Recently, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas read in two comprehensive motions, for action at the September 29th Board meeting, that will further disrupt violence by implementing the Office of Violence Prevention’s (OVP) strategic plan as well as reinforce the Family Assistance Program (FAP) for families who have lost loved-ones to deputy-involved shootings. These two actions of community investment and well-being come amid an unprecedented increase in local tensions in the recent deaths of Andres Guardado and Dijon Kizzee.
“Violence begets violence. If we want to break the cycle, we must provide a compassionate response to families impacted by violence and equip our communities with the tools needed to recognize and deescalate violence before it occurs,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “The residents of Los Angeles County deserve a coordinated and community-led response to incidences of violence that too frequently take place. I am proud that we are continuing the diligent hard work that is necessary to make an impact in this important area of incredible consequence.”
• Implementing the Office of Violence Prevention’s Strategic Plan and Creating a Coordinated Community-Based Crisis Response System
Recently, there has been a growing public demand for an equitable response to violence prevention and interventions that address the systematic biases and inequities that cause disproportionate health, economic and socio-cultural impacts. In this motion, authored by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, the Board is working toward implementation of a coordinated and community-led response to incidences of violence or crisis, such as homicides, shootings, and sexual and domestic assault.
• Ensuring the Long-term Viability of the Family Assistance Program
The FAP was created by the Board of Supervisors upon the recommendation of the Civilian Oversight Commission in response to community concerns about the treatment of families who have lost loved-ones at the hands of the Sheriff’s Department. This program works to counteract the trauma of loss that is compounded by a lack of clear communication. Among the key elements of the FAP is the employment of “advocates” to be present during next-of-kin notifications to provide crisis intervention and grief counseling, as well as to serve as liaisons between the Sheriff’s Department and other County departments as needed. This motion seeks to reinforce this valuable community resource so that it is available in the future for impacted families in their critical moment of need.