Sheriff McDonnell did his monthly infomercial on KPCC radio yesterday–though the exchange was a bit testier than in the past. You can listen for yourself by clicking here, but here’s the basic gist of it:
- They talked about how the Los Angeles Times is suing the department for flouting open record laws
- They talked about how KPCC had recently reported the department wasn’t transparent with the community
- When given the opportunity to take credit for reductions in documented crimes in some areas, McDonnell (to his credit) observed that many people have lost confidence in the justice system post Props 47 and 57 and AB109, and were simply not reporting crimes anymore–and that criminals quickly learned how to game the system, too. The media doesn’t get this and he does deserve credit for saying it.
- On recruitment, the sheriff wrongly said that LASD was having a hard time recruiting because current employees were telling friends/family that this was a bad time to join law enforcement–when, in fact, they’re saying it’s a bad time to join LASD in particular.
- About 27 minutes in, the host observed that sheriff candidate Bob Lindsey had criticized McDonnell for not making recruitment a real priority, McDonnell grew testy and said it was his top priority, and that Lindsey didn’t know what he was talking about.
- This is noteworthy for several reasons. First, Lindsey was head of LASD recruitment before he retired…and is certainly more in tune with what LASD personnel are feeling than McDonnell is. Second, is recruitment LASD’s top priority? Because one would think community safety would be. Or deputy safety. Or maybe they just were in the past? Or do we have multiple top priorities, depending upon the topic/audience? The sheriff seemed impatient here–and flashed some of that anger he is known to hide just below the surface but which comes out quickly when he’s challenged. It’s too bad Mantle didn’t really check him on it.
- He wrapped up by talking about human trafficking.
Overall, the questions weren’t that tough, but the conversation was a lot less friendly than in the past. Mantle could have pressed him harder, particularly on the evidence mounting daily of McDonnell’s mismanagement and deficit spending, but he pushed him a lot more than in the past. And McDonnell, for his part, seemed tense, too: he had to refer to notes several times, and you could hear paper rustling in the background.
And, tellingly, despite the interview running 30 minutes–no listener questions were taken.