LA County Sheriff Offers Safety Points in Talk


By Kevork Keushkerian

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

PASADENA, Calif. — Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva was the guest speaker at a special community event at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church on Thursday, March 10. The event was organized by the Men’s Forum of the church. Also present was Mike Antonovich, former Los Angeles County Supervisor.

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 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.

Petoyan first read the Primate Archbishop Hovnan Derderian’s welcoming remarks, addressed to the guest, and then presented Villanueva with an Armenian Cross carved on wood with the letters of the Armenian alphabet carved on the four sides of the frame of the Armenian Cross.

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Villanova is the 33th Sheriff of Los Angeles County and has a staff of 18,000. He is married and has an adult son and two granddaughters.

In his speech, he warned about some common schemes, such as fraudulent crypto-currency purchases and false claims.

He also warned about the dangers of on-line identity thefts. He also suggested that for increased safety, those who want to go to an ATM or get gas, do so during daylight hours. He also advised against announcing on social media vacation plans.

He urged installing alarms, close circuit videos and Ring doorbells.

He suggested that anyone who fears they are being followed in their car, drive to a police station.

He also got political and suggested that the police get more funding and that prison sentences get longer.

At the end of this presentation, 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 understand what is needed to bring peace, safety, and peace of mind to all.


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