LOS ANGELES, CA – LA County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District, released the following statement after the Board of Supervisors approved three motions she authored to support survivors, fight against crime, and make our communities safer ─ Permanent Funding and Implementation of the Family Assistance Program, Combatting the Gun Epidemic Through Ghost Guns Regulations, and Proclaiming National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 24-30, 2022:
“I authored today’s motions to support the rights of victims and survivors of community harm. The effects of violence are physically, socially, and emotionally devastating. It is also unequal. County data on violence-related injuries and deaths makes it clear that people of color and communities of color that have borne the brunt of poverty, divestment, and racism are disproportionately impacted by violence. As violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, it is critical to recognize the importance for survivors to feel heard. From the growing prevalence of ghost guns in neighborhoods to law enforcement harm, I am committed to advancing and promoting the rights of and inclusion of all victims.”
The Permanent Funding and Implementation of the Family Assistance Program (FAP) motion directs the identification and allocation of $1,530,740 in ongoing annual funding. Additionally, it directs various County departments to begin implementation of the FAP as outlined in the February 22, 2022 report, once funding has been allocated. The FAP was created to provide support for grieving families of those whose lives were lost while in custody or following an encounter with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) personnel. A key element of the FAP is the integration of advocates being present during next-of-kin notifications to provide crisis intervention, mental health first aid, and system navigation – helping with access to resources provided by the County, community-based organizations, and service providers. In addition, the FAP provides up to $7,500, at the request of families, to alleviate the financial hardship of burial costs, which without, would compound the emotional trauma caused by the unexpected and tragic loss of a loved one.
The Combatting the Gun Epidemic Through Ghost Guns Regulations motion sends a five-signature letter from the Board of Supervisors to U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland in support of the U.S. Justice Department’s final rule regulating ghost guns and directs the County’s Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations branch to advocate in support of Congress passing universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, the removal of immunity from liability for gun manufacturers, and tracking guns to hold gun dealers accountable. It also directs County Counsel to thoroughly explore possible ordinances for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration regarding the regulation of ghost guns in the County and report back.
The Proclaiming National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 24-30, 2022 motion uplifts the voices of and rights of survivors of harm by raising awareness. The theme of this year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Rights, access, equity, for all victims” ─ underscoring the importance of helping crime survivors find their justice by expanding access to services and ensuring equity and inclusion for all.