* I read with great interest your Oct. 16 editorial, "Think Twice on Police Budget Cuts." While I share your concern about cutting the LAPD budget, your editorial ignored a major portion of the public safety picture for Los Angeles: the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The 2.5 million people we serve in the over 3,000 square miles of Los Angeles County deserve the same message, and the same consideration for their well-being. We are charged with providing patrol and investigative service, operating the largest jail system in the free world (average daily population of over 18,000 inmates), and providing security for the Municipal and Superior courts. We are faced with the same violence, pursue the same suspects, deal with the same gang enforcement problems as the City of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department also provides essential police and technical service to the police departments that rely upon us within our county: homicide, arson/explosives and narcotics investigations, air support, special weapons response, air/sea/mountain search and rescue and crime lab services.
Additionally, the Sheriff's Department acts as the mutual aid coordinator for this region, coordinating the response of federal, state and local public safety resources during major events such as earthquakes, civil unrest and other catastrophes.