Sheriff-elect Robert Luna promises to bring change, build better communities for LA County

Sheriff-elect Robert Luna held his first press conference Friday morning. 

Over the next several months he plans to deliver new policies and strategies to fight crime, repair relationships in the community, address homelessness, modernize the department and improve employee wellness.  

"Our service has to be effective, respectful and constitutional; and I have every confidence in this department that we will serve, they will serve the people of LA County to the best of their abilities,’ Luna stated.  

Luna assembled a transition team to help assist and prepare him to change leadership in the sheriff’s department. The team is co-chaired by Eric Parra, Eileen Decker and Richard Conant. This was his first campaign. During the press conference, he thanked his supporters, voters and offered well-wishes to out-going sheriff Alex Villaneuva.

Luna will be sworn in on December 5.  

The press conference took place at Salazar Park in East Los Angeles, the hometown of Luna. He said he grew up a few blocks away and played at the park often.

"For me it's full circle. To think I grew up looking at my first sheriff's deputy, LA County deputy in uniform; and I was enamored as a kid by that uniform, that tan and green uniform, that badge and that's what inspired me to get into law enforcement. That's where my journey began… here." 

The park was named after Ruben Salazar, a journalist who was killed in East LA by a sheriff's deputy during the National Chicano Moratorium March in 1970.

Luna says in his role as sheriff he plans to build better relationships between deputies and the community and the press. 

"I wanted to get into law enforcement because I saw all the things you described and somewhere along the lines I felt that if I wanted to see the change, that I needed to become part of that change," Luna said. 

Prior to being elected as LA County Sheriff, Luna was the police chief for the Long Beach Police Department.