members on today's election committee — Ron Curlis, Ben Garcia, Leticia Parra and Kim Shelton-Brink — for volunteering to monitor and verify the ballot count.

    Former PPOA Member Among Fallen Dallas Officers

    By Brian Moriguchi, PPOA President: On July 7th, America witnessed the worst in humanity as five police officers were assassinated at a Black Lives Matter anti-police rally in Dallas, Texas. It is believed to be the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since September 11, 2001. The tragedy of the situation hits close to home for LA County Sheriff's Department (LASD) employees, as one of the officers killed in the attack was a former LASD law enforcement technician. Lorne Ahrens was a member of this association (PPOA) and served the sheriff's department for 11 years before transferring to Dallas PD in 2002, where he worked his way up to Senior Corporal. He is survived by his wife (also a Dallas PD officer), a 10-year old son and an 8-year old daughter.

    Shortly before this unspeakable assault by a sniper in hiding, President Obama held a press conference to address the recent fatal shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. The President quoted statistics about how minorities, in particular blacks and Hispanics, are stopped more often by police, removed from their cars more often by police and arrested more often by police, implying racial disparity by police officers. What the President didn't say is that these statistics are true regardless of the race of the officers. Police officers of all racial backgrounds simply enforce the laws to keep the communities they serve safe. The data reflects a much larger societal issue of racial disparities and socio-economic issues that plague primarily minority communities. We ask that President Obama and other leaders choose their words carefully so as not to provoke violence against police officers.

    Police officers who do wrong need to be held accountable. We support and encourage the prosecution of bad cops. It stains our profession and we are the first to stand up against bad cops. But the vast majority of police officers are honest, brave men and women who simply want to serve their communities and protect the innocent from those who prey on them. It is a difficult job but a noble one.

    Our hearts go out the brave officers in Dallas who faced evil while protecting others, including those protesting against law enforcement. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen officers and all the men and women who serve the public doing a job that few can do.

    Statement Re: Tanaka Conviction

    This morning, a federal jury convicted former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges. The jury needed less than two hours to determine that Tanaka was guilty on both counts. Sentencing is scheduled for June 20 and he now faces up to 15 years in federal prison.

    For many years, PPOA has battled against Tanaka and the corrupt culture in the Sheriff's Department. "Paul Tanaka destroyed many careers and demanded loyalty and obedience to him." states PPOA President Brian Moriguchi. "If you defied him, you paid a hefty price. If you obeyed him, you were rewarded. That is no way to run the largest Sheriff's Department in the world."

    PPOA was not alone in our assessment of Tanaka. Both current and retired Sheriff's officials have publicly accused him of fostering a corrosive culture in which deputies were permitted to beat and humiliate inmates, cover up misconduct and form aggressive deputy cliques. The federal charges against Tanaka were just a microcosm of a decade of abusive leadership and abuse of power. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Fox described Tanaka as a "man who overruled and undermined the people who sought to reform the Sheriff's Department."

    Seven other Sheriff's Department employees have also been found guilty of obstruction in the same federal probe. PPOA contended that the responsible parties had not been held accountable and only those who carried out orders were punished. That changed today with the conviction of Paul Tanaka.

    This conviction is a monumental step toward restoring the department's dignity, morale and pride that withered under the leadership of Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka. It also illustrates the stark difference between leaders who inspire respect and those who inspire fear. Sheriff Jim McDonnell released a statement following today's conviction in which he stated that the department is committed to providing the "highest quality of service with integrity, respect and accountability." It is important to note that the vast majority of members of the Sheriff's Department have always performed their duties with integrity, respect and accountability. We must ensure that dysfunctional leadership is never able to go unchecked and we must all stand up against corruption, regardless of rank.