The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is a local county law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California. It is the sixth largest law enforcement agency in the United States (behind the NYPD, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Chicago Police Department, the FBI and the LAPD). Since 1996, it has also been the largest Sheriff's department in the world, and provides general-service law enforcement to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, serving as the equivalent of the county police for unincorporated areas of the county, as well as incorporated cities within the county who have contracted with the agency for law-enforcement services (known as "contract cities" in local jargon). It also holds primary jurisdiction over facilities operated by Los Angeles County, such as local parks, marinas and government buildings; provides marshal service for the Superior Court of California - County of Los Angeles; operates the county jail system; and provides services, such as laboratories and academy training, to smaller law enforcement agencies within the county. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is sometimes referred to as the Los Angeles Sheriff's Office (LASO).
Beginning on March 10, 2007, actor Jackie Chan joined forces with the LA County Sheriff's Department in their current recruitment campaign, oriented towards encouraging more members of the Asian American community to join the sheriff's department. In the announcement with Sheriff Lee Baca, Chan was seen wearing an LA County Sheriff's Deputy uniform. . One LASD public service announcement has already featured Chan.
LASD deputies provided law enforcement services to 2,557,754 residents in an area of 3,171 square miles both in the unincorporated County land and within the contract cities (1995 figure).
The Sheriff's Department also operates one the largest jail systems which provides short-term incarceration services for all of the County (including the cities like Los Angeles which have their own police departments). The Men's Central Jail (MCJ) and Twin Towers Correctional Facility (TTCF) are located in a dense cluster northeast of Union Station that is next to the station's rail yard. The North County Correctional Facility (NCCF) is the largest of the four jail facilities located at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California. The other facilities are East Facility, North Facility, and South Facility.
Some of the newer contract cities like Santa Clarita and West Hollywood have never had police departments. When their city governments were founded, they took over what was formerly unincorporated land, but then contracted their police responsibilities right back to the county sheriff. Since the department already had substations in those areas anyway, the result was to maintain the status quo.
In contrast, Compton, California, used to have a police department, but in 2000, the city council voted to dismantle the troubled police department and become a contract city. Compton has been at times notorious for gang violence, especially during its recent history.
L.A. County Sheriff's academy training is at Sheriff's Training Academy and Regional Services Center (STARS Center) in unincorporated South Whittier. Reserves may use either STARS Center or College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) for academy training. Academy training is 18 weeks. Many law enforcement agencies throughout Los Angeles County utilize STARS Center and deputy sheriff trainees graduating as deputy sheriffs also undergo detention-specific training.
The LASD has gained an international reputation for its efforts in developing and integrating the latest law enforcement technologies, especially nonlethal weapons. Because many developers, especially those developing technologies for the U.S. Department of Defense, have little idea of the needs of domestic law enforcement, the LASD provides experts to assist in the development and implementation of technologies that will be of service to law enforcment when fully mature. In the late 1990s, the LASD successfully implemented a county-wide sound recorder/meter system, ShotStopper, to detect loud noises. When dispatch has a call from a citizen reporting possible gunfire near their residence, these sound towers can pinpoint within about 25 to 30 feet where the shots were coming from and record the sound for investigative purposes, and at the same time, relay the GPS info to HQ and deputies on the street. The system has been up and running for several years and has been responsible for numerous felony arrests.
Currently, the LASD is working with the FAA and local government officials to deploy their remote control aerial surveillance drone system. This would allow the Sheriff's Department to have real time imagery from the streets of Los Angeles to combat street violence and record crimes in progress, not to mention searching for missing hikers, "patrolling" behind the surf zones of the beaches and looking for lost children. The drones are not intended to replace police helicopters, but in specific incidents could be better, cheaper and quieter to use.
The LASD hired the first female deputy sheriff in the United States in 1912. Margaret Q. Adams remained a deputy in the evidence department at the Los Angeles Couthouse for 35 years, until her retirement in 1947.
The LASD is also known for having some of the best-trained law enforcement officials in the world, most notably in the Special Enforcement Bureau, which houses the famous Special Weapons Team. The Special Weapons Teams are LASD's version of SWAT teams, a creation of the nearby LAPD. Both the LAPD and L.A. Sheriff SWAT teams are thought highly of by both federal agencies and law enforcement agencies worldwide. LASD and LAPD SWAT have helped the U.S. Department of Defense in the past by training U.S. Army Rangers, Special Forces, and other military units on policing skills prior to being deployed overseas. Law enforcement agencies from across the nation and around the world often look to the LASD and LAPD SWAT teams for training and advice, often sending experienced officers to train under both departments. Before the war in Bosnia and peacekeeping operatons in Kosovo, the U.S. Army wanted to be able to enter those scenarios as specialized peacekeepers. Modern tactics of dynamic entries with large firepower were thought to be too excessive in certain situations, and would only serve to aggravate the situation further. The general plan of the U.S. and U.N. peacekeeping forces was to control a scene, take people into custody, and at the same time keep the peace, engaging in combat operations only when necessary.
In 1992, after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, both the LAPD and LASD SWAT teams decided to work on tactics that would rescue people from dangerous crowds, and at the same time provide a way to eliminate a threat, such as a gunman, without being noticed by a hostile crowd. In the first example, the idea was to have SWAT ride in one of the city's Air Rescue helicopter units with LAFD and LASD paramedics to enter a scene, using SWAT as a threat to ground opposition while LAFD paramedics could safely drop in and pick up an injured person. In the second example, sharpshooters could be used at high altitudes in LASD air units to look for any potential threats on the ground, and at the same time neutralize any would-be killers.
In addition to having a fleet of three Sikorsky Sea Kings, the model of helicopter once used by the President of the United States as Marine One, the LASD also utilizes several Eurocopter AS-350 AStars helicopters and several fixed wing aircraft.
The Sky Knight Helicopter Program is an airborne law enforcement program in Lakewood, CA which was started in 1966. The unit operates using non-sworn pilots, employed by the city of Lakewood, partnered with a sworn deputy sheriff from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Lakewood station. The unit currently operates three Schweizer 300C helicopters, based at Long Beach airport and flies about 1,800 hours per year. Today, the Sky Knight program is completely integrated within the sheriff's tactical operations. Five other cities (Artesia, Bellflower, Hawaiian Gardens, Paramount and Cerritos) contract with Lakewood to participate in the Sky Knight program. These five cities also contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for police services.
|Deputy Sheriff Bonus I/II (Field Training Officer / Detective / Senior Jail Deputy)|
|Deputy Sheriff Generalist|
As of 2007, 94 sheriff's deputies have been killed in the line of duty since the department's founding in 1850.
As a result of this case, Congressman David Dreier, working with fellow Congressman Adam Schiff and Sheriff Lee Baca, introduced bi-partisan legislation that would make it a federal crime for any suspect who murders a public safety official and flees the United States. Three attempts have failed in committee and on February 22, 2007, Congressman Dreier introduced such legislation for a fourth time.
In honor of Deputy David March, the Department adopted this creed: "My goals are simple, I will always be painfully honest, work as hard as I can, learn as much as I can and hopefully make a difference in people's lives." Deputy David W. March (EOW: April 29, 2002)
On May 1, 2007, Deputy Raul Gama was killed in an accident involving a teenage driver. The driver was charged with manslaughter. The officer was on a stakeout and at first, it was thought the teen driver had hit a parked car. Unfortunately, several minutes later, it was later discovered that the parked car was occupied by Deputy Gama. This delay might have played a role in the death of the officer. This was a terrible tragedy for the families of both the officer and the teen driver, who was on his way to school at the time of the accident. Coincidentally, Deputy Gama died exactly 20 years after graduating from the LASD Academy.
|Avalon (Catalina Island)||Avalon Station|
|Calabasas||Lost Hills Station|
|Commerce||East Los Angeles Station|
|Diamond Bar||Walnut / Diamond Bar Station|
|Hawaiian Gardens||Lakewood Station|
|Hidden Hills||Malibu/Lost Hills Station|
|City of Industry||Industry Station|
|La Canada Flintridge||Crescenta Valley Station|
|La Habra Heights||Industry Station|
|La Mirada||Norwalk Station|
|La Puente||Industry Station|
|Lawndale||Lennox Station/Lawndale Sheriff's Department Service Center|
|Malibu||Malibu/Lost Hills Station|
|Pico Rivera||Pico Rivera Station|
|Rancho Palos Verdes||Lomita Station|
|Rolling Hills||Lomita Station|
|Rolling Hills Estates||Lomita Station|
|San Dimas||San Dimas Station|
|Santa Clarita||Santa Clarita Station|
|South El Monte||Temple Station|
|Temple City||Temple Station|
|Walnut||Walnut/Diamond Bar Station|
|West Hollywood||West Hollywood Station|
|Westlake Village||Malibu/Lost Hills Station|
Like full-time deputies, reserve deputies are professionally trained and duly sworn law enforcement personnel. In most cases, reserves are assigned to the same duties as full-time deputies. Since reserve deputies have the same powers of arrest as full-time deputies they are required by law to meet the same hiring, background, medical and psychological standards as full-time deputies. reserve deputies must first complete the state mandated training and then work assignments as their regular jobs permit. Reserve sheriff's deputies are issued a badge, an identification card, uniforms, a Beretta 92FS duty weapon, handcuffs, baton, and other necessary equipment. Reserve deputy sheriffs are either Level I Designated, Level I Non Designated or Level II. Level I Designated reserves have the same training and 24 hour peace officer authority as regular full time deputies and may carry their firearm concealed off duty without the need for a concealed weapons permit (CCW). Level I Non Designated and Level II reserve deputies have full peace officer powers when on duty, and, if issued a CCW permit, may choose to carry a concealed weapon when off duty. Reserve deputy sheriffs must volunteer 20 hours per month of their time with the regular compensation being one dollar per year. Reserve deputy sheriffs may also qualify for shooting bonus pay of up to $32.00 per month, and some paid special event assignments are occasionally available. Like full-time deputies, reserve deputy sheriffs serve at the will of the Sheriff, must obey all departmental regulations, but do not fall into the framework of the civil service system. Reserve deputy sheriffs supplement the regular operations of the Sheriff's Department by working in their choice of Uniform Reserve (Patrol), Mounted Posse, Search and Rescue or as a Specialist.
The department's Emergency Services Detail (ESD), which functions under the umbrella of the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB), was depicted in the short lived television series, 240-Robert. The SEB also includes the Canine Services Detail (K-9), and the Special Enforcement Detail (SED), which is the department's special weapons team.
In September 2003, ABC premiered 10-8: Officers on Duty, a comedy/drama based on a rookie with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. The show lasted one season. The show's name was based on the police radio code for "on duty".
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Recruit Training Bureau is featured on Fox Reality show "The Academy," documenting the day to day activities of the recruits and training staff of LASD Academy Class 355 and 368.
1852-1855 James R. Barton
1856 David W. Alexander
1856 C. E. Hale*
1857 James R. Barton
1857 Elijah Bettis*
1858 William C. Getman
1858-1859 James Thompson*
1860-1867 Tomas A. Sanchez
1868-1871 James F. Burns
1872-1875 William R. Rowland
1876-1877 David W. Alexander
1878-1879 H. M. Mitchell
1880-1882 William R. Rowland
1883-1884 Alvan T. Currier
1885-1886 George E. Gard
1887-1888 James C. Kays
1889-1890 Martin G. Aguirre
1890-1892 E. D. Gibson
1893-1894 John C. Cline
1895-1898 John Burr
1899-1902 William A. Hammel
1903-1906 Will A. White
1907-1914 William A. Hammel
1915-1921 John C. Cline
1921-1932 William I. Traeger*
1932-1958 Eugene W. Biscailuz*
1959-1982 Peter J. Pitchess
1982-1998 Sherman Block*
1998- Lee Baca