Before being elected Sheriff in 2014, Jim McDonnell served as Long Beach Police Chief, second-in-command at LAPD, and as a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, where he led the effort to develop a blueprint for reform.
As Sheriff, McDonnell stepped up efforts to implement the recommendations of the Citizens’ Commission. The Los Angeles Times reported that use of significant force – “incidents that cause any type of injury — is down 60 percent since 2009, when it hit its highest point in nearly a decade, according to department statistics.” (May 24, 2018)
The Times also reported that “Last year, there were only three reported uses of the most severe kind of force, meaning incidents that could result in broken bones, hospitalization or death. A report in March by federal court monitors overseeing the agreement on jail abuse says incidents involving the most severe type of force in the jails are ‘almost nonexistent.’” (May 24, 2018)
McDonnell has been able to identify talent from within the LASD, as well as outside the organization, where 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. Last year, crime rates in areas patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department fell.
And Sheriff McDonnell established the Human Trafficking Bureau to aggressively address a growing regional and national problem that victimizes some of the most vulnerable in our society: our children.
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.
As our Sheriff, Jim McDonnell has made tremendous progress, he supported the Department’s first Civilian Oversight Board, led efforts resulting in a dramatic reduction in use of force in jails, helped create the Inspector General’s office to conduct independent audits and the Public Data Sharing Project to allow public access to statistical information about use of force and all other law enforcement statistics.
As Sheriff, Jim McDonnell:
- Created the Audit & Accountability Bureau as his internal watchdog with the latitude to investigate a range of issues and hired two Constitutional Policing Advisors to create more consistency in policies and practices including discipline. Both entities report directly to Sheriff McDonnell
- Established Civilian Oversight Commission, working with the Board of Supervisors to 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
- Dramatically reduced serious use of force in jails facilities by establishing clear expectations, holding all employees accountable and creating systems that ensure accountability
Sheriff Jim McDonnell created 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
- Furthered 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
Sheriff Jim McDonnell works hard every day to set the standard for American policing. The L.A. Times reported that Sheriff Jim McDonnell “inherited a Department rotted by corruption.” Today, under Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s leadership, overall crime in areas patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is down, including a 16% decline in homicides, serious use of force is “‘almost nonexistent” (LA Times May 14, 2018), and progress has been made in accountability of the Department.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s core mission is the prevention of, and response to crime and disorder in our communities. The good news is that crime is down.
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 reelect Jim McDonnell as Sheriff of Los Angeles County to maintain the progress and continue on this course of reform.