of Los Amgeles County


June 9, 1993

The Honorable Edmund Edelman
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
500 West Temple Street
Hahn Hall of Administration
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dear Chairman Edelman,

The Economy and Efficiency Commission has been concerned with the issue of safety in various County facilities for a number of years. In October 1984, the Commission presented the Board with a report entitled Security Systems in Los Angeles County Government. The report recommended that:

I.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.
II.In each County location, a single department should be responsible for security.
III.The Board direct the CAO to submit specific initial elements of a comprehensive plan for security within nine months.

In August of 1986, the Commission sent to your board an implementation report on the Commission's recommendations. This report found that although improvements such as the implementation of a full time professional security consultant had been made, there was much that needed to be done. The security consultant was not given a staff or any authority and thus, this resource was not fully utilized. This implementation report made three recommendations to the Board:

I.Commend the Chief Administrative Officer for effectively implementing this program;
II.Determine that the Chief Administrative Officer continues to be the appropriate location within the County structure for the assignment of the function and position of County-wide security program manager, and;
III.Direct the Chief Administrative Officer to continue his implementation of the Commission's original study recommendations and especially:
  1. To report back as soon as feasible with recommendations concerning which department should be assigned responsibility for managing security at each multi-department location, and,
  2. To accelerate the development and promulgation of standards and specifications for security services and systems.

The Commission revisited the issue of security, at the request of the Board, and presented a Report and Recommendations of the Security Systems Task Force in October of 1990. Even though several of the Commission's past recommendations had been implemented, many others had not been addressed. This report recommended the following:

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 for 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 to the CAO and the Board of Supervisors;
  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 equipment and supplies; and working with departments for their implementation.
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 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.

Presently, the County maintains a security system which operates in seventeen different departments under seventeen different chiefs. There appears to be little coordination or compatibility between these departments. As a result, the security system for the County is inefficient and uncoordinated. This results in a significant negative impact to the safety of the citizens and employees of Los Angeles County.

As recommended by the Commission in the past, it is critical that the County embark on a central organization for security. A key component of this effort in the past has been the assignment of two individuals from the Sheriff's Department to the CAO's office. Although these individuals have fulfilled their responsibilities well, they have lacked the proper authority to accomplish the organizational reforms necessary to ensure a proper level of safety for County facilities.

The recommendations that have been made by this Commission, if fully implemented, offer a comprehensive approach to providing security within County facilities. If security is not given priority, the system will remain fragmented and inefficient. In light of the recent violence at USC Medical Center, the need to pursue a coordinated approach to security has become more vital than ever. It is the hope of this Commission that the Board takes the necessary steps to ensure the physical safety of its citizens and employees.

It appears that there are a number of security issues which require reexamination. The Commission would be happy to provide your Board additional information on the status of security in County facilities together with additional recommendations on both improving County security and developing means to more effectively carry out the provisions of previous Commission recommendations.


Gunther W. Buerk

Louise Frankel
Security Task Force Chair

Each Supervisor
Each Commissioner
Bruce J. Staniforth, Executive Director