Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was the Guest Speaker at the «Special Comminity Event» at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in Pasadena on Thursday evening, March 10, 2022 at 6:30 p.m. The event was organized by the Men’s Forum of the Church. Also present was Mike Antonovich, former Los Angeles County Supervisor.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He has a Master’s Degree from the California State University at Northridge and a Doctorate Degree from the University of La Verne.
Berge Gourdikian, Chairman of the Men’s Forum, welcomed the guests and then invited Father Sarkis Petoyan, Pastor of the Church, to make the opening remarks.
Father Sarkis first read the Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian’s welcoming remarks, addressed to the guest, and then presented Sheriff Villanueva with an Armenian Cross (Խաչքար) carved on wood with the letters of the Armenian alphabet carved on the four sides of the frame of the Armenian Cross.
After dinner was served, Mr. Gourdikian read Sheriff Villanueva’s short biography and invited him to the podium to deliver his address. Sheriff Villanova is the 33th Sheriff of Los Angeles County and he has a staff of 18,000. He is married and has an adult son and 2 granddaughters.
His speech was focused on the following points:
- On how to keep yourself and loved ones safe from crime, both physical and identity, he said:
- Don’t fall into crypto-currency schemes and false claims.
- Be carefull about on-line identity thefts.
- Do things, going to ATM machines or gas stations, in the daytime.
- Don’t advertise on facebook that you are going on vacation for 3 weeks.
- Install alarm, close circuit video and ring doors, in your house.
On What you can do to prevent yourself within your rights of self defense:
- If you see that somebody is following your car, go to the police station.
- If you see something, say something, and call the police.
- Aways use common sense.
On the effects on the Community with the current environment of closing the prisons, no minimal bail, no prosecution of repeat offenders and defunding the police:
- These policies are controlled by the LA County Board of Supervisors. So, call your District Supervisor and complain. Politicians do the same thing over and aver again and hope things will change, but they don’t. Their priority is to stay in office, not to help their constituents.
- Participate in the process of recalling LA County District Attorney George Gascon, who is very soft on punishing criminals and keeping them in jail.
Finally on his plan and efforts in solving these multiple crises:
- My goal is to reform, rebuild, and restore the Sheriff’s Department.
- My goal is to secure the border.
- My goal is to bring everybody (conservative, moderate and liberal) together. I believe that every voice should be heard.
- Brake the rules of the political establishment.
At the end of this usefull presentatation, members of the audience were given a chance to ask questions and they did.
This was a tremendous opportunity for the Armenian community to come together to learn and undesrtand what is needed to bring peace, safety, and peace of mind to all.