LOS ANGELES COUNTY

CITIZENS ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY COMMISSION

ROOM 163 HALL 0F ADMINISTRATION / 500 WEST TEMPLE / LOS ANGELES, CALIF0RNIA 90012 / 974-1491



October 17, 1990

Honorable Board of Supervisors
383 Hall of Administration
500 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Supervisors:

SUBJECT: SECURITY SYSTEMS TASK FORCE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS

On August 7, 1990, your Board requested the Economy and Efficiency Commission, in consultation with the Sheriff and the Director of Internal Services, to undertake a study of the County's security Systems, to recommend ways to better coordinate the County's security operations and to implement an integrated County-wide security system. This report responds to your request.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

In summary, the Economy and Efficiency Commission's Task Force for Security Systems' findings for security within the County are:

Therefore, the Commission urges the Board of Supervisors to both adopt, and assure the implementation of the following recommendations:

Recommendation I.

The Board of Supervisors establish and fund the office of County Security Program Management, assigned to the Chief Administrative Office. The office should be filled by Security professionals, and the lead position should have management experience in the security profession. The duties of the office would be:

  1. Reporting regularly to the CAO and the Board on the status of security measures within the County, and recommending appropriate actions;

  2. Developing County-wide standards for security and appropriate standards at each department and facility, with consideration for the recommendations of the County Security Advisory Council (see Recommendation II.);

  3. Providing consultation on security to County departments and special districts;

  4. Establishing systems for the reporting and analysis of data on security which will support monitoring and decision making;

  5. Reviewing departmental proposals, and recommending budget decisions affecting security to the CAO and the Board of Supervisors;

  6. Monitoring and inspecting compliance with standards and other aspects of security performance;

  7. Assisting departments in developing and implementing employee training and awareness programs for security matters;

  8. Reviewing plans for new and remodeled buildings, and making recommendations to provide for cost effective security measures;

  9. Developing plans for cost effective methods to utilize contract security services, or suitable alternatives to outside contractor security services within the County organization, and assisting departments with their implementation.

  10. Developing cost saving proposals for coordination or consolidation of departmental security operations, and for coordinated purchases of County security equipment and supplies; and working with departments for their implementation.

Recommendation II.

The Board of Supervisors direct the Chief Administrative Officer and the County Security Program Manager to perform the following tasks within twelve months of the Manager's appointment:

  1. Appoint a County Security Advisory Council to assist the Security Program Manager in formulating security policy and standards, and recommending actions. The Council membership would be composed of the Security Program Manager, and a representative from each major County department which supplies security services; i.e., Sheriff, Internal Services, Health Services, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Beaches and Harbors, Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History. Security experts outside of the County organization should also be considered for membership in an advisory capacity.

  2. Develop and promulgate County-wide security standards, and appropriate standards at each facility, taking into consideration the recommendations of affected County departments.

  3. Develop a plan for the cost effective use of outside contractor security under the supervision of County-employed security personnel; or alternatively, using County employed personnel.

  4. Develop a plan for establishing single department responsibility for security at locations where it does not currently exist.

  5. Develop a simplified system for reporting and recording security incidents through the County.

  6. Develop a time table elements, for completion of additional security plan elements, as outlined in the original report on Security Systems issued by the Economy and Efficiency Commission in October, 1984

Sincerely,

The Los Angeles County Economy and Efficiency Commission


Arthur J. Peever, Chairperson

Members of the Task Force on Security Systems

Louise Frankel, Chairperson of Task Force
Dr. Alfred J. Freitag
Wally Thor
Betty Trotter

 

 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY CITIZENS

ECONOMY AND EFFICIENCY COMMISSION

Report and Recommendations of the

Security Systems Task Force

October 17, 1990

 

On August 7, 1990, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors requested the Economy and Efficiency Commission, in consultation with the Sheriff and the Director of Internal Services, to undertake a study of the County's security systems, to recommend ways to better coordinate the County's security operations and to implement an integrated County-wide security system.

BACKGROUND FOR THIS STUDY

For several months prior to this request, our Commission has had a Security Systems Task Force reviewing those same security issues, and reviewing the level of implementation of the recommendations contained in the Economy and Efficiency Commission's October, 1984 report, Security Systems in Los Angeles County Government. Those recommendations were approved by the Board of Supervisors in December, 1984, and in summary were (see Enclosure #1 for the complete recommendations):

  1. The Board establish and fund the position of County Security Program Manager, assigned to the Chief Administrative Office initially, with certain specific duties which would be instrumental in establishing a coordinated, effective County-wide security system.

  2. In each County location, a single department be responsible for security.

  3. The Board direct the CAO to submit specific initial elements of a comprehensive plan for security within nine months.

None of these Board-approved recommendations has been fully implemented.

In October, 1985, the County contracted for the services of a full-time professional security consultant, initially assigned to the CAO, and now reporting in the Internal Services Department. Our Task Force has found that through his efforts, and those of certain individual departments which provide security services for themselves or for others, there have been improvements in security since 1984. Some examples are:

But most of the originally recommended requirements for a complete County-wide security system, as approved by your Board, remain undone.

We believe the elements of fully effective security system for the County remain undone because there is no organizational capability to accomplish them.

Our Commission is not recommending centralization of management for all County security. We believe our original recommendation for the establishment of a security program management capability can function effectively in a de-centralized organization such as exists within Los Angeles County government. But the County does need an accountable management capability to oversee the development, implementation, and monitoring of standards; to report on security status and needs; to review and comment on budget proposals; and to supply expert guidance and assistance to departments.

AVOIDANCE OF SECURITY INCIDENTS AND RELATED COSTS

It is widely believed by those with whom we met that the number of security incidents, and the more violent type of incidents are on the increase, both within the County and within society in general.

Although we could find no County-wide statistics to support or to deny such beliefs - which is a flaw within the County's security systems as referred to above - there are certain indicators which point in that direction. Some examples are: The recent stabbing attacks in the Pasadena Courthouse of a defendant, and in the Criminal Courts building of a Sheriff's Deputy; the stabbing death of a County Mental Health worker by a patient in 1989; the shooting of a Van Nuys bailiff in 1988; the confiscation of numerous concealed weapons when metal detectors are installed at high risk locations such as courthouses; the increased level of demonstrations for various causes which sometimes become unruly or violent; and the increasing level of gang related violence which can and does occur at County facilities such as hospitals and parks.

We have also been advised by County Counsel's Litigation Division that although the total number of claims filed against the County for all reasons has leveled off within the past 18 months, the cost of pay outs has escalated. This would seem to indicate that any future litigation costs or pay outs for security reasons would be more costly than those at present.

For these reasons we believe that the County should take reasonable, cost effective steps to assure that security needs are being addressed. It would be false economy to expose the County government to potentially costly losses resulting from ineffective security measures.

APPROACH TO THIS STUDY

The Security Systems Task Force reviewed the original recommendations of the Economy and Efficiency Commission's report of 1984, and the extensive supporting data the report contained.

Interviews were then held to determine the status of security, and the degree of implementation of the Board - approved recommendations. The interviews were held with department directors, and/or with management directly responsible for security. Departments contacted were most of those with major interests in and needs for security, including:

Department of Health Services
Department of Parks and Recreation
Internal Services Department
Chief Administrative Office

The Task Force also met with the Security Consultant assigned to the Internal Services Department, and the Chairman of the Courthouse Security Task Force. As per the Board's request, consultation was held with the Director of the Internal Services Department, and the Assistant Sheriff (designated as the Sheriff's representative).

(A letter from the Sheriff's Department supporting the recommendations in this report is included as Enclosure #2. letter from the Department of Parks and Recreation with security recommendations is also included as Enclosure #3.)

The information provided from the interviews was then analyzed, and consideration was given to alternative ways to approach the security needs of the County. Our conclusions were:

  1. Security is too important a matter for both the citizens and employees who use County facilities to be addressed in a fragmented fashion, and

  2. The original Board approved recommendations, along with some additional issues identified within the past six years, provided the best approach to substantially improve County-wide security without the need for major organizational changes.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation I.

The Board of Supervisors establish and fund the office of County Security Program Management, assigned to the Chief Administrative Office. The office should be filled by security professionals, and the lead position should have management experience in the security profession. The duties of the office would be:

  1. Reporting regularly to the CAO and the Board on the status of security measures within the County, and recommending appropriate actions;

  2. Developing County-wide standards for security and appropriate standards at each department and facility, with consideration for the recommendations of the County Security Advisory Council (see Recommendation II.);

  3. Providing consultation on security to County departments and special districts;

  4. Establishing systems for the reporting and analysis of data on security which will support monitoring and decision making;

  5. Reviewing departmental proposals, and recommending budget decisions affecting security to the CAO and the Board of Supervisors;

  6. Monitoring and inspecting compliance with standards and other aspects of security performance;

  7. Assisting departments in developing and implementing employee training and awareness programs for security matters;

  8. Reviewing plans for new and remodeled buildings, and making recommendations to provide for cost effective security measures;

  9. Developing plans for cost effective methods to utilize contract security services, or suitable alternatives to outside contractor security services within the County organization, and assisting departments with their implementation.

  10. Developing cost saving proposals for coordination or consolidation of departmental security operations, and for coordinated purchases of County security equipment and supplies; and working with departments for their implementation.

DISCUSSION

Our review and analysis shows that although improvements in security have been made in a number of places in the County since our Commission made its 1984 report and recommendations, and the subsequent employment of a full time professional security consultant, the organization and system for addressing security needs is not optimal for these reasons:

We are proposing that this office will operate within the current de-centralized County government structure. Departments will continue to be primarily responsible for funding and operating their own security systems, and maintaining approved County-wide security standards. The County Security Program Manager we are recommending will operate as a staff management position supplying security overview and direction for the County.

We are not recommending a large organization structure for the proposed County Security Program Management Office. Los Angeles County is a large, complex organization with over 75,000 employees and more than 750 major facilities. To supply an effective level of staff management overview and direction comparable to similar size organizations, an organization of two professionals (a Security Program Manager and a Security Program Specialist), and one, or a shared, administrative support position seems appropriate.

The estimated costs for such an office are in the range of $250,000 to $300,000 annually, which is a very reasonable expenditure to ensure a superior security system for the County, and to help avoid costly claims against the County for lapses in security.

Further, the Security Program Management office can be effective in helping to control security costs by recommending appropriate levels of expenditures to meet approved standards, such as the use of technology rather than manpower where appropriate.

Recommendation II.

The Board of Supervisors direct the Chief Administrative Officer and the County Security Program Manager to perform the following tasks within twelve months of the Manager's appointment:

  1. Appoint a County Security Advisory Council to assist the Security Program Manager in formulating security policy and standards, and recommending actions. The Council membership would be composed of the Security Program Manager, and a representative from each m~~or County department which supplies security services; i.e., Sheriff, Internal Services, Health Services, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Beaches and Harbors, Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History. Security experts outside of the County organization should also be considered for membership in an advisory capacity.

  2. Develop and promulgate County-wide security standards, and appropriate standards at each facility, taking into consideration the recommendations of affected County departments.

  3. Develop a plan for the cost effective use of outside contractor security under the supervision of County-employed security personnel; or alternatively, using County employed personnel.

  4. Develop a plan for establishing single department responsibility for Security at locations where it does not currently exist.

  5. Develop a simplified system for reporting and recording security incidents through the County.

  6. Develop a time table for completion of additional security plan elements, as outlined in the original report on Security Systems issued by the Economy and Efficiency Commission in October, 1984.

DISCUSSION

CONCLUSION

We urge the Board of Supervisors to adopt the recommendations contained in this report, and more importantly, to assure their implementation within the County organization. The advantages which will accrue to the County from a coordinated and integrated security system would be:

Enclosures are available in Hard Copy