LA County Launches Task Force to Halt Drug Flow in Juvenile Halls, A Pledge for Youth Safety by Probation Chief

LA County Launches Task Force to Halt Drug Flow in Juvenile Halls, A Pledge for Youth Safety by Probation ChiefSource: X/Los Angeles County Probation Department
Juliette Kessler
Published on February 12, 2024

Cracking down on drugs and illegal contraband in juvenile halls, LA County has announced the formation of a new strike force. Probation Chief Guillermo Viera Rosa unveiled the Juvenile Safety and Welfare Task Force today, a multi-agency squad set to put a stopper on substances like fentanyl seeping into youth detention centers. In a statement, Chief Viera Rosa made it clear that anyone caught smuggling these illegal items would face the music, "Our youth deserve better!" he declared, as per County of Los Angeles, California.

This announcement follows a series of incidents at juvenile facilities which painted a grim portrait of the county's challenge to keep these institutions clean. The new task force, spearheaded by Commander Raynard Ward, comes with a heavy mandate: arrest and prosecute traffickers, maintain a secure environment for the youth, and hit hard with outreach programs aimed at educating about the dangers and legal consequences of vaping and drug use. "The opioid fentanyl epidemic has affected so many in a variety of detrimental ways, and we want to do our part as public servants to put a stop to it," Viera Rosa expressed, according to a bulletin from LA County.

The Probation Chief emphasized that his arrival in the department was a catalyst for this beefed-up focus on safety, "The Task Force is in direct response to my being brought into this department to identify strategies for improving safety at our juvenile facilities," he chalked up. Viera Rosa also hinted at fostering deeper connections between staff, parents, and the incarcerated youth - a gesture to embolden a sense of community and vigilance within the walls that, must watch over the young but troubled lives.

The establishment of the Juvenile Safety and Welfare Task Force puts a spotlight on LA County's ongoing crusade to sanitize its juvenile institutions – a necessary measure, considering the stakes of the battle at hand. Under Viera Rosa's watchful eye, the department isn't just taking a defensive stance but is going on the offensive, "We will work tirelessly to investigate, arrest, and prosecute those whose criminal acts compromise the safety of our youth," he pledged, as stated in the County of Los Angeles, California.