Luna for Sheriff – Seriously?

By: 
Stephen Downing
Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna, who is stepping down from his position this month, announced that he was running for sheriff of Los Angeles County on Wednesday. He was greeted by protesters at a Signal Hill park with signs reading “Luna failed Long Beach. He will fail all of LA County.”

Rumors have circulated for the past two weeks that LBPD Chief of Police Robert Luna was planning to announce his candidacy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office.  The Beachcomber tried to pin down those rumors with a reliable source and failed. So, on the afternoon of Nov. 29 we emailed a request to LBPD media relations – with a copy to Luna – asking that they confirm or deny the rumors.

Neither Luna nor LBPD Media Relations got back to us that day, but the LB Post broke the story that same evening with a headline reading “LBPD Chief Robert Luna to run for LA Country Sheriff, sources say.”

The next afternoon at 5:45 p.m. LBPD media relations replied to the Beachcomber’s request via email stating: “As a municipal law enforcement organization, we will not comment on any of our employees’ potential political campaigns, plans, or aspirations, including our chief of police.”

Almost three hours later – at 8:36 p.m. the Grunion Gazette announced Luna’s run based on an email Editor Harry Saltzgaver received directly from Chief Luna. He reported that Luna will “formally announce his candidacy on Wednesday and that the chief stated in his email: “I’m running for LA County Sheriff because we can do better” and that “The current sheriff doesn’t listen to his community or work with others, which is putting our public safety at risk.”

So, there it is  – an exclusive first person announcement straight from the local newspaper that cuts and pastes most everything City Hall wants the public to know.

We had a pretty good idea that there was some credibility to the rumors when Luna got himself scheduled to make a presentation to the City Council at their regular Tuesday night meeting on Nov. 16. The agenda item was titled: “Recommendation to receive and file a presentation on police initiatives and advancement from the LBPD.”

Luna’s presentation resonated very much like a candidate’s platform for the sheriff’s job, especially since his December retirement was announced several weeks ago.

He said things like: “Our department has been proactive in identifying areas in which we need to evolve” and “we have leaned into the call for change by embracing opportunities as they present themselves and as a result we have been extremely transformative in the way we do business and we are committed to equity and social justice and to ongoing professional development and growth for our organization.”

Following his pitch of “leaning into the call for change” he said, “And I specifically want to call out the Police Officer’s Association because they’ve been our partners all the time – and you have to have labor on board and they’ve been our partners in that manner.”

He then shifted his attention to the mayor and members of the City Council:  “I also want to thank the mayor and all of you as council members for your continued support and the opportunity to present this at the council tonight. I’ve spoken to each and every one of you on many occasions, and a lot of this change occurs because you are very progressive, you listen to our community, you want a police department to reflect the city’s values.”

Looking back on that opener, the chief pretty much covered prime targets required for a successful campaign: A LBPOA endorsement, campaign finance and future endorsements from the local political class.

The chief’s presentation also included an extensive PowerPoint presentation that featured “key highlights” beginning in 2014, the year Luna was appointed to the chief’s position.

A biopsy of the LBPD’s “evolution” will be the subject of a future article that examines whether the “highlights” are examples of true innovative leadership or merely those of a follower riding the coattails of others, changes required by new laws or high-sounding PR.

stephen.beachcomber@gmail.com

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Comments

LOL the most incompetent and corrupt Police Chief that has lead the most corrupt police department (LBPD) to date, wants to lead one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation!! You have to be Kidding me. This would be hilarious if it wasn't so serious, OMG. I aways say pray for LBC now I have to say, pray for the county of LA if this incompetent clown wins, which I doubt, but you never know, sometimes crazy things happen. This joke of a COP could not handle running a small PD, he sure as hell cant handle a big PD. I hope all his corruption comes out to all the citizens of LA and he is sent home with his tail between his legs.

Let's see, if you substitute Villenueva for Luna youd be correct. Villenueva the most incompetent and corrupt Police Chief that has lead the most corrupt police department (LACS) to date, and wants to head one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation AGAIN!! You have to be Kidding me. This would be hilarious if it wasn't so serious, OMG. I aways say, pray for Villanueva, now I have to say, pray for the because he wants it again. if this incompetent clown wins, which I doubt, but you never know, sometimes crazy things happen. This joke of a man could not handle running a small food truck. So he sure as hell doesnt deserve another term. I hope all his corruption comes out to all the citizens of LA and he is sent home with his tail between his legs.

Long Beach needs to change its charter to make the Long Beach Police Chief an elected position, similar to Long Beach's City Auditor, City Attorney, City Prosecutor and all county sheriffs nationwide. That would move the current corrupt Long Beach police chief selection process into the limelight and force future police chief's to balance concerns of the voting public with city hall politics or run the risk of being replaced during the next election.

Where was Luna hiding during the riots? Sheriff Villanueva was in downtown Long Beach taking care of the mess instead!

Let's see, if you substitute Villenueva for Luna youd be correct. Villenueva the most incompetent and corrupt Police Chief that has lead the most corrupt police department (LACS) to date, and wants to head one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation AGAIN!! You have to be Kidding me. This would be hilarious if it wasn't so serious, OMG. I aways say, pray for Villanueva, now I have to say, pray for the because he wants it again. if this incompetent clown wins, which I doubt, but you never know, sometimes crazy things happen. This joke of a man could not handle running a small food truck. So he sure as hell doesnt deserve another term. I hope all his corruption comes out to all the citizens of LA and he is sent home with his tail between his legs.

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