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Lakewood Deputy Who Worked at Cerritos Sheriff’s Station Tested Positive for COVID-19

The front entrance to the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station, the infected deputy entered through the entrance on Friday April 10, 2020 possibly exposing others entering the busy building.



BY BRIAN HEWS • April 23, 2020

A deputy who usually works at the Lakewood Sheriff’s station, but was working overtime at the Cerritos Sheriff’s station located at City Hall two weeks ago, tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus after leaving the station.

Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News was given internal communications by a source confirming the deputy roamed the Cerritos Station and Community Center for over seven hours while infected with the highly infectious disease.

HMG-LCCN was told by the source that some personnel inside the Community Center were ordered to quarantine themselves, it is unknown if any sheriff’s deputies in the building also came under that order.

The Station and Community Center provides a full range of public safety services for Cerritos residents, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Station serves as headquarters for LASD personnel serving Cerritos and the City’s Community Safety Division.

The center is located adjacent to Cerritos City Hall, and the public entrance to the building is on the top floor of the facility. 



The City’s Community Safety Division is located on the top floor, along with the Sheriff’s service counter, a communications/dispatch center and meeting rooms.

The second floor contains Sheriff’s Department operations, including a training/briefing room, booking and custody areas, holding cells and lockers. Some 14,000 square feet of secured parking for Sheriff’s personnel is also located on this level. 

The bottom floor consists of parking for City staff with a stairwell and elevator used by everyone at City Hall.

The subsequent investigation by Cerritos management found that the deputy worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday April 10, 2020.

After being contacted by Cerritos Sheriffs, the deputy stated he did not go inside City Hall or have any interactions with City Staff.

But he did walk the halls inside the Sheriff’s Station interacting with staff  “to complete his tasks,” which evidently took over seven hours.

In his summation, dated April 14, newly appointed Cerritos Station Captain Minh Dinh described the deputies movements that day, which HMG-LCCN obtained through the source.

According to Dinh, the infected deputy entered the front public entrance of the station, which has glass doors that must be opened manually.


THE LOBBY of the station the LASD offices are on the left, the Community Center offices are on the right. Behind the glass in the back is the dispatch center.


The Deputy entered into the secretary area of the sheriff deputy’s offices, and then went into the dispatch room to obtain an overtime slip which he filled it out inside the room.

Normally two sheriff’s personnel are inside the dispatch room.

The deputy then left the dispatch room and went to the watch commander’s office to have his overtime slip signed, later using the copy machine to make a copy of his slip.

The deputy “walked the hallway” to the men’s locker room, where he used the restroom in the locker room and washed his hands.

During the time he also entered the building through the lower garage entrance which is next to the parking spot of City Manager Art Gallucci.

Dinh finished by writing, “The Lakewood Station deputy only stayed in the building as long as he needed to complete his tasks. He did greet some Sheriff’s employees but had no interaction with city staff. In fact, he was never in close proximity with any city staff. Also he did not visit any other city facility.”


MEMO FROM City Manager Art Gallucci



PARTIAL MEMO FROM Station Captain Minh Dinh describing the deputy’s movements in the building.


Sources said employees inside City Hall and the Community Center were livid that the Deputy came to work at the Cerritos Station.

None wanted to be identified, but one employee remarked, “they waited four days to tell us, they did not shut the building down and clean it, that’s not right.”

A former Cerritos Mayor and Councilman told HMG-LCCN, “why are we mingling sheriff’s deputies between stations during a pandemic, it makes no sense.”

Several emails into Cerritos Mayor Solanki and Mayor pro tem Vo, along with Councilmembers Hu, Edwards,  went unreturned.

In those emails, HMG-LCCN asked if the City informed residents, who might have entered the Sheriff’s Station that day, of the infected deputy’s presence, the question went unanswered.

Councilmember Frank Yokoyama commented, “I ask the City Manager everyday for updates and if anyone else has tested positive for COVID-19. We should’ve done COVID-19 testing for everyone at the Cerritos station by now. My prayers go out to the Cerritos station deputies and personnel and their families.”



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