Sheriff McDonnell looking to improve LASD's community relations

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell spoke with Adrienne Alpert about future plans for his agency on Eyewitness Newsmakers.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell was this week's guest on a special Eyewitness Newsmakers.

He wanted to open a community dialogue following last month's shooting death of veteran deputy Sgt. Steve Owen. McDonnell acknowledged his deputies might not get policing right 100 percent of the time, but it's time to talk about making relations better between law enforcement and the community.

McDonnell heads the nation's second-largest police agency and the largest jail system.

He talked about a need for more flexibility in the county's $2-billion plans to build the new men's and women's jails.

He acknowledged the deputy corruption and brutality scandal and explained why he supports the newly-appointed nine-member civilian oversight commission.

With the Nov. 8 votes just tallied, the sheriff weighed in on the law-enforcement measures.

He applauded the retention of the death penalty but criticized Proposition 57, which will allow nonviolent felons the opportunity for parole, a measure supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, who is working on court-ordered state prison overcrowding. The sheriff said there are few categories left for violent felons, but "nonviolent" can include sex trafficking of a minor.

Eyewitness Newsmakers is a community affairs program of ABC7.
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