October 1984










Report of the Task Force on Security Systems:

                                  Marvin D. Rowen, Chairperson

                                  Joe Healy, Vice-Chairperson

                                  Louise Frankel

                                  Thomas F. Kranz

                                  Robert Ruchti, II

                                  Larry Scherzer

                                  Wally Thor

Other Commission Members:

                                  Joe Crail, Chairperson

                                  Susan Berk

                                  George E. Bodle

                                  Gunther W. Buerk

                                  John D. Byork

                                  Harold Campbell

                                  Jack Drown

                                  Dr. Alfred J. Freitag, Ph.D.

                                  Haig Kehiayan

                                  Robert J. Lowe

                                  Abraham M. Lurie

                                  Lauro Je Neri

                                  Dean Sweeney, Jr.

                                  Dr. Edward Zalta, M.D.








      On March 20, 1984, the Board of Supervisors asked our Commission "to analyze the possibility of consolidating all security functions throughout the various departments to coordinate this most important function" (Appendix I).

      The Board's concern about security was the result of reports from the Commission for Women, employee groups and others that the risk of assaults and thefts had increased seriously on County property, especially within parking lots and structures.

      Our task force, co-chaired by Marvin D. Rowen and Joe Healy, has reviewed present security practices in the County and previous recommendations for change.  A representative of the Commission for Women, Sandra Klasky, has participated in our review.

      The Task Force discussed the issues with executives of the following County departments which provide or receive security services:

            Museum of Art                 Music Center

            Museum of Natural History     Parks and Recreation

            Health Services               Flood Control District

            Public Social                 Services Mechanical

            Superior Court                Communications

      We met with Sheriff Block and with the presidents of two private sector security firms.  At our invitation, employees of the CAO were present during many of the hearings.  This report contains our conclusions and recommendations.

      The next two pages present a brief overview and a list of our recommendations The first section is a summary of the major points.  The second describes the current system in some detail.  The third contains a discussion of our recommendations.  The Appendices summarize significant background used by the task force in reaching its conclusions, including a review of prior recommendations and a list of problems reported in testimony during our hearings.

      We wish to express our gratitude to the Commission for Women, the CAO, the Sheriff, the Superior Court, and the representatives of other County departments and private firms who contributed information and advice during our project.





      Ten County departments manage separate security services.  They employ a workforce of 339 County guards and contract for 397,000 of guard service.  They spend $13.4 million annually on security staffing.  Recent departmental consolidations and budget changes have modified this structure to some extent, but they have not yet significantly affected the character of the present security system.  Our recommendations take these changes into account.

      Security is a general internal service of the County.  As crucial as it is for the welfare and morale of the County workforce and public as well as for the protection of assets, it tends to be an invisible function when working well.  For this reason it is not necessarily given priority attention and can be an easy target for cutbacks.

      One key element in our approach has been to consider the organizational question in context with other significant County changes, including those we recommended and the Board adopted in September, 1983, to reduce the number of County departments and to improve the standardization of internal systems.

      We evaluated the County a existing security program from two perspectives: effectiveness (success in avoiding loss or harm) and efficiency (the management of resources). In the absence of standards for effectiveness and of comparative data on success, we have focused our analysis on the question of efficient management systems.  We found ample evidence of problems in the delivery of security services to substantiate the Board's stated concerns (see motion on page 49).

      Our central conclusion is that the problems are attributable to the absence of standards, rather than to the way resources are organized.  They would not be resolved by increased centralization of resources in a single service department, and the centralization of resources would not necessarily improve efficiency.  Rather, the problems are a consequence of the more general County situation we documented last year in Decision-Makin2 and Organization: the absence of centralized responsibility for planning, standards, and evaluation.  hus, we recommend that the Board centralize in the Chief Administrative Office (CAO)  the responsibility to establish and enforce standards governing the County's security program.  (Recommendation 1)

      We found several instances where the accountability for providing security services is shared among several departments at single or adjacent sites.  This dangerous situation must be stopped. We recommend that the Board establish unity of command for security operations at each County facility or complex.  (Recommendation 2)

      We found sufficient evidence of gaps in overall planning for security to suggest a nine-month program for establishing the most urgently needed central standards and for pinpointing accountability.  (Recommendation 3)

      Our recommendations are listed on page iii.





Recommendation 1:  We recommend that the Board of Supervisors establish and fund the position of County security program manager.  We further recommend that the position be assigned to the chief Administrative office (CAO) initially and be evaluated for possible assignment to the Facilities Management Department within one year.  The position should be filled by a security professional with management experience and should be assigned the following duties:

a.          develop County-wide standards for security and appropriate standards at each department and facility, with the expert assistance of the Sheriff and other public and private sources;

b.          provide consultation on security to County departments and special districts;

c.          recommend budget decisions affecting security to the C&O and Board;

d.          establish Systems for the reporting and analysis of data on security which will support monitoring and decision-making; and

e.          monitor compliance with standards and other aspects of security performance.

Recommendation 2:  We recommend that, in each County location, i.e., a lone facility or a number of adjacent facilities, a single department be responsible for security, and that this department have the authority to decide whether to provide security surveys, staffing and other services internally or purchase them from another source.

Recommendation 3: That the Board of Supervisors direct the CAO to submit the following initial elements of a comprehensive plan for security within nine months:

a.          method of establishing accountability for security in each County department and location;

b.          recommendations concerning which department should be responsible for security at each multi-department location.

c.          the specifications for County-wide and departmental information systems bearing on security; 

d.          specifications for the post conditions under which guards, whether contracted or not should be equipped with firearms;

e.          specifications for the experience, training, and supervision required for the various kinds of security assignments, whether contracted or not;

f.          schedule for implementation and follow-up of the above items; and

g.          timetable for development of additional plan elements.









List of Recommendations

List of Exhibits

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

Chapter I: Current Security Systems

      The Security Function

      Organization and Staffing

      Physical Security

      Support Services

      Policy and Standards


Chapter II: Detail of Recommendations

      County-wide Program Management

      Qualifications of the Program Manager

      Assignment to the CAO

      Location Management

      Initial Plan Priorities



I.                Board Order of March 20, 1984

II.            Prior Recommendations and Actions

              Contract Services Advisory Committee

              Chief Administrative Officer/Director of Personnel

              Economy and Efficiency Commission

III.        Problems and Suggestions

IV.            Data Questionnaire









EXHIBIT I Staffing and Expenditures

EXHIBIT II: Courtroom Security

EXHIBIT III: Parking Lot Staffing and Expenditures

EXHIBIT IV: Supervisory Ratios

EXHIBIT V: Hourly Rates for Security

EXHIBIT VI Multi-Department Locations







      At its meeting on March 20, the Board of Supervisors took action to correct deficiencies of security that had been reported by the Commission for Women and others.  In addition, the Board asked us to evaluate the question of whether security services should be reorganized to ensure long term improvements, and in particular whether they should be consolidated to improve coordination.

      Ten County departments manage their own security systems.  Each employs security officers or manages contracts for guard service.  In addition, the Mechanical Department provides guard services to protect other departments and their facilities. The table below summarizes the personnel costs for each department with a security management responsibility.  They employ a total workforce of 339 County guards an4 contract for 397,000 hours of guard service.  They spend $13.4 million annually on security staffing.  The table does not include the costs of security alarms, access barriers, communications, and other hardware.

      Some of these departments have recently been consolidated.  We report their data separately in the table since the new departments have not yet implemented internal changes affecting security.



Staffing and Expenditures



    Annual Labor Expenses


       ($ in Thousands)

Beaches and Harbors



County Engineer


Flood Control


Health Services




Museum of Art


Museum of Natural History


Parks and Recreation


Purchasing and Stores










We found severe and significant problems with the system which are chronic and have resisted correction for years.  Among them are the following:

Isolated System: County officials tend to define security in terms of the protection of facilities from intruders.  This is isolated from such other elements of an integrated security system a8 organized safety programs, financial controls, computer and data security, the protection of privacy and other elements of a comprehensive risk management policy.

Absence of Standards: If the County has adopted standards governing security, they are not effective.  Supervisory ratios vary from 4.7:1 to 22.5:1.  The qualifications and training of County security officers are at times excessive for specific assignments.  In other assignments, County officers have been replaced by contract guards with inadequate training and experience for their assignments.  The intensity and depth of background checks are not proportionate to the varying levels of sensitivity of different assignments.  Many officers and guards carry firearms in assignments where experts believe they are both unnecessary and dangerous.  Three distinct and incompatible communications systems are in use.  Some locations have as many as four different types of detection devices.  In some locations, guards fail to make use of existing security devices.  Lax office procedures permit millions of dollars worth of equipment to disappear.  Employees do not report security breaches.  The requirements to do so are not consistently enforced.

Weak Information System: Each department maintains its own security records.  No County official can evaluate the performance of the system as a whole because none has access to centralized data describing incidents, organization or resources.  For example, the departments lack coat data on all but 32 of 104 devices reported.

Lack of Coordination: Two or more departments on the same grounds rarely have a joint security program under unified management.  There is no evidence of inter-governmental cooperation when County sites are near city parks or local civic centers.  The results include gaps in coverage, confusion of command, inconsistent policy, and wasted resources.

Lack of Organization: Supervisors have no continuous or periodic communication with mobile officers.  Some officers are unsupervised.  Contract guard supervisory requirements range from full-time on-site to the ability to return a telephone call within one hour.  Few departments make use of low-cost “workfare” recipient parking lot patrols.



      Past proposals to consolidate security services in a single department have consistently been rejected by the Board of Supervisors.  The studies failed to show sufficient savings, reduction of labor costs or improved efficiency to justify change in view of challenges by County departments that the result would be a dramatic decline in the effectiveness of security.  Such organizations as Museums and Hospitals have missions and goals which are sufficiently different to influence their security requirements.  They successfully argue that the price of consolidation would include reduced effectiveness in responding to those differences and that the assumed improvements of efficiency are not worth the price.  Department executives and the Board of Supervisors cannot responsibly be willing to increase the risk of the kinds of losses that could be incurred at the Museums or of injuries at the hospitals.


      Our task force sought to define an organizational approach to improving effectiveness that would achieve the advantages of centralization while retaining responsiveness to the diverse needs of individual departments and facilities.  The question is, how can the organization of the County's security system be re-designed to achieve this goal? 

      The current system at the Department of Health Services meets these criteria.  Each hospital and health center retains responsibility for its own security, for managing its own security staff and safety programs, and for acquiring security equipment.  However, the standards, the information system, and evaluation protocols are centralized for all facilities in a Director of Security at department headquarters.  The Sheriff has provided the Director of Security since 1975.  The authority to establish policy remains with the Director of Health Services.  Thus, in Health Services, the specialized technical support of the executive functions of planning, standard setting and evaluation are centralized, while the operations management is decentralized to permit adaptation to facility-specific requirements.

      Our approach is to generalize a strengthened version of this kind of system to the County as a whole.  That is, we propose that the Board centralize the executive functions of planning, standard setting and evaluation in a new position, Security Program Manager.   However, we propose also that each department, including those now managing internal security services, retain the choice of the method of production they use to meet the standards.  Each would decide whether to continue or adopt internal operations, private contractors, or resources provided by the Facilities Management Department.  Each would fund its choice and be accountable for the results.

      In addition, our approach to security systems management addresses the degree to which the County's risk management, employee safety, computer security, and financial control systems should be integrated with facility security programs.


We recommend that the Board of Supervisors establish and fund the position of County security program manager.  We further recommend that the position be assigned to the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) initially and be evaluated for possible assignment to the Facilities Management Department within one year.  The position should be filled by a security professional with management experience and should be assigned the following duties:

a.       develop County-wide standards for security and appropriate standards at each department and facility, with expert assistance from the Sheriff and other public and private sources;

b.       provide consultation on security to County departments and special districts;

c.       recommend budget decisions affecting security to the CAO and Board;

d.       establish systems for the reporting and analysis of data on  security which will support monitoring and decision-making; and

e.       monitor compliance with standards and other aspects of security performance.



      We believe strongly that the executive functions of planning, standardization and evaluation should be centralized in a position which has sufficient authority to plan and set standards for security as a County-wide system and to evaluate system performance based on those standards.  That is the mission of the position, Security Program Manager.  Security is a technical field.  The position should be classified and compensated at a high enough level so that it Will be filled by an individual who is sufficiently literate and sophisticated in the specialized requirements of security services to manage a complex and diverse system, given the availability of the Sheriff and various contractors to provide highly specialized input. Aside from the requirement for strong management in addition to technical sophistication, our task force has not developed the position specifications detail.


      The primary duties we recommend for the position are designed to ensure that the County can develop and manage an effective County-wide system without disrupting the needs of the Museums and other departments to manage their own resources.  We recommend centralization of planning, evaluation, standard-setting and support services rather than of operations management.  These functions should encompass all forms of security, e.g., financial and data systems as well as guard services, alarms, and facility modifications. 

      By standards we do not mean uniformity.  We mean a common system of classifying departmental requirements so that facilities or complexes with similar needs will receive similar levels of service and so that performance can be measured.


      We considered four alternative units for the assignment of this responsibility: an outside contractor, the Sheriff, the CAO and Facilities Management. 

      An outside contractor could assist the CAO in designing the system, but the County should not contract the responsibility for a crucial internal policy function.

      The Sheriff has the requisite managerial and technical expertise.  however, the Sheriff is not accountable to the Board and is not obligated to perform a management function affecting other departments on behalf of the Board.  Therefore, we believe the Sheriff is best placed County-wide in the kind of role his staff has recently provided to the Health Services Department and Museums.  That is the role of providing expert support of the planning, standard-setting and evaluation functions.

      Therefore, neither a private contractor nor the Sheriff is an appropriate agency in which to locate the new function.

      In contrast, both the CAO and the new Department of Facilities Management could be appropriate.

      The CAO has the County-wide perspective, the budgetary authority, and the managerial expertise to make program management effective.  It can obtain specialized technical support from the Sheriff or a suitable contractor.

      The Facilities Management Department has been designed specifically to provide centralized general and facilities-related services to County departments.  Security service units in the new department, formerly located in the Mechanical Department, have some of the requisite expertise.  We believe that this new department will, once developed, offer cost-effective alternatives to its client departments which are now internally producing or contracting for security services.

      At present, however, the Facilities Management Department is newly formed and in a process of major restructuring.  Immediate assignment of the new responsibility of managing the County-wide security system could have a destabilizing effect.

      Therefore, the task force concludes that the most appropriate initial assignment for the new position is in the CAO’s office.  It can be developed there, and the CAO can pay high-level attention to the issues of integrating facilities security with other elements of risk management policy.  Within one year, the assignment of the position should be re-evaluated for possible relocation to the Facilities Management Department.





We recommend that, in each County location, i.e., a lone facility or a number of adjacent facilities, a single department be responsible for security, and that this department have the authority to decide whether to produce security surveys, staffing and other services internally or purchase them from another source.

      We agree that the needs of the Museums are different enough from the rest of the County's to justify independent management of security resources.  We further agree that the needs of the Department of Health Services vary enough from those of Parks and Recreation to justify separate management.  We recognize that the Road Department and Flood Control District have security needs which differ materially from those of the courts and the Health Services Department.

      However, it is absurd and potentially dangerous for such departments to insist on separate management when they share the same or adjacent sites. That is the situation at Hancock Park, where three independently managed security forces protect the public; at the County complex at Adams and Grand, where two separate services are active; and in the neighborhood of the USC Medical Center, where four departments share accountability for security.

      There is no justification for fragmentation on the same or adjacent sites.  The Museums' needs are sufficiently similar to one another that one can assume responsibility for the other's facility at Hancock Park.  Either is also competent to cover the open areas of the park, or to contract for coverage.  Similarly, either the Mechanical Department or the Health Services Department could cover facilities and open areas at Adams and Grand, and one department could cover the complexes near and adjacent to the medical center. Unified management will maximize efficient use of resources and effective response to emergencies at a single complex.

      Our task force has left unresolved the issue of which department should be assigned responsibility at each of these sites.





We recommend that the Board of Supervisors direct the CAO to submit the following initial elements of a comprehensive plan for security within nine months:

a.    a method of establishing accountability for security in each County department and location;

b.    recommendations concerning which department should be responsible for  security at  each multi-department location.

c.    the specifications for County-wide and departmental information systems bearing on security;

d.    specifications for the post conditions under which guards should be equipped with firearm.;

e.    specifications for the experience, training, and Supervision required for the various kinds of security assignments, whether contracted or not;

f.    a plan for   implementation and follow-up of the above items; and

g.    a timetable for development of additional plan elements.

Many of the weaknesses of the security systems result not from organizational structure, but rather from the absence of a coherent County-wide approach to security which incorporates the needs of various departments to manage their own resources and influence the design of the system. The assignment of program management to the CAO will strengthen the Board's ability to develop a County-wide approach.  However, certain of the issues we discovered in our review need immediate, high priority attention by the program manager.  For example, we recommended above that a single department be accountable for security at each site.  We left unresolved the question of which of the several departments now 8haring accountability should be designated as the responsible department.  A plan and decision on this point should be one of the earliest tasks of the Security Program Manager.



      Our recommendations are feasible.  The Board has the authority to establish a position in the CAO's office, to direct the reorganization of security at specific sites, and to direct the CAO to have the program manager attend to certain tasks on a priority basis.

      Implementing our recommendations will impose a short-term cost on the County.  The cost of establishing and supporting the position of program manager in the CAO'S office can be contained to $150,000 maximum.  In addition, the Sheriff and other experts will need compensation for their consultative support.  We do not know and cannot reasonably estimate what kinds of system improvements the experts will recommend for implementation by the County, but it is reasonable to assume that they may impose some initial cost.  For example, the system improvements may include investment in improved security hardware, training programs, and additional guard positions.


      Savings will be long-term and result from such unpredictable factors as the reduction of claims against the County, the reduction of losses due to theft or pilferage of cash and equipment (currently averaging over $2 million per year), increased use of contracting with private firms, and improved use of facility `modifications and equipment to enhance security.  The fiscal savings we can predict with some confidence based on prior experience with contracting is the 30% to 50% reduction in labor costs that results from contracting of guard positions.  The management of the contracts will be strong enough under the system we recommend to achieve such savings without deterioration in performance.

      Improved security will also result in non-financial advantages, among which the foremost is reduced danger to employees and visitors from intruders and from poorly-trained armed guards. 

      The first chapter of our report contains a description of the present security system.  The second chapter contains a detailed discussion of -our recommendations.





      Los Angeles County operates a large and complex organization with multiple and diverse security needs.  The County provides services from over 750 major facilities, distributed over its 4068 square mile service area.  The facilities comprise some 4400 buildings of various kinds.  Over 70,000 employees provide services to the County's seven million residents.  The services range in character from emergency medicine and continuing health care to agricultural inspection.  They include the law enforcement and judicial systems, parks, welfare and public safety.

      The function of security services in this system is to provide County employees and clientele with a reasonable expectation of personal safety,  to protect County and personal property from theft or damage, and to prevent the theft of County funds or confidential information.  In the County, as in most organizations, the function is provided for in a number of ways:

-               the presence of employees assigned to maintaining security,

-               the presence of access barriers or other security devices,

-               the design of financial and data systems, and

-               the level of alertness and training of all employees to security.

      Thus, the elements of a security system in any organization include organizational units and personnel assigned to security, equipment used to support those personnel or otherwise enhance safety, and operating policies and procedures designed to ensure against breaches of security.   In response to the Board's recent focus, our study concentrated on the security of persons and physical property. Nevertheless, our findings and conclusions have implications for other security needs as well.

      In contrast to most other organizations, the County has available abroad range of law enforcement, security, and other personnel to perform security and security-related functions.  They include:

q      police officers (Deputy Sheriffs),

q      court bailiffs (Deputy Sheriff. and Marshals),

q      security officers (public employees),

q      security guards (private employees),

q      courtroom and gallery attendants (public or private),

q      parking lot attendants (public or private),

q      parking lot patrols (often "workfare" recipients), and

q      any employee who is on duty or in residence.

      Police officers and court bailiffs are peace officers.  Publicly employed security officers have peace officer status only while on duty.  All highly trained,   they carry firearms and other weapons.  They can and do make arrests.  Privately employed security guards are not peace officers, although many carry firearms.  The remaining categories also are not peace officers, and they are not authorized to carry weapons.

      The roles of security personnel, in contrast to those of law enforcement, are primarily to provide deterrence by their presence and to observe and report incidents to the authorities.  Security personnel can and do restrain and apprehend offenders, but this function is secondary in the sense that it is the exception to the normal role of security personnel.

      Some security personnel perform tasks in direct support of their department's program operations in addition to providing security.  For example, in the Department of Health Services they provide patient restraint under medical direction; in the Flood Control District they monitor the communications network and the telemetry system which tracks the operation of the pumping stations.  In various locations, security officers and guards are the first aid and CPR resource, provide fire watch, or cover the reception and information desk.

      In the following, the Task Force describes the County's current security operations, including organization, staffing, physical security, support, and operating policy.  We exclude general law enforcement.


      1. Department Security Personnel: Exhibit I summarizes each department's staffing and expenditures for employee and contract security personnel.

      The Department of Beaches & Harbors has contract guards.  They provide roving and perimeter patrol at beach and parking lots, and collect parking lot revenue seven days a week at an annual cost of $79,000.

      The County Engineer contracts for night, holiday, and weekend guard coverage of four office buildings and a parking structure at an annual cost of $35,000.

      The Flood Control District employs district security officers who provide patrol security at its Alcazar Street headquarters seven days a week at an annual cost of $100,000.  The district is in the process of changing to contracting.

      The Health Services Department operates five medical centers, two hospitals, four comprehensive health centers, 23 public health centers, and three rehabilitation centers.  Security i. contracted at administrative headquarters, at the adjacent health center and parking structure, and at the Olive View Medical Center at an annual cost of $194,000.  Security guards provide foot and vehicle patrol of the facilities.  The remaining facilities are secured entirely by officers who are employees of the department.  The annual budget is $5.6 million.

      The Mechanical Department provides security for Civic Center facilities except those of Health Services and the Sheriff, for courthouses, welfare offices and several other facilities, at a total annual cost of $3.8 million.  Approximately 65% of this is contracted.

      The Museum of Art employs its own security officers who patrol the property inside and out, 24 hours, and the warehouse at an annual cost of $1 million.  Gallery and parking lot attendants are contracted.  The gallery attendants are on duty while the Museum is open.  The annual contract cost for attendants is $709,000.  The total cost of security personnel is thus $1.7 million.

      The Museum of Natural History employs its own security officers who patrol its property inside and out, 24 hours.  It also contracts for gallery attendants who are on duty six days a week during open hours.   The total annual cost is $920,000 for both.

      The Department of Parks and Recreation has more than 90 County parks and 18 golf courses.  Units of armed security officers employed by the Department patrol the parks by vehicle and on foot.  The patrols cover all






Chart can be viewed in file at LA-EEC






buildings, picnic areas, restrooms, fences, gates, roadways, and parking lots.  In addition, the Department manages two security contracts.  One contract provides security services at the Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford Cultural Arts Theater fifteen hours per day Monday through Friday, 24 hours per day Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  The second contract provides evening and night security services at the Whittier Narrows Regional Recreation Area and Golf Course.  The annual cost is $93,000 for the contracts and $974,000 for the security officers.  The total cost of security personnel is thus $1.07 million. 

      Purchasing and Stores contracts for security services at administrative and warehouse facilities 24 hours a day.  Security guards patrol the warehouse and storage shed areas, roadways, and appurtenant structures at an annual cost of $63,000. 

      The Road Department contracts for security guards 3 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and 24 hours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.  Security personnel conduct foot patrols of the roadways and appurtenant structures in the Main Headquarters Complex at an annual cost of $101,000. 

      Other practices provide security personnel coverage when needed and at minimum cost.  These include use of temporary contract security guards to discourage further incidents at sites which have become targets of theft or vandalism, and use of recurrent1 security officers for peak workload periods.  The former practice has been employed by Flood Control and Road, the latter by Parks and Recreation.

2.  Resident Employees:  At several Flood Control District and Road Department locations which are without security guards, employees who reside on the premises improve security.  The Department of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens has eliminated its security force in order to reduce costs.  The department now relies solely on personnel who live on the premises to provide deterrence and reporting capability.



1 Recurrent employees are a class of temporary County employees who are maintained as personnel for peak workload, short term or seasonal assignments, such as elections, tax collection processing, and lifeguards.


      3.  Courtroom Security: In addition to the security forces outlined above, the Sheriff,  the Marshal, and the Superior Court provide bailiffs or attendants for the Superior and Municipal Courts, at a total annual cost of approximately $32 million.  Their respective staffing and expenditures for this purpose are further detailed in Exhibit II below.  Courtroom attendants are unarmed and are not sworn officers.  At present, courtroom attendants provide security in civil courts.





Salary and

Annual Cost Per

Bailiff/Custody Officers




      Sheriff (Superior Cts.)


   $15.2 Million


      Marshall (Municipal Cts).)


   15.9 Million


Attendants (Superior Courts)


   0.8 Million




   31.9 Million

   46,000 avg.

         *Includes guarding prisoners while in a courthouse.

         **Includes supervision.

      4. Parking Areas: The County owns or leases approximately 700 parking structures and lots.  The County Engineer's database indicates that about 40 are attended; the data are incomplete because not all locations have been surveyed for this information.

      Approximately 120 lots are on the same grounds with a building which has security officers or guards or has a caretaker living on the premises.  At some of these locations, officers patrol the parking lots as well as the buildings; the County Engineer's data base does not show how many, and our testimony indicated that there is no consistent policy or practice.  In addition, some of the existing coverage is part time.

      The Civic Center Mall garage, other courthouse lots, the Music Center garage, and the parking lots of the Museum of Natural History are specific problem areas.

1.    The contract guards employed by the Mechanical Department to cover the County Courthouse patrol only the half of the Mall garage nearest the Courthouse.  Also, there is a lack of coordination between the parking attendants and the security guards in covering the Mall garage, although both group. are managed by the same division of the Mechanical Department.

2.    At the courthouses, the security Surveys which are the basis for staffing are done by the Sheriff, who emphasizes internal security rather than the perimeter and parking areas.

3.    At the Music Center, the security contract and parking contract are both managed by the Mechanical Department but employ two different contractors.  The parking attendants leave before the patrons get out of the performance, and the guards only enter the structure in response to an emergency.

4.    The Museum of Natural History claims that it does not have enough security staff to patrol its lots, which are located in a high-crime area.

      Throughout the County, ground-level parking lots usually are not fenced, and there are few arrangements to escort employees to their cars after dark even when bailiffs, security officers or contract guards are on site. 

      The Mechanical Department provides parking services to both employees and the public at most County departments.  The Department of Beaches and Harbors manages its own recreational parking lots for public use.  Health Services manages parking at the LAC-USC Medical Center.  Exhibit III below summarizes staffing and expenditures in County parking facilities. 



                       Attendants               Cost (incl. supv.)

Mechanical                96                            $1.7

Beaches & Harbors         29                             0.6

Health Services            8                             0.1

TOTAL                    133                             2.4

Music Center             --                              (2.2) Revenue


      The Mechanical Department manages the contract for parking services at the Music Center.  The contractor pays the County $2.2 million per year for the Concession.

      In addition to the above staffing, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) assigns able-bodied General Relief recipients to "work off" the welfare grant.  Approximately 200 of these assignments consist of patrolling parking lots at DPSS offices. The only non-DPSS lot so served is at the Inglewood courthouse.  The usual cost to the County for each person patrolling is $1.35 per day for carfare and lunch.

      5. Supervision:  Departments with sizable security forces may have two or three levels of supervision.  Departments with small units may have little or no formal supervision.  For example, security officers of the Flood Control District, who work evenings and weekends, report to a Grounds Maintenance supervisor who works on weekdays and is not a security professional.  The public health centers of the Department of Health Services also have no security supervisors on site.  Exhibit IV below displays the ratios of County and contract security officers, attendants, and guards at all levels to County security supervision at all levels in those departments which have County employee officers.  This ratio ranges from 4.7:1 to 22.5:1.




     and GUARDS



Flood Control




Health Services








Museum of Art




Museum of Nat. His




Parks & Recreation








* Contract guards are excluded from this figure, since the contractor provides the supervision.


      The 22.5:1 ratio of Security Supervisors to officers and attendants at the Museum of Art is ameliorated by the fact that on each shift the lead Security Officer II assumes some Supervisory responsibilities.

      The 4.7:1 ratio in the Mechanical Department includes supervisors who perform tasks other than supervision of subordinates.  Five of the supervisors monitor contracts; another five are watch commanders who do not leave their posts at the communications center in the Hall of Administration.

      Some supervisory personnel are not assigned to the same hours and locations as their subordinates.  In the Department of Parks and Recreation, for example, supervisors are on duty from 8 A.M. to 6 P.M., whereas park patrol Officers also work other hours.  When a park patrol supervisor is on duty, the subordinate officers patrol a large geographical area by vehicle, and the supervisor does not necessarily have routine and continuous communication with them.

      The contract for security at the Music Center specifies that a senior security guard must be on site at all times as supervisor of the other guards.  At the Museum of Art, the County watch commander and lead officer supervise the contract gallery attendants as well as the County security officers.  Contract guards at Health Services Headquarters and the L.A. Central Health Clinic are supervised by the department's Security Director.  Those at Olive View Hospital are supervised by hospital administration.

      The remainder of the County's contracts for security do not specify on-site supervision.  Several contracts require a roving supervisor to inspect each guard assignment at least once per shift.  Some contracts require the contractor to make a supervisor available by radio or telephone and to guarantee a response within 45-60 minutes of the call.


      The Communications Department is responsible for designing, installing, and maintaining radio, closed-circuit TV and telephone systems for all County departments.  The Mechanical Department is responsible for the same functions with regard to other types of physical security, such as door locks, electrical alarms, panic buttons and modifications to physical layout.  When Communications installs equipment, Mechanical installs the electrical wiring.  Both departments provide their services in response to requests from other departments, rather than to implement a County-wide plan. 

      These Services are performed for many types of equipment, not all of which relate to the protection of persons and property from intentional acts.  The costs related to security are not separately identified.   All but two of the vehicular patrols are radio-equipped.  Likewise, all but two of the walking patrols are so equipped.  The communications resources for security include three major radio systems - Health Services, Mechanical Department, and Communications Department.  Each covers the entire County.  Each uses different frequencies.  Each department employs its own dispatchers.

      In addition, departments such as the Flood Control District and the Museum of Natural History have separate communications systems.  In courthouses, bailiffs use a different radio frequency from that used by security personnel.  The Sheriff monitors the security frequency; the Marshal does not.  The  Communications Department provides consultation to other departments upon request.  However1 user departments did not report regular consultation with the Communications Department.  This consultation takes place after the need for communications or detection devices has been identified rather than as a means to determine the potential for such devices. In effect, the potential is identified by those without expertise in the subject.

      The Communications Department does not market County-wide systems but responds to requests from individual departments.  However, individually most departments lack sufficient budgeted funds to purchase and maintain first-rate communications systems.   The prevalent management emphasis on human resources discourages reductions in manpower to generate funds for adequate technology to make the remaining manpower more efficient. There is no financing mechanism for building a fund to replace worn out equipment.  Much of the radio equipment is antiquated and wearing out.  Communication is poor in certain areas.

      A number of facilities have alarm systems of varying degrees of sophistication.  For example, the Museum of Art has a computer-controlled system which monitors for motion, fire, and other undesirable occurrences in the Museum galleries, storage rooms and other sensitive areas.  Flood Control has a system which not only detects intruders but also monitors the condition of various dams and pumping stations.  Closed-circuit TV permits monitoring several areas of potential access to the Hall of Administration.   The County Courthouse has a similar arrangement.

      There are 45 locations which do not have coverage by security guards but do have one or more devices to detect intruder.

      At 60 of the 79 locations with security staff (employee or contracted), departments reported 104 distinct security devices other than radio and telephone communications.  Some locations had am many as four different devices.

      The departments lacked cost data on all but 32 of the devices reported.  Theme 32 range in complexity and price from audible alarms which cost $500 or 1ess to the Art Museum's computer-controlled security and fire detection system which cost $1.5 million.  Nineteen of the 32 originally cost less than $5,000; only four cost more than $50,000.

      In some instances, guards fail to utilize the security devices which have been installed.  In others, parts of a system are cut out of a budget, damaging the effectiveness of the entire system.


1. Surveys and Design:  The Sheriff sells diagnostic and system design services to other departments upon request.  At the Museum of Natural History, a Sheriff's Sergeant was in command of the security force while procedures were being designed and implemented.  Subsequently, the Museum hired its own security chief to manage the operation on an ongoing basis.  Since 1975, the Department of Health Services has purchased the services of a full-time Sheriff's Lieutenant as Security Director.  The Lieutenant conducts surveys of security needs, develops policies and procedures (especially in the areas of handling incidents and interfacing with law enforcement) and monitors compliance with them.  However, the security force in each facility is managed by the facility administrator.  Thus, the Sheriff ham no command authority.  The Sheriff assigns a Sergeant and two Deputies to conduct surveys of the security needs of the courthouses.  The Music Center has also purchased security surveys from the Sheriff on an occasional basis. 

Some departments consult sources other than the Sheriff for specialized analysis of security needs.  For example, DPSS has the Mechanical Department conduct security surveys of welfare offices.  Similarly, the Museum of Art periodically engages a private consultant who specializes in museum security.  The Music Center obtained a survey by Disney's director of security.  Surveys and other planning activities tend to be department or facility focused.  Where several departments have facilities on the same grounds, planning is focused on the needs of the department requesting it rather than on those of the entire complex.

      2. Information Systems: Each department which has a security force requires a written report by the officer or guard in case of a security incident.   Each department collects and retains incident information. However, we found no regular, standardized system for reporting or analyzing it, and the reports from various departments are not presently collected in one place where they can be analyzed.  In the Health Services Department,  the Sheriff has designed and installed computerized reporting systems.  On recommendation of the Employee Safety/Security Committee, the County recently adopted a policy requiring all employees in Civic Center multi-tenant buildings to report breaches of security.  These reports are transmitted to Mechanical with copies to the Department of Personnel.  When sufficient data are available, they will be analyzed for patterns.

      The Auditor-Controller manages the County's loss reporting and claims system.  His department processes claims for uninsured losses of cash and personal property.  They are filed manually and are listed to support a warrant for reimbursement.  All kinds of losses are included, from receipt of counterfeit money to mysterious disappearances of cash.  Reported losses amounted to $45,000 in eight months.  In many cases, the employee who was responsible for the security of the property could be identified.  The circumstances rarely indicated access by non-employees.  The Auditor-Controller also manages the County's Fixed Assets Account.  County policy requires departments to report loss or theft of fixed assets. These data are accumulated in an automated fixed assets data base.   Our review of the data revealed that most items are reported as lost rather than as stolen, apparently because most are discovered missing during physical inventory.   Between October 1981 and March 1984, the County wrote off approximately $7 million for lost or stolen equipment.


      County Counsel maintains information on litigation in a card file. Security-related claims are unusual, amounting to two or three per year. County policy is to defend them vigorously; nevertheless, only one has come to trial within the last several years.  Consistent and regular use of this information is impossible in the present system since the file is maintained manually and organized to support defense of the litigation.

      Effective July 1, 1984, the County contracted out the litigation of automobile and general liability.  This includes security-related personal injury cases, except those in which security personnel are alleged to be the cause.  The CAO is managing the contract.  His risk management unit has access to the contractor's on-line computerized management information system.  Risk management has requested its own computer, with the capability to sort by any field: area, location, department, type of incident, etc.

      Some litigation related to security officers is filed as medical malpractice.  For example, a claim may be due to the actions of an officer who restrains a patient under direction of a medical official.  In these cases, the file is maintained by the law firm which contracts with the County to defend malpractice suits.  During the last five years, the County has paid $7,500, for one case involving actions by a security officer at a hospital under medical direction.


      The fragmentation of management among departments in the security system has imposed a fragmentation of policy.  Where there are explicit policies, they vary among departments.  In some areas, since the County has no central management, it is difficult to discern whether or not policy has been established, and whether or not established policy is consistently observed. 

      We focused on four areas of policy which are crucial to management of an effective security services system: the use of firearms, coordination among departments, staff selection, and contracting.

      1.  Firearms: The employment of unarmed security guards is rare in Los Angeles County.  The Mechanical Department has provided armed officers or contract guards where this was not desired by the user department, for example at the Music Center.  According to some authorities, firearms are not necessary in all instances for night-watchman assignments, particularly when guarding only property, or when assigned to remote locations.  Examples include the Flood Control District's officers, the Road Department's contract guards, and the Mechanical Department's after-hours contract covering the courthouses.  Officers and guards use their weapons rarely, if at all.  Thus they do not develop habits of judgment and skill in their use.

      Departmental policies restrict the use of firearms by guards to situations in which such use is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the guard or others.  However, the language used by each department reveal8 differences of emphasis in applying this policy.  Some policy statements contain wording which exhort officers to use their weapons in appropriate situations; others do not.

      2.  Coordination:  In situations which they cannot control, employee and contract security staff contact law enforcement by telephone to request immediate assistance.  There are wide variations in response times because of distance and other factors.  Two variations on this procedure are as follows:

q      The Art Museum has a hotline to the Sheriff, which is activated whenever an incident is in progress.  The Sheriff is kept informed, and is requested to respond on site only if needed.  When possible, the Museum's own security officers make the arrest and transport the offender to the Sheriff's station for booking.  Note that the Museum calls the Sheriff, although its location is within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles City Police Department.

q      In the County Courthouse, a contract guard who needs law enforcement assistance during weekdays calls for help by radio. The supervisor of the bailiffs (Deputy Sheriffs) monitors for such calls and in turn radios the bailiffs.  Radio monitoring speeds up the response.

      The County has no overall policy providing for back-up of security staff in one County facility by another.  For example, no one backs up a park patrol officer who is transporting an arrestee to the Sheriff to be booked. Guards at the Music Center cannot obtain back-up from others in the Civic Center.  When back-up is provided, the agreements are informal and they do not provide accountability.  For instance, the Mechanical Department provides vehicular patrols to back up the security guard at Health Services' parking structure near the Civic Center, and LAC-USC Medical Center dispatches assistance to the adjacent Northeast Juvenile Justice Center when requested.

      3. Staff Selection, Training and Performance: The hiring or contracting department requests the Sheriff to perform background checks on both employee and contract security staff.  Each investigation takes from two weeks to eight months, depending on workload fluctuations and complexity of the investigation.  The check is as thorough and the criteria are the same as for Deputy Sheriff.  The hiring or contracting department decides whether to accept the Sheriff's recommendation.  Most of them do.  A department does not hire a County employee security officer until this check is completed.  A contract guard is allowed to start on a trial basis while the check is being conducted.  Most departments  enforce the policy of removing a guard immediately if the conclusion of the check is negative.   The criteria are not released to contractors, so they do not pre-screen to reduce the failure rate.  The reasons for a negative conclusion are not revealed, and there is no appeal. 

      A County employee security officer completes a 200-hour course at Rio Hondo College.  The State requires a contract guard to receive eight hours of training if unarmed, sixteen if armed.  Some County departments incorporate training requirements in the contracts, which vary according to departmental needs. 

      The following are examples of variations in the qualifications of officers and guards which do not match the skills required in the assignments. Similar information (i. e. reception) and area-control assignments are given to County security officers with over 200 hours of professional training and to contract guards who receive an unspecified amount of training in excess of the State-mandated minimum of sixteen hours.  The former are assigned to juvenile justice centers, the Hall of Administration, and some DPSS offices.  The latter are assigned to various courthouses, the District Attorney's Child Support Bureau, and other DPSS offices. 

      Some armed contract guards are required to be POST-certified[1] in firearms (the Burns contract at the courthouses); others are not (the Smith contract at the courthouses1 and the Music Center and Parks contracts).


      The County does not have a program to regularly train  non-security personnel in security, their own safety and security-awareness. In the Department of Public Social Services, the Health and Safety Officer has the responsibility for disseminating safety-related materials but does not participate in the formal surveys of security conducted to diagnose needs.  In the Civic Center, at the recommendation of the Employee Safety/Security Committee, the Department of Personnel has arranged for the Sheriff to provide personal security training for Civic Center employees, has distributed security bulletins for posting, and has provided all departments with training materials on security subjects.

      4.  Contracting: Departments which manage their own security contracts have expressed satisfaction with the level of service received and with the responsiveness of the contractors.  Those which receive service under contracts managed by the Mechanical Department have reported that they were not consulted regarding the specifications for previous contracts, particularly in the areas of training and weapons.  For example, the Music Center states that, although it prefers a mix of armed guards and unarmed attendants, the contract provides all armed guards.  The latest RFP issued by the Mechanical Department has been circulated to the user departments for comments regarding the specifications. 

      The quality of service provided by County security officers dropped at the Music Center when the Mechanical Department increased the frequency of rotation.   Therefore, contracting the service was desirable.  However, turnover increased after contracting, with a peak of sixteen changes of personnel at the same key post within a three month period.  Nevertheless, low turnover is feasible with a contracting system, and accountability for performance can be improved by appropriate contract specifications and effective monitoring.  For example, the Museum of Natural History deals with turnover by requiring in its contract that a percentage of the gallery attendants meet a longevity standard.  The contractor is meeting the standard. 

      One contractor refused to renew its contract with the County, accusing the Mechanical Department of abusing certain contract provisions.  Another contractor reported that negative background checks often cause the rejection of guards, making it difficult to maintain coverage and creating additional costs for the contractor.  Recently a judge in Norwalk ordered the Sheriff to provide courthouse security because a contractor was unable to maintain coverage.  Subsequently, the Mechanical Department obtained Board approval of three contracts for sundry security services, i.e., an indefinite mount of hours on an as-needed basis and on short notice at locations and times not stated.   The purpose of these contracts is to cover posts which the regular contractors are unable to fill.  They are to be used until Mechanical's RFP for 3 regional security contracts produces new regular vendors.

      Testimony from both County staff and the private sector indicated that the County's contracting has largely lowered both the quality and the cost of the service, thus providing no increase in efficiency.

      Hourly Costs: There was no competitive bidding for the sundry contracts.  The hourly costs are in the $12 to $13 range, which is $3 to $5 per hour higher than the 

      We also found significant differences in hourly cost for similar services from the regular vendors.  For example, Purchasing and Stores pays $5.00 per hour to guard its headquarters, whereas the County Engineer pays $6.75 and Road pays $7.45, a difference of approximately 50%.  Costs for County employee Security Officers and Deputy Sheriffs would be significantly higher. 

      Exhibit V on the next page displays the hourly cost for a department to purchase security from the Sheriff, the Mechanical Department, or private vendors.  Lower costs are associated with the following factors:

1.    purchase of the service from a contractor rather than a County department;

2.    contract management by the user department rather than central department (partially due to avoiding the overhead of the central department); and

3.    selection of unarmed guards or attendants rather than armed guards.







                              W/O OVERHEAD                WITH OVERHEAD


      Deputy                      $23.81*                     $28.76*


      Officer III                     16.44*               22.29-26.80*

      Officer II                      14.73*               19.98-24.01*

      Officer                         13.94*               18.91-22.73*

      Burns (various - days)          9.94                  11.27-12.50

      Smith (various - nts./wkends.) 8.51                   9.92-10.25

      Yoh (Music Ctr. - all hours)    7.52 avg. direct charge

OTHER CONTRACTS: (with contractor but not departmental overhead)


        Whittier Narrows             9.27

        Hollywood Bowl               8.20

      Road                          7.45

      Art*                          7.22

      Health*                       7.11

      Engineer                      6.75

      Beaches                       6.58

      Nat. Hist.**                  6.50

      Purchasing**                  5.00

*These amounts for county employees are based on salaries at the top step.





      The elements of a security system include personnel assigned to security, equipment used to enhance safety, and operating policies designed to ensure continuing effectiveness.

      Los Angeles County organizes security staffing in several independent departments.  They employ 339 in-house officers and contract for 397,000 hours of guard service.  They spend $13.4 million annually on staffing alone, excluding bailiffs in the courtrooms.  Supervisory ratios range from 22.5:1 in the Museum of Art to 4.7:1 in the Mechanical Department.

      The County employs a broad range of physical security.  Its distinguishing characteristics are 1) it is not centrally planned or evaluated, and 2) it is riddled with incompatibility.

      Support services consist of planning and information systems.  When planning is conducted, it is generally on request by a user department to the Sheriff or the Mechanical Department.  There is no County-vide plan. Information is collected by several separate and uncoordinated Systems and is not pulled together for analysis.

      The County has no standard policy governing such areas as the deployment and use of firearms, the coordination and backup of security forces managed by separate departments, staff selection and training, supervision, employee training, and the use of contracting.




      This chapter contains a detailed discussion of each of our recommendations and an explanation of our reasons for proposing the kinds of changes we have recommended.


Recommendation 1: The Task Force recommends that the Board of Supervisors establish and fund the position of County security program manager.  We further recommend that the position be assigned to the Chief Administrative Office (CAO) initially and be evaluated for possible assignment to the Facilities Management Department within one year.  The position should be filled by a security professional with management experience and assigned the following duties:

a.             develop County-wide standards for security and appropriate standards at each department and facility, with expert assistance from the Sheriff and other public and private sources;

b.             provide consultation on security to County departments and special districts;

c.             recommend budget decisions affecting security to the CAO and Board;

d.             establish Systems for the reporting and analysis of data on  security which will support monitoring and decision-making; and

e.             monitor compliance with standards and other aspects of security performance.

      1. County-wide System: To be effective, the security program should be defined broadly and managed through general County policy.  It should encompass everything that affects security, including the qualifications and training of security personnel, the use of weapons and other equipment, the types and uses of supervision, inter-departmental and inter-governmental cooperation, communications, detection equipment, controlled access devices, facility architecture and modifications, financial and other manual and automated systems, and employee and visitor awareness.  All of these matters have a bearing on security.

      According to those we interviewed, the qualifications and training of County security officers are at times excessive for specific assignments.   In other assignments, County officers have been replaced by contract guards with inadequate training and experience for their assignments.  Many officers and guards carry firearms in assignments where experts believe they are both unnecessary and dangerous.

      Supervisors have no continuous or periodic communication with mobile officers.  Some officers are unsupervised.  Contract guard supervisory requirements range from full-time on-site to the ability to return a telephone call within one hour.

      Two or more departments on the same grounds rarely have a joint security program under unified management.  Departments do not make use of low-cost "workfare" recipient parking lot patrols.  There is no evidence of inter-governmental cooperation when County sites are near city parks or local civic centers. 

      Radio networks are duplicative yet fail to include appropriate parties.  Communications equipment is deficient, yet no one has applied the now familiar device of investor funding to the problem of purchasing or leasing new equipment.  Departments tend to think in terms of hiring guards rather than installing technology.  In some locations, guards fail to make use of existing security devices.  Lax office procedures permit millions of dollars worth of equipment to disappear.  Employees do not report security breaches.  The requirements to do so are not consistently enforced. 

      The program manager position which we recommend will have over-all responsibility for organizing all the elements of a coherent security system.  On a County-wide basis, the security program manager will address all the factors which impact security and contribute to its effectiveness.   The level of expenditure will be held in check to the extent that security is based on the most efficient mix of security personnel, technology, and the awareness of potential victims and witnesses. 

      The Board and County management have already taken steps to improve planning and evaluation of security.  The position which we recommend will ensure a continuing focus on the subject and ongoing coordination of efforts.

      2.  Centralization:  The fragmentation of security management among numerous separate and autonomous departments has two adverse effects on security programs.  The first is the absence of standards of service which are adequately funded and enforced.  The second is the dilution of resources which is caused by overhead, particularly in the form of supervision and administrative support, which is duplicated in each of the departments with separate security.

      In our view, the more serious of the two weaknesses is the first.  The absence of centralized standards causes a reduction in program effectiveness that has been documented frequently over the past decade.  Security has repeatedly been a major subject of concern at recent meetings of the Board of Supervisors.  The Board has approved additional expenditures in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Judges, attorneys, and others have been assaulted or robbed.  A security contractor has refused to renew his contract with the County.  Another has been unable to fill the required posts; the court has ordered the Sheriff to provide Deputies to cover these posts, at twice the cost.  Contract guard costs have climbed from a range of $6.50 to $10 per hour in the Mechanical Department's regular annual contracts to a minimum of $12 to $13 in the most recent sundry contracts.  Almost $7 million worth of equipment has disappeared in the last 3 years.  Clearly the management of security must be improved to avoid future crises. 

      On the other hand, the second effect of fragmentation - duplication of overhead - causes at most a modest increase in costs.  Because security service in the County is labor-intensive, consolidation of forces under a single management would not reduce supervisory personnel by a significant amount.  Similarly, because the basic unit of service covers a small territory, consolidation of forces would not significantly reduce the number of officers required.

      There is, in fact, evidence that consolidation would be undesirable. The functions of the security systems in the County departments which manage their own are different in their requirements.  The Museums, for example, manage and exhibit valuable collections.  They have the dual security problem of protecting irreplaceable collections from theft or damage at all hours and of protecting crowds of visitors from disruptive incidents during exhibitions.  These problems are different in kind and degree from those of protecting remote flood control facilities from unauthorized access; both differ from the problems of controlling crowds at events in the Music Center, of protecting the occupants of and visitors to courthouses and office buildings, or of responding to the needs of people under severe stress at the hospitals.

      Thus, the goals and missions of the various departments are sufficiently different to influence the functions applicable to security. While it may be feasible to unify such services under a single management, that management would need the capability to control highly diverse resources and requirements.  The diversity would impose a need to replicate administrative and bureaucratic structures similar to those that now exist, thus negating any savings that may have been theoretically possible. 

      Therefore, the primary need is to centralize the executive functions of planning and evaluation.  Centralizing the organizational management and supervision of resources, except in cases of departmental consolidation, would produce secondary gains.

      In all past reviews of the County's security service, authorities have cited weak planning and coordination as its major flaw.  The lack of coordination rather than potential savings in labor costs was the basis for the CAO's 1979 recommendation to create a Department of General Services  (see Appendix II).

      In Los Angeles County, however, the basic structure of the Board, CAO and departments prevents coordination by itself from being effective.  In the absence of a central authority, coordination is necessarily ad hoc and fragmented.  Each effort to improve coordination addresses a single physical area, such as the Civic Center, or is limited to a single County-wide aspect of the subject, such as training.

      Various coordinating committees such as the Employee Safety/Security Committee for the Mall complex, which is an advisory committee to the Chief Administrative Officer, stimulate collective action on some issues, but they have no authority.  The sheriff and the Department of Communications provide consultation to departments in their areas of expertise, but they do so only for single facilities or departments. Security relies on three incompatible communications systems.  The Sheriff supplies similar background checks on all security officers and contract guards, but the Department purchasing the service, rather than the CAO or Sheriff, decides on the qualifications required for the assignment.  Each Department issues its own Requests for Proposals (or Bids and Quotations, as applicable).  Thus, no County-wide standards control the qualifications of private guards and the cost of contracts.  Hourly costs for contract guards performing essentially similar services vary by as much as 50%.  In such facilities as the Mall garage in the Civic Center, as many as three different standards may apply to personnel covering different parts of the same area: County security officers and guards supplied by two different contractors.  No one is responsible for establishing County-wide systems or enforcing County-wide standards.

      The need to centralize standards and evaluation does not imply a need to consolidate daily operations management.  The County departments which manage their own security services have successfully resisted such consolidation for years.  Each of these argues that its responsibilities are unique and that it requires a stable internal security force to meet the resulting needs for security.

      We agree that the needs of the departments for security are varied.  The types of incidents they must protect against differ.  The types of facilities they manage differ.  Their exposure to crowds and the character of the crowds differ.

      In the County system, each department head is held responsible for any breach of security in an identifiable facility for which he or she is responsible.  Centralizing the resources would eliminate the choice of providers and systems now available to such department heads, thereby diluting their impact on the effectiveness of security without a corresponding reduction in their responsibility.  The situation would be aggravated by the centralized departments vulnerability to budget cuts, reductions in force, and emergency calls.

      As we have emphasized repeatedly, the consolidation of departments is more important than the transfer of such support functions as security.  In such instances as the Road Department and the Flood Control District, for example, their consolidation into a Public Works Department will result in integration of two sound security systems, accompanied by a possible decrease in overhead costs.  What is important is that the needs of those  two departments for security support are similar - just as their needs for accounting, personnel management, and engineering support are similar.

      Therefore, the Task Force concurs with the opinion of the Museums, Health Services and Parks and Recreation that they should continue to manage their own security in their single-use facilities.  They should continue to be responsible for managing security resources: hiring, training, and supervising personnel; developing and issuing RFP's; negotiating contracts; and selecting and acquiring equipment.

      The person employed for the new program management position we recommend should manage the County-wide security program, e.g., have the primary responsibility to establish and coordinate County-wide systems for security, to set and enforce standards for performance1 and to advise the CAO and department   heads   on budgetary and operational decisions affecting security.  This role should not be merely reactive as crises develop; he/she should take the initiative to develop and implement a program which will reduce the potential for future problems in this area. 

      Although our data-gathering focused on the aspects of security which have most recently come to the Board's attention - namely, the protection of persons and of property by the presence of security personnel and devices - the extensive management experience which our Commissioners possess both individually and collectively is the basis for our conclusion that all forms and objects of security require central planning, coordination, and evaluation.

      This is not to say that the CAO must take over existing roles such as that of the Auditor-Controller in developing and auditing financial systems or that of Data Processing in designing computerized systems.  But the CAO's program manager should ensure that security is appropriately incorporated in all systems and that systems development is coordinated with other forms of security.

      3.  Standards: Standards are needed in many areas:

-         Personnel

-                  sources of recruitment

-                  extent of background checks for varying assignments

-                  types and amounts of experience

-                  turnover and longevity ratios

-                  compensation and benefits

-         Job Content I Career Path

-                  security-related duties

-                  assignment of other duties which utilize slack time

-                  and enhance the job

-                  advancement opportunities

-         Training

-                  types, amounts, and frequency of training for security and other employees

-                  testing and performance at end of training

-                  qualifications of trainers

-         Supervision

-                  extent and types of supervisory contact with subordinates    

-                  qualifications of supervisors

-         Weapons

-                  the need to carry firearms

-                  the conditions for their use

-         Physical Security

-                  conditions under which physical security should

-                  supplement and substitute for security staff

-                  features of communications networks

-                  funding and selection process for major outlays

-         Contracting

-                  optimum contract size

-                  contract provisions

-                  selection of contractors

-                  monitoring of contract performance

-                  criteria for cooperative arrangements among departments

-                  criteria for cooperative arrangements with other governments

-         Incidents

-                  performance goals

-                  the levels of incidents which would trigger a review of security needs at particular locations

      The setting of standards does not imply uniformity of requirements. Security needs are not identical in all facilities. Standards do imply a common system of classifying requirements so that facilities or complexes with similar needs will receive a similar level of service.  Once a standard is defined for a specific element of the system for one or more locations, performance can be measured against it.

      4.  Consultation:  The program manager should provide expert consultation on a County-wide basis, to influence how departments design their systems to meet the standards.   Departments should be required to summit their security plans,  policies and procedures for his/her review.   The manager may in turn seek input from the Sheriff, Facilities Management, and private consultants.  He/she will have the authority to examine and evaluate the security of each department or facility and make recommendations for improvement, whether requested or not.  The manager should participate in developing and negotiating security contracts.  He/She should also develop special resources which will be available to all departments.  Two such resources which were suggested during the course of our study are:

-   the selection of a "preferred contractor" whom departments may use at their option, paying established standard rates, and 

-   the use of LAC/CAL[2] or some other method for obtaining investors' capital to purchase communications and other security equipment for lease to the County.

      5.   Budget and Expenditure: The program manager's effectiveness will depend to a great extent on active participation in and influence over the processes of budgeting and spending funds for security.  Security systems are a priority.  Reducing them indiscriminately can decrease the effectiveness of the system and makes some of its remaining components a waste of money.   Thus, the program manager can maintain the credibility of the standards development and consultative processes only with substantial influence over budgets. 

      We are not proposing that the County should increase overall expenditures for security.  The present system, with its bias toward a highly trained internal guard service is labor-intensive.  It often fails to utilize technology to reduce manpower needs or increase effectiveness.  It is not necessarily the most efficient means of meeting standards.  The program manager will have the expertise needed to minimize the cost of the system and to judge whether a security budget is justified.

      6.  Information Systems: The program manager and County facilities managers will need to know both the resources being committed to security and the results being obtained.  A working County-wide information system could  track many indicators of results, such as dollar value of stolen or damaged property,   settlement costs of claims, frequency and types of incidents. Results can then be measured against the amount and types of resources and their costs in order to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of system designs and the performance of the management and staff who operate them.  Data on the use of force and of arrest powers by security personnel, on the locations and

methods of intrusion, and on the performance of security devices will further assist the County in continuously evaluating and modifying the system.   The program manager we envision would have authority not only to establish ongoing periodic reporting systems but a1so to require special reports about subjects or locations of special concern.  The feedback from the information system will enable the CAO to evaluate the performance of the security program and make adjustments as necessary.


      Security is not only an industry, it is a profession.  Managers of private security firms and security managers in industrial corporations typically have a strong background in law enforcement, military security, or industrial security.  The security program manager will need this background to gain the respect and cooperation of the public and private professionals in the field and to make well-informed decisions.  His/hers will not be a caretaker position which merely keeps existing and well-defined programs on track.  The first incumbent will overhaul the entire security system in the County.  The necessary level of commitment and leadership will be found only in someone who possesses both professional and executive strengths.

      Because the CAO lacks authority to command the departments as regards their own operations, the program manager will not have command authority over departmental security.  His/her influence will, therefore, depend not only on his/her perceived expertise but also on the ability to problem-solve with other County officials individually and collectively in a diplomatic and persuasive manner, while being sensitive to issues and needs other than security.  He/she must be able to work with existing groups such as the Employee Safety/Security Committee for the Mall Complex and the County-wide Safety Committee, to form new groups as appropriate without duplicating existing groups, to coordinate his/her activities with related programs such as safety and risk management, to negotiate contracts and to solicit and evaluate input from the Sheriff, the other departments, and outside contractors.  His/her background should provide sample evidence of interpersonal skills.  Experience or education in public sector management would be desirable.

      We have not developed a set of class specifications, including detailed qualifications, for the position.   This should be done by the CAO.  We believe that the knowledge and skills of the candidates are more important than formal requirements such as specified years of experience or academic degrees. Recruitment should emphasize desired qualifications and should include an executive search outside the county service.


   To successfully implement the program management concept we have described, the principal requirement is ability to manage a security program.  The second major requirement is County-wide perspective.  The Task Force considered four candidates for assigning the program management responsibility: contract firms specializing in industrial security Systems, the Sheriff, the Facilities Management Department and the Chief Administrative Office.

   Several contract security firms have the requisite expertise.  For example, both Reddin and California Plant Protection have provided comprehensive services to major industries in California, as have Burns and Pinkerton on a national scale.  However, in our judgment it is not feasible for the County to contract out a County-wide management function.  It is feasible and appropriate, within the framework of our recommendation, for the County official assigned program management by the Board to contract with such specialists as are appropriate for support in designing the system.

   Although the Sheriff's Department has the necessary expertise, the Sheriff is an independent elected official.  Legally, the Board could request the Sheriff to undertake the new function of program management but could not assign it.  For policy reasons, as the chief law enforcement officer in Los Angeles County, the Sheriff may not always be able to support the most cost-effective approaches to facility security.  In any case, the Sheriff is not accountable to the Board of Supervisors.

   The Facilities Management Department, which incorporates the Mechanical Department, has expertise in security systems and already provides guard services to a number of County departments and facilities.  It is already managing security.  However, it is a new department.  It must efficiently structure itself and establish control of the operations currently assigned to it.  A transfer in of any additional responsibilities - for example, an expansion of the scope and complexity of one of its existing functions such as security management - would unnecessarily complicate the task of implementing the consolidation of these functions.  Therefore, we do not believe that program management should be assigned to the Facilities Management Department at this time.

      The CAO has a County-wide perspective.  The office has legitimate authority in the eyes of all departments (appointive and elective) and of private sector firms with which the County does business.  The CAO controls the County's budget and is fully accountable to the Board.  The CAO can purchase the necessary expertise, but no other department can acquire the CAO's unique authority as the primary management and budget staff arm of the Board.

      Therefore, the Task Force concludes that the Chief Administrative Office is the preferable place to establish the function of providing direction to other departments.

      Once the program has been implemented, it may be feasible to delegate its ongoing maintenance to another department such as Facilities Management. This point could be reached in approximately one year.  In the past, the County has followed this path with other program management functions, e.g., development of alcoholism services and approval of new data processing systems.


Recommendation 2: The Task Force recommends that, in each County location, L.C., a lone facility or a number of adjacent facilities, a single department be responsible for security, and that this department have the authority to decide whether to produce security surveys, staffing and other services internally or purchase them from another source.

   1.   Command:   Unity of command is highly desirable in operations involving public safety or emergencies.  County management has recognized this in several contexts.  In a number of facilities which use both County and contract security staff, the contract staff reports to the County supervisor.  In the courthouses, although the bailiffs and the security guards are under separate commands, there is agreement that the Sheriff viii assume command of the entire facility in emergencies.  The County's disaster preparedness program also calls for the Sheriff to assume command of resources from all County and City public safety departments during a major emergency.

      2. Site Coordination:  We believe that this principle of organization is necessary for security services in every location.  All security personnel assigned to a single site - interior and exterior (including parking lot attendants and patrols), armed and unarmed, County and contract - should be closely coordinated.  The services and the kinds of emergencies to which they must respond are too volatile to permit the kind of confusion that results from fragmentation at single sites.  As we pointed out above, security personnel, communications, other security devices, facility and procedural modifications, and employee and visitor awareness are integral parts of an effective security program.  They all need to be coordinated with one another.  They all need attention from someone to whom security is an important mission. Assigning the responsibility for security to one manager at each location increases the likelihood that the various pieces will be integrated together in a design which makes sense and that security will be a priority. 

      When one department is the primary tenant at a particular location, it is responsible for security.  In some locations, however, two or more departments are adjacent.  In such multi-department locations, a single security command will improve the consistency of patrol coverage throughout all appropriate areas of the complex.  It will ensure coordinated response and back-up in emergencies.  A single department should be assigned command responsibility for the total security design and personnel at each. 

      Exhibit VI below lists those locations in which security is managed by two or more departments.  The Civic Center is not listed, because one department  (Facilities Management) manages all the security officers and contract guards. 

      In most of the situations described here it is not possible to consolidate the departments themselves; they have distinct missions and goals. To consolidate security, a single department should be assigned command responsibility for the total security design and operations at each location.



            Principal Tenant                    Responsible for Security

            County Museum of Art                Museum of Art

            George C. Page Museum               Museum of Natural History

            Hancock Park (La Brea Tar Pits)     Museum of Natural History*

            Road Department Headquarters        Road Department**

            Flood Control District              Flood Control District**

            Northeast Juvenile Justice          Center Mechanical Department

            USC Medical Center                  Health Services Department

            2615 S.                             Grand Mechanical Department

            DPSS - 2707 S. Grand                Mechanical Department

            Hudson - 2829 S. Grand              Health Services Department

            Parking - 318 w. Adams              Mechanical Department

   *Although the Museum is responsible pursuant to the County Code, limited coverage has been provided by Parks and Recreation.  The Museum is adding three positions for 1984-85 to cover the park.

   **These departments have now been consolidated, thus reducing to three the number of security forces in this area.

      To ensure cooperation from the other departments, the responsible department's authority must be reinforced at the highest levels.  The CAO's security program manager should recommend the responsible department at each location and the Board should make the selection and order the other departments to cooperate.

      The department selected to be responsible at a multi-department location can be one of the user departments which is a tenant there.  It can be another user department which has its own security operation (e.g., Parks and Recreation or Health Services), the internal services department which provides security (Facilities Management), or another government entity which has a substantial presence nearby (e.g., when the County facility is near a city's offices or parks).    If the departments at a location disagree on the choice of provider, the choice should be made by the CAO and the Board.  They should take into account the preferences of the affected user departments and the qualifications of the potential providers.

      Because of the user departments role in selecting and evaluating the provider, the latter will have reason to be responsive to their needs. 

      We decided not to recommend which department should manage security in each location.  This is an appropriate decision for the program manager.  There may be inter-departmental competition to control security at multi-tenant locations.  The decision may not be easy.  This likelihood reinforces the need for strong central planning by an office with adequate authority to make such decisions.

      3.  Selection of Service Providers:  If the responsible department is to be held accountable for results it must have choices about how to obtain the necessary services.  There are numerous possible sources.  For surveys of security needs, it could turn to the Sheriff, the Communications Department, the Mechanical Department, another department with a security operation,  a private consultant, prospective contractors,  the CAO's security program manager, or a combination of these.   It could engage a contractor or another County department to provide staff and install equipment.  If it is located near a city, state, or Federal facility, it may find the purchase of services from that level of government to be practical.  It may be in a position to produce the services internally.  It  should not be required to use  a particular  source  of  production.  The freedom to choose a method of production, coupled with competition for its business, will put it in the position to obtain the best combination of service and price. 

      In a single department facility, this approach will have the effect of placing the selection of service providers in the hands of the user department.  In a multi-department facility or complex, the user departments will influence the selection of the department responsible for service management and the choice of means of production.  Thus in either case the user departments will possess to a great extent the status of non-captive customers whose needs providers must meet, including the performance of program-related tasks when included in the customer's requirements.  Also, costs tend to be lower and contractors are more responsive when the user department is in control.



Recommendation 3: The Task Force recommends that the Board of Supervisors direct the CAO to submit the following initial elements of a comprehensive plan for Security within nine months:

a.    a method of establishing accountability for security in each County department and location;

b.    recommendations concerning which department should be responsible for security at each multi-department location;

c.    the specifications for County-wide and departmental information systems bearing on security;

d.    specifications for the post conditions under which guards should be equipped with fire arms;

e.    specifications for the experience, training, and supervision required for the various kinds of security assignments;

f.    a plan for implementation and follow-up of the above items; and

g.       a timetable for development of additional plan elements.

      The above issues are high priority.  Each is important because it creates the foundation of the entire process or is a major source of current problems.

1.        Departmental Accountability:  In order to develop all the other plan components, the program manager will have to work closely with County department heads.  They bear the ultimate responsibility, including sometimes personal liability, for safety in their departments and the facilities they occupy.  Therefore1 to ensure County-wide coordination, it will be necessary to obtain their agreement on such methods of establishing accountability as identifying a security manager at each location or designating division, district or section managers as individually responsible.


      2. Site Management: The selection of departments to be responsible for security at multi-department locations is essential to permit all the affected departments to assume their appropriate roles and move forward on Raking decisions about those locations.  A long period of uncertainty on this matter would delay the improvements we are recommending.

      3. Information System: The County-wide information system will provide a basis for further decisions and for evaluation of system performance.  Implementation will take time.  Moreover, data should be collected over a period of time for it to be suitable for analysis.  We therefore believe that the system should be designed and implemented as soon as possible.

      4.   Firearms Policy: We are convinced from the testimony and our review of earlier studies that firearms are authorized unnecessarily in some assignments and that many officers and guards lack adequate experience in their use to develop the desired skill and judgment.  Unarmed alternative staffing is less expensive, safer and sometimes more effective.  Decisions on the need for firearms will materially affect decisions concerning design (staffing patterns and utilization of communications and other kinds of physical security), selection of providers (user department1 central department or contractor), and training, qualifications and pay rates of staff, whether employee or contract.  Therefore, the issue of firearms must be addressed early in the process.

4.    Experience, Training and Supervision: We found inconsistencies in expectations regarding experience, training, and supervision for similar security assignments, especially between County and contract staff.  The impact on performance and costs is significant.  Standards in these areas will affect the design of the entire system, and therefore should be among the earliest decisions.



   The task force recommends:

·         establishment of program management for security in the CAO's -office1

·         assignment of security management to a single tenant or service department at each site, and

·         early development by the CAO of policies and plans to standardize the County approach to accountability for security, information systems, deployment and use of firearms, and qualifications and supervision of staff.








Larry.J. Monteith, Executive Officer

Clerk of the Board of Supervisors

383 Hall of Administration

Los Angeles, California 90012

Chief Administrative Officer

At its meeting held Match 20, 1984,  the Board took the following action:


The following matter was called up:

Consideration of the report and recommendations of the Chief Administrative Officer regarding County employee parking lot security. 


Supervisor Antonovich made the following statement: “Item No. 4 on the Agenda today is a report and recommendation regarding County parking security.  During the past, this has been a recurring problem. Today's report stems from the recent complaints from the Commission on Women, employee groups and others. It appears that the Mechanical Department has violated their function of prioritizing and providing security for the safety of our citizens, employees and groups that visit County facilities. Repeatedly, over the past several years, substantial cuts were made in the Security/Parking Services Division while disproportionate management and supervisory positions were maintained and often enhanced, throughout the Department.  For example, during the Department's 1982-83 Budget Season, correspondence was being sent to the Board and Chief Administrative Officer stating the impact budget curtailments would have on parking security functions.  However, while this warning was being sounded, the Department promoted a substantial number of managers and supervisors in other divisions to higher levels. When these facts were revealed, this Board voted to cut the Department by S130,0O0.00 with the intent of curtailing this abuse of the budget process. In return, the Department made further cuts in the Parking/security Services Division.


(Syn.  105 Continued)

The County and any department charged with the protection of citizens, employees and visitors should place this function as one of its top priorities.  Common sense should dictate that one of government's main functions should not be harmed at the expense of promoting managers. In short, during the fiscal constraints of Fiscal Year 1982-83, management positions should not have been increased but rather streamlined so that the County could have continued to maintain security on our parking lots and facilities.

The Mechanical Department has a history of cutting security services during budget deliberations and having them restored after the fact due to outcry from the public, employees and labor groups, and affected departments. For example, an AD-KOC Committee on Court Security was convened at the request of the judges regarding fluctuating and inadequate security in the courts.  After several months, the Chief Administrative Officer, courts and Board offices worked out an agreement for the protection of the courts.  Subsequently, this agreement was so flagrantly violated that it prompted the then Presiding Judge, David Eagleson, to issue a court order demanding adequate court security.  Now the courts have decided to contract for security services rather than go through this yearly battle.

In regard to today's report and recommendations by the Chief Administrative Officer and due to the concerns expressed by the Commission on Women and others,  I believe that current negligent situation on security should not continue and should be resolved as much as possible for the moment.  Due to the fact that the Chief Administrative Officer's recommendations can be implemented for the remainder of this fiscal year with monies and savings recently found within the Mechanical Department's budget.  

   Interested persons addressed the Board.

   On motion of Supervisor Antonovich, seconded by Supervisor Schabarum, the Board took the following actions, with votes, as indicated:

1.    Approved the Chief Administrative Officer’s recommendations to enhance parking lot security for the remainder of this fiscal year.(unanimously carried)

(Syn.105 Continued)

2.    Instructed the Chief Administrative Officer and the Director, Mechanical Department to begin development plans for contracting out parking lot operations. (Ayes: Supervisors Schabarum1 Antonovich and Dana; Noes: Supervisors Hahn and Edelman)

3.    Requested the Sheriff to provide technical assistance to the Director, Mechanical Department (as in the case of the Health Department) to improve all security functions, with financing to be provided by savings from within the Department. (unanimously carried)

4.    Requested the Economy and Efficiency Commission to analyze the possibility of consolidating all security functions throughout the various departments to coordinate this most important function. (unanimously carried)

5.    Instructed the Chief Administrative Officer to report on the manner which the Director, Mechanical Department implemented the Board ordered curtailment of $130,000.00 during the 1982-83 fiscal year. (unanimously carried)Copies distributed:  Each Supervisor Director, Mechanical Department Chairman, Economy and Efficiency Commission President, Commission for Women





The following is a review of prior activity.


      In September 1979, the Contract Services Advisory Committee initiated a report on "Contracting for Security Services".  The following findings and recommendations are relevant to the organization of security:

-       when departments receive security services from the Mechanical department, significant overhead charges are incurred; costs would be reduced by purchasing the service from the private sector (pages 1, 13, 21, 22 & 26);

-       the requirements of various County security assignments differ significantly from one another, including the level of training, the  need to carry arms, and the degree of exercise of police powers;

-       standardization at the level of armed security officer is  inappropriate; in some assignments personnel who are unarmed and less extensively trained than County security officers may be appropriate, in other assignments law enforcement officers (pages 2, 3 & 6);

-       alarms, lighting, and communications, along with facility design, are part of the over-all security system and affect the requirements  and cost of security; thus the Departments of County Engineer-Facilities and Communications have an impact on security; the County should solicit proposals which utilize the full range of resources to contribute to the total security of a facility (pages 5 & 10); and

-       either departmental or centralized management is capable of managing security contracts; when a centralized department manages security, it should consult with the user departments on the appropriateness and requirements of contracting (pages 5 & 6).


      The Chief Administrative Officer in October 1979 submitted a draft report on a "General Services Department". It recommended the consolidation of security, parking, and mail delivery services into a new department. It pointed out that this would enable the Mechanical Department to focus on its maintenance and repair responsibilities.  Parks and Recreation, the museums, and Health Services opposed the recommendation on the grounds that services received from the security officers which directly assist in implementing departmental programs might be adversely affected.  The Board did not approve the recommendation.

      Earlier this year, both the CAO and the Commission for Women recommended increases in staffing and physical security (lighting, fences, etc.)  for parking lots.   The Board adopted these changes.  It also increased funding for the park patrol.  These improvements incurred first-year costs of $0.6 million.

      At the request of the Chief Administrative Officer the Employee Health, Safety, and Insurance branch of the Department of Personnel in March of 1983 initiated an Employee Safety/Security Committee for the Mall Complex, which studied security problems in the Complex and made numerous recommendations, including:

-         that each tenant department designate a security manager;

-         that each tenant also review its physical layout and operations with a view toward reducing opportunities for security breaches;

-         that improved security devices be installed in several areas (lighting, closed circuit TV, panic alarms);

-         that employees in the complex receive training on personal security; that a uniform incident reporting system be implemented and that the collected data be analyzed; and

-         that roving patrols be instituted within each building and for the perimeter, garage, and tunnels.

      In April 1984, the Committee was expanded to include all 5 multi-tenant buildings in the Civic Center.  As of October 1984, virtually every recommendation submitted by the Committee has been implemented.

      In response to a Board order upon motion of Supervisor Dana in August 1984, the CAO developed a plan for creation of a County-wide Safety Committee to enhance safety practices and to evaluate departmental safety records and loss control.



      In October 1981, we recommended that the courts consider contracting for security wherever judged feasible by the courts.  We pointed out that court security was being provided by a mixture of bailiffs, civilian courtroom attendants, and security officers (pages 26 & 27).  These were and still are under separate commands, use incompatible communications systems and keep incompatible records.

      In July l982, we recommended that line operating departments which receive services from Mechanical be authorized to make the decision to seek bids from contractors for the performance of that work.  On August 10, 1982, the Board approved this recommendation.

      In June 1983, in "Decision-Making and Organization" we recommended that the County undertake a four-year program to reduce the number of departments by combining units on the basis of similar functions or missions and to give the CAO the authority to standardize County systems.  The Board adopted this program.  Those findings and recommendations with the strongest implications for potential consolidation of security functions are:

-         the lack of authority and incentives to implement standardization prevents the County from using major opportunities to control costs and improve productivity (Volume I page 14 and Volume II page 9);

-         shared accountability for results means that no one can reasonably be held accountable (Volume II page 10);

-         creation of a reorganized system of fewer departments should precede any transfers of services from departments which now produce them internally (Volume I page 14); and

-         such internal service departments as the Mechanical Department should be required to compete with the private sector for the business of the other County departments (Volume II pages 117 and 118).




      This Appendix contains an inventory of issues, problems and suggestions received by the task force during testimony Their inclusion here does not signify that the task force or Commission has confirmed their accuracy or validity.  We include them as a point of departure for the Security Program Manager in the CAO.



1        Turnover and resulting unfamiliarity with the job are problems:

a        among County security officers

b        among contract guards

2        When the Mechanical Department rotates officers too rapidly) it creates the same problems as turnover.

3        There are disciplinary problems with both contract attendants and County employee security officers.

4        Absenteeism is a problem among contract guards.

5        Insensitive treatment of performers and patrons by contract guards has caused PR problems.

6        Contract guards have fought one another, drawn weapons carelessly, and failed to unlock buildings on time.

7        Guards do not have enough experience to develop the judgment required in dealing with people or in using weapons.


8        LAPD will not patrol County property e.g., the Art Museum grounds and Hancock Park.

9        LAPD response is not quick enough in emergencies.

10    Although in the south central region city and county parks are close to each other, there is no cooperation on security.

11    There is no back up when a park patrol officer transports an arrestee to the Sheriff to be booked.

12    There is no back-up by guards who are elsewhere in the Civic Center.

13    There is a lack of coordination between parking attendants and security guards, and between the Courthouse and the Hall of Administration guards,  in patrolling the mall parking structure, although all are managed by the Mechanical Department.



14    The supervisor is not a security professional, is not on the same site as the guards supervised, has no communications check with them, or is not on duty during the same shifts as the guards supervised.

15    No one regularly verifies that contract guards have punched their clocks on schedule.  Most departments interviewed did not mention punching clocks.

16    Different departments' supervisory personnel cover the same geographical areas.


17    Contract guards fail to use available security devices.

18    When telephone systems are automated1 telephone operators are no longer available to monitor alarm systems.

19    Hospital budget cuts made at different management levels delete parts of systems.

20    Communications Department does not market technology.  It responds to requests from individual departments, although individually they lack adequate funds to pay for adequate systems.

21    Radio equipment is antiquated and wearing out.  Signals are weak and patrols are unable to communicate in some areas except over  short distances.

22    Radio systems are duplicative.  There are 3 major systems--Mechanical, Health Services, and Communications--covering the same areas, with different frequencies and dispatchers.  Flood Control and the Museum of Natural History also have their own Systems

23    Courthouse security guards and bailiffs are not on the same radio frequency

24    The park patrolmen have no radio link to nearby law enforcement.

25    The park patrol uses old Sheriff's vehicles.  They are frequently out of service.




26    The Sheriff's surveys of the courthouses are not strong on perimeter and parking lot security.

27    Parking lot and perimeter security are weak or non-existent at

a. the Civic Center mall parking structure,

b. the Music Center parking structure, and

c. the museums.

28    Contract parking attendants leave the parking structure before the end of the performance.

29    Most parking lots are not fenced.

30    There is no escort service to and from parking areas during periods of risk such as after dark.


31    Security surveys do not include recommendations for employee awareness.

32    No one is in charge of security-related training for employees.

33    Custodians leave doors open at night.


34    Purchasing security from a central department costs more because of its overhead.

35    Some offices which should have guards have none because of insufficient funds to cover all potential assignments at Mechanical Department's prices.


36    Government typically has improper or incomplete contract specifications, awards contracts to low bidders, and fails to monitor effectively.

37    User departments are not consulted sufficiently by the Mechanical Department in developing contract specifications: contract guards carry weapons where this is not wanted, and there was no input on the level of the guards' training.

38    Some contract requirements (especially training and insurance) are unrealistic and onerous for small and medium-size firms.

39    Large contracts limit the competition to large bidders who provide low quality.

40    The County has gone too far in cutting costs through low-priced contracts.  The result is low quality.

41    Some security firms do not bid because they cannot under-bid low quality firms. 

42    Physical security and guards should be elements of an integrated design.  However, few firms provide both physical security and guards. Those which do provide both are not good at both.

43    The Mechanical Department sometimes failed to provide guards as purchased e.g., Security Officer I was provided in lieu of Security  Officer III, and officers were pulled off the beat for assignment in higher priority areas at other buildings.


44    Incident reports are not accumulated centrally or tabulated by type and location.


45    The Rio Hondo College course plus the Sheriff's background check create a significant delay in filling vacancies.  The Sheriff's background checks take from 2 weeks to 8 months, depending on the issues raised and on the Sheriff's other priorities.

46    The contract specifications do not indicate the criteria which guards must meet in order to pass the Sheriff's background checks, and the County has refused to provide the criteria.  Many contract guards fail these checks after they have been on the job for several months.  No explanation is given, and the failure is non-appealable.  The contractor thus incurs unanticipated costs for hiring, training, layoff, etc.





1.    Improve officers' training in human/public relations.

2.    Standardize handling incidents and interfacing with law enforcement.


3.    Create a joint security force for the Art Museum, Page Museum and Hancock Park.

4.    Utilize a single entity to provide security at the entire Music Center, including the parking structure.

5.    Vest functional authority for all courthouse security services (guards and bailiffs) in a single manager.

6.    Place all security on the same grounds under the same leadership.

7.    Have a guard live on the premises, so he is available for substitute or extra coverage on short notice.

8.    Establish a single contract for the museums in order to increase flexibility in the use of staff, whether or not costs are reduced.

9.    Create savings and improve responsiveness and control by centralization of dispatching.

10.Consolidate all centrally-managed building crafts, security officers, and communications services in one Facilities Management Department.


11.Have the contractor provide the first level of supervision, the buyer the second level.

12.Have a County professional (from Facilities Management or Sheriff) supervise the contract guards.

13.A supervisor who is not on site should utilize roving spot checks and radio checks.


14. Monitor several locations from a central location by means of alarms.

15. Utilize controlled access, alarm buttons, and monitoring systems to improve security and/or reduce the need for security officers.



16.                 Have the Sheriff's bailiffs patrol the parking areas and provide escort service at courthouses.

17.Use GR recipients to patrol parking lots.


18.Provide training in personal security to employees.

19.The Department of Personnel should provide printed materials and training resources on security subjects to all departments.


20.Expand the use of unarmed attendants in lieu of Sheriff's bailiffs in non-criminal courtrooms.

21.Have employees live on the premises so their presence provides deterrence without the expense of security staff.

22.Use a contract guard temporarily at a site which experiences a rash of incidents.

23.Use recurrent staff for peak workload periods.

24.Charge losses which are due to security problems to the responsible operating department.

25.Minimize overhead by having an existing non-security supervisor supervise the guards.

26.Have guards perform other duties in support of the department's programs.

27.Use funds from other departmental accounts to increase security if needed.


28.Specify a better quality of guard than contractors currently provide.

29.               Include experience requirements in the specifications for contract guards.

30.Specify training, maximum turnover rates, pay and benefits of officers, and level of supervision.

31.Include requirements for longevity on the assignment in security contract specifications.

32.In RFP's, request proposals for security designs, not merely bids for post positions.

33.Select a "preferred contractor".  Let facility managers use him at their discretion on the basis of predetermined rates.

34.Hire an expert contractor to survey needs and evaluate proposals.


35.Centrally collect and analyze employee security incident reports.

36.Integrate the incident reporting system with the automated risk management information system.


37.Protect security and other centralized services from broad budget cuts by budgeting funds to the user departments and billing them for centrally-managed services.


38.Regionalize the management of security, both in-house and contracted.

39.Consolidate security into 3 departments or 3 sections of a single department, according to type: cultural, property watch, and confrontation-intensive.

40.Decentralize management in order to emphasize results; centralize specifications and overall supervision.

41.Have qualified security managers at the corporate and facility level.

42.Each department in a multi-user facility should appoint a security coordinator to evaluate service received, maintain an incident reporting system, improve physical security, and increase employee information and awareness.


43.Have a restrictive shooting policy, similar to the FBI: shoot only to protect one's own or another's life. Tell guards to be a preventive presence (to observe and report), not be policemen.

44.Where armed security is essential, use Deputy Sheriffs or officers with equivalent qualifications and training.





1.    For each County department with guard positions:

a.    total man-months and salaries of non-supervisory security positions,

b.    total man-months and salaries of first-level supervisory positions,

c.    total man-months and salaries of higher-level security positions,

d.    total number of supervisory levels in the security series,

e.    rotation and back-up practices between assignments requiring different skills,

f.    policies for handling confrontations, with variations for armed and unarmed guards,

g.    source and promptness of additional assistance in emergency,

h.    records of firearms use by guards,

i.    records of attacks upon guards.

2.    For each security contract:

a.    total dollar amount and term of contract,

b.    total guard hours and hourly rate,

c.    overhead rate as percent of hourly guard rate,

d.    number of levels of supervision and management in contractor's security operation,

e.    total vehicle hours and hourly rate, without two-way radios1 and

f.    total vehicle hours and hourly rate, with two-way radios,

g.    how overhead rate would vary as contract gets larger,

h.    size of firm:

(1.)        total number of employees (full-time equivalents) in L.A. County, California, and nationwide,

(2.)        total gross revenue in L.A. County, California, and nationwide,

i.    rotation and back-up practices between assignments requiring different skills.

3.    For the Department of Public Social Services:

a.    total number of welfare recipients on security assignments with County departments,

b.    total number of hours assigned,

c.    number of recipients at each number of hours per month or minimum and maximum number of hours assignable,

d.    hourly rate "paid" to offset grant,

e.    DPSS positions assigning, training, monitoring, and supervising work

(1.)        number of positions equivalent to County security assignments' proportion of the total program,

(2.)        salaries of these positions,

f.    other positions in DPSS and elsewhere which solely or primarily supervise clients on County security assignments:

(1.)        number at each work project,

(2.)        salaries of these positions.

4.    For each guard assignment:

a.    identifying name or number,

b.    recipient or employee classification:

(1.)        current,

(2.)        previous,                  date of change?

c.    armed currently?

d.    armed previously?                   date of change?

e.    qualifications to be hired,

f.    training content and number of hours (attach outline, if available),

g.    for each site served:

(1.)        location (name of unit and address),

(2.)        what hours on duty there (if roving between sites, say what hours the site is part of the circuit),

(3.)        stationary, mobile on site, or mobile (roving) between sites:

a)    which currently?

b)    which previously?       date of change?

h.    if mobile at all, are movements monitored by clocking in?

i.    for each duty other than security:

(1.)        description (attach duties statement, if available))

(2.)        percent of time spent on it,

j.    type of uniform worn.

5.    For each first-line supervisory assignment:

a.    identifying name or number,

b.    what hours on duty)

c.    for each guard assignment supervised:

(1.)        identifying name or number,

(2.)        what hours supervised,

d.    stationary, mobile on site, or mobile (roving) between sites?

(1.)        which currently?

(2.)        which previously?          date of change?

e.    primary location (building name and address),

6.    For each site:

a.    list of peak workload hours, with brief explanation of the condition which causes each peak workload,

b.    history of incidents, preferably by month, giving type and number, plus description of any harm to persons or property,

c.    list of security devices in U8C, giving

(1.)        type of device,

(2.)        approximate date installed,

(3.)        purchase price or lease terms,

(4.)        cost of installation, if not included in

(5.)        breakdown of annual operating costs:

a)    classification and salary of employee(s) who operate(s) the device,

b)    cost of utilities (electricity, telephone line, etc.),

c)    average annual maintenance and repair costs.



California Plant Protection, Inc., unpublished summary of William C. Cunningham and Todd K. Taylor, Crime and Protection in America, Hallcrest Systems, Inc., McLean, VA, 1983.

Campbell, Robert D., Chief) Field Operations Division West, Office of the Sheriff, untitled memorandum to Roger E. Parrell, Music Center Coordinator, February 27, 1984.

Chief Administrative Office, monthly reports titled "Contract Development Program - Services Contracting - Chronological List of Contract8 Awarded by Department".

Clinton, De Witt W., County Cousel, memorandum to Harry L. Hufford, "Consolidation of County Departments”, March 22, 1984.

Contract Services Advisory Committee, Contracting for Security Services, Los Angeles, September 1979.

Cox, Gail Diane, "Lawyers Question Security in Tunnel After Mugging -Courthouse Shortcut Being Bypassed by Some", The Los Angeles Daily Journal, Section II, Page 1, June 11, 1984.

DePaola, Gina, Los Angeles County COmmi58iOfl for Women, memorandum to Lou Hall, Mechanical Department, "Parking Situation on County Parking Lots", February 14, 1984.

Department of Parks and Recreation, Policy/Procedure number A-192, "Shooting Incentive Pay", 1982.

-----,  Policy/Procedure number P.M. 207, "Use of Deadly Force/Firearm", 1984.

-----,  Park Patrol Training Program, 1984.

-----,  Park Patrol Manual, 1984.

Department of Public Social Services, Booklet for General Relief Workfare Parking Lot Attendant, Los Angeles, 1981.

------, General Relief Workfare Parking Lot Attendant Training Program - Supervisor’s Handbook, Los Angeles, 1981, and Supplement I, 1984.

Economy and Efficiency Commission, Decision making and organization - Los Angeles County Government, Volumes I and II, Los Angeles, June 1983.

Employee Safety/Security Committee for the Mall Complex, "Recommendations",

"Actions Taken to Increase Employee Personal Security in the Civic Center

Area", and "Security Breach Reporting Procedures", 1984.  Hufford, Harry L., Chief Administrative Officer, memorandum to each Supervisor, "General Service8 Department", October 25, 1979.

-----, memorandum to the Board of Supervisors, “Court Security Improvement Program", December 10, 1981.

-----,  memorandum to the Board of Supervisors, "Employee Parking Lot Security", February 24, 1984.

-----,  memorandum to each Supervisor, “Parking Lot Enhancement - Outlying Lots Operated by Mechanical", April 4, 1984.

Kussey, John, Contract Services Advisory Committee, memorandum to the Board of Supervisors, "Department of Public Social Services Contracting Plan Report", May 16, 1984.

Morris, Robert L., Chief Deputy Director, Mechanical Department, memorandum to the Board of Supervisors, "Selected Security Assignments - Sundry Service Contract", July 9, 1984.

------, memorandum to various departments, "Selected Security Services -Request for Proposals", May 23, 1984.

-----, memorandum to the Board of Supervisors, "Selected Security Assignments - Sundry Service Contract", July 9, 1984.

Norris, Charles, memorandum to Barry Hufford, "County-wide Security Services April 4, 1979.

Ring1 Douglas, of Buchalter, Nemer1 Fields, Chrystie, and Younger, letter to Karen Lichtenberg, Deputy County Counsel, "Pedus Security Service, Inc.", December 16, 1983.

Rio Rondo Community College District, Department of Public Service, "Security Officer Academy" (Course Objective, Course Content, Cadet Rules and Regulations), Whittier, 1984.

Severna, William, Administrator, The Music Center Operating Company, memorandum to Robert L. Morris, Music Center of Los Angeles County Security", March 30, 1984.

Sheriff's Department, Security Evaluation - Los Angeles County Music Center, March 1978.

Varona, Violet, Los Angeles County Commission for Women, "Minutes", February 13, 1984.

 ----, memorandum to Joel Segal, Chief Administrative Office, "County Parking Lots", March 20, 1984.


[1] “Police Officer Standards and Training”

[1] Los Angeles County Capital Leasing Corporation




[1] “Police Officer Standards and Training”

[2] Los Angeles County Capital Leasing Corporation