By Richard Winton
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — There has been a dramatic upswing in the number of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies arrested for alcohol-related offenses in recent years, suggesting a growing drinking problem within the department, a county watchdog agency reported Wednesday.
Last year, 70 sworn and civilian employees of the Sheriff's Department were arrested. The majority of those arrests involved employees driving off-duty while under the influence of alcohol, according to an annual report produced by the county Office of Independent Review. In many cases, drunk deputies were carrying firearms at the time of their arrests.
Alcohol-related arrests of off duty LEOs a growing problem