Sheriff Jim McDonnell
Tremendous progress for LASD just in four years.
Jim McDonnell was elected as Los Angeles County Sheriff four years ago with a mandate by LA County voters to restore the shine to the badge. He served as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, which was tasked with examining allegations of abuse and corruption in the nation’s largest jail system.
McDonnell brought over three decades of policing experience to this task, having served with both the Los Angeles Police Department as First Assistant Chief and as Chief of the Long Beach Police Department.
The Los Angeles Times called for the voters to support McDonnell for Sheriff because he had the will, “as well as the command presence, to confront and prevail over what is sure to be resistance from entrenched elements in the Sheriff’s Department.”
McDonnell has been able to identify talent from within the LASD, as well as outside the organization, when appropriate, to form an executive team that has been able to restore confidence in the department as one of our nation’s premier law enforcement agencies.
We need to re-elect McDonnell to ensure that the Sheriff’s Department maintains the progress that has been made and to continue to set the standard for American policing.
Since his election in 2014, McDonnell has led the Department to:
• Create a “sea change in the culture” inside the jails by dramatically reducing serious use of force in jail facilities with more accountability involving CCTV cameras in the jails and increased staffing and supervision. Additionally, he brought in recognized best practices, providing de-escalation training and establishing high expectations for the constitutional care of inmates.
• Build systems of accountability internally and externally to ensure there are multiple entities with oversight. Sheriff McDonnell led the way to an MOU with the Office of Inspector General, which reports to the Board of Supervisors, to provide the oversight entity complete access to all aspects of the department.
• Hire two Constitutional Policing Advisors to create more consistency in policies and practices including discipline. He also created the Audit and Accountability Bureau as his internal watchdog with the latitude to investigate a range of issues. Both entities report directly to Sheriff McDonnell.
• Assist in creating a Civilian Oversight Committee to serve as a bridge for effective communication to LA County’s diverse communities. They report to the Board of Supervisors.
Sheriff McDonnell’s philosophy of ‘moving forward’, and nearly four decades of policing experience, helped establish key crime fighting capacities to tackle emerging crime trends such as Human Trafficking, Cyber Fraud and Terrorism:
• The new Human Trafficking Bureau was the catalyst to form one of the largest, most prestigious Regional Taskforces on Human Trafficking, comprised of state, local and federal agencies that work as a unified command along with the LA County District Attorney, Probation and Department of Children and Family Services. To date, more than 240 victims, including nearly 170 children, have been rescued, with 1,100 arrests and cases filed in both State and Federal Court.
• Furthered his investment in transparency by reporting data on deputy-involved shootings and use of force on the LASD Public Data Sharing Project and providing the public with access to statistical information relative to use of force, discipline and other important information.
• Reorganized the Special Operations Division and the Criminal Intelligence Bureau for the prevention of, response to, and recovery from terrorist incidents and other man-made or natural disasters.
His core mission is the prevention of, and response to crime and disorder in our communities. The good news is that crime is down. Last year, overall crime fell in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including a 16% decline in homicides, driven largely by fewer gang-related murders.
Sheriff McDonnell’s progressive view of custodial care for inmates and his leadership and vision is leading to more compassionate and pragmatic solutions to replace the dilapidated Men’s Central Jail with a state-of-the-art Correctional Treatment Facility that will provide rehabilitation and stabilization of a growing inmate patient population including those suffering from mental illness.
We need to support Jim McDonnell for a second term as Sheriff of Los Angeles County, so that the great work of the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, working with all of our diverse communities, can continue on this course of reform.