LA County Sheriff Robert Luna creates office focused on constitutional policing

The office's first director, Eileen Decker, was the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 2015 to 2017.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023
Sheriff Robert Luna creates office focused on constitutional policing
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has created an Office of Constitutional Policing as he makes good on his promises to improve accountability and eradicate deputy gangs within the department.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has created an Office of Constitutional Policing as he makes good on his promises to improve accountability and eradicate deputy gangs within the department.

Luna announced the new office on Wednesday and appointed a former federal prosecutor as its director.

"We can always do better and that's what we intend to do," said Luna. "The reality is that the department faces some real challenges, such as multiple consent decrees, court judgments, settlement agreements and the existence of deputy gangs."

Luna tapped Eileen Decker to head the new unit, who was the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California from 2015 to 2017. She recently was a member of the Los Angeles Police Commission, the civilian board that oversees the LA Police Department. Decker also was a deputy LA mayor for homeland security and public safety.

She also helped prosecute former L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca, was found guilty of obstructing an investigation into corruption within L.A. County jails in 2017, and Undersheriff Paul Tanaka.

Decker said the position is the culmination of her life's work.

"The department is committed to protecting the people of Los Angeles County and their rights, and I will be equally committed to ensuring this department has the appropriate policies practices and training in place in order to follow them," she said.

Wednesday's announcement comes after the Luna disbanded the department's controversial public integrity detail, which had investigated outspoken critics of former Sheriff Alex Villanueva such as L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

Luna defeated Villanueva in the November election.

He vowed to usher in an era of integrity and collaboration after his predecessor's tenure was marked by clashes with other public officials and allegations that deputy gangs ran amok within the agency.

Luna said his focus is ensuring the department is the best it can be, and that means making sure it is following the law on every level.

"This office is not only focused on the gang issue and consent decrees as stated earlier, but they will be continuously looking at our policies," said Luna. "They will be looking at our training. They will be looking at our systems of accountability."

Luna said Decker would have a sizable team behind her, including investigators, auditors and attorneys.

Hiring has already begun and Luna hopes to have everyone in place within a couple of months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.