Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), officially the County of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, is the United States' largest sheriff's department, with approximately 18,000 employees.[4] The department's three main responsibilities entail providing patrol services for 153 unincorporated communities of Los Angeles County, California and 42 cities,[5] providing courthouse security for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, and the housing and transportation of inmates within the county jail system. In addition, the department contracts with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metrolink, provides law enforcement services to ten community colleges, patrols over 177 county parks, golf courses, special event venues, two major lakes, 16 hospitals, and over 300 county facilities; and provides services, such as crime laboratories, homicide investigations, and academy training, to smaller law enforcement agencies within the county.

County of Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Badge of the LASD's sheriff
Common nameLos Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Motto"A Tradition of Service"
Agency overview
Formed1850 (1850)[1]
Employees20,159 (2015)[2][needs update]
Annual budgetUS$3,303,110,000 (2019)[3]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionLos Angeles County, California, United States
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's jurisdiction
Size10,575 square kilometres (4,083 sq mi)
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters211 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DeputiesBudgeted items: 10,915 (2015)
Unsworn membersBudgeted items: 9,244 (2015)
Agency executives
  • Alex Villanueva, Sheriff
  • Timothy Murakami, Undersheriff
  • Bruce Chase, Assistant Sheriff
  • Steven Gross, Assistant Sheriff
  • Robin Limon, Assistant Sheriff
Operations Divisions
  • Administrative Services
  • Countywide Operations
  • Custody Operations
  • Patrol Operations
  • Altadena
  • Avalon
  • Carson
  • Century
  • Cerritos
  • Compton
  • Crescenta Valley
  • East Los Angeles
  • Industry
  • Bellflower/Lakewood
  • Lancaster
  • Lomita
  • Malibu/Lost Hills
  • Marina Del Rey
  • Norwalk
  • Palmdale
  • Pico Rivera
  • San Dimas
  • Santa Clarita Valley
  • South Los Angeles
  • Temple
  • Walnut/Diamond Bar
  • West Hollywood

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's transit division alone is the second largest transit police force in the world, aside from the New York City Police Department.[6] This is through policing contracts of the Metro trains and buses of the Los Angeles Metro and Metrolink. The Department also contracts with nine campuses of the Los Angeles and Lancaster Community Colleges. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department's headquarters are located in downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Hall of Justice.

The LASD has a history of racial profiling, police brutality, police corruption, and other misconduct.[7][8][9]


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department and the fourth largest local policing agency in the United States. There are approximately 17,926 employees; over 9,972 sworn deputies and 7,954 non sworn members (professional staff). There are an additional 4,200 civilian volunteers, 791 reserve deputies and 400 explorers. On December 3, 2018, Alex Villanueva took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 33rd Los Angeles County Sheriff.

LASD deputies provided law enforcement services to over three million residents in an area of 3,171 square miles (8,210 km2) of the 4,083 square miles on the county, both in the unincorporated county land and within the 42 contract cities.

County jail system

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the largest jail system in the world. The Los Angeles County Jail provides short-term incarceration services for all of the county (including cities like Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, and Long Beach 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 L.A. County women's jail, called the Century Regional Detention Facility or the Lynwood Jail, is located in Lynwood, California.


The Los Angeles County Jail incarcerates about 200,000 individuals each year, and with such large numbers, the jail has faced numerous problems with its facilities.[10] In May 2013, the Men's Central Jail and the Twin Towers Correctional Facility (taken together) ranked as one of the ten worst jails in the United States, based on reporting in Mother Jones magazine.[11]

One of such issues is visitation controversy, exemplified by an event in the Men's Central Jail. 23-year-old male Gabriel Carillo was severely beaten and pepper sprayed by a deputy in Los Angeles' Men's Central Jail on Saturday, February 26, 2012. Carillo was there with his girlfriend, Grace Torres, to visit his younger brother. Both Torres and Carillo illegally brought their cell phones into the jail and were caught in possession of the phones. Torres hid her cell phone in her boot and snuck it into the visitor's lobby despite signs prohibiting doing so, while Carillo claimed he forgot to remove his cellphone from his pocket. The deputies confiscated both phones shortly after, handcuffed Carillo, and took both Carillo and Torres into the break room. Carillo got into a verbal altercation with officers and claimed he was then assaulted by them.[12]

Following the controversy, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, announced that the Men's Central Jail could be closed. Construction of a new jail has been proposed to replace the Men's Central Jail.[13]

Another challenge that the Los Angeles County Jail faces is violence within the jail community.

Related to this issue is Los Angeles County Jail's K6G unit, which is intended to be a separate unit for gay-identified men and transgender women. Although it has been shown that this unit is successful through its lower rates of sexual violence, the creation and systematics of this unit have sparked controversy. In order to be admitted into the K6G unit, inmates must prove that they are gay.[14] However, those who identify inmates as homosexual individuals eligible for the K6G unit rely on stereotypes constructed by society about gay men. This procedure prevents homosexual men who are not open about their sexuality, particularly those of color, from coming out as gay for fear of abuse if they do so.

Finally, serious health concerns have begun to arise with the issue of mass incarceration in the Los Angeles County Jails. Several organizations and scholars have analyzed random samples of prisoners with illnesses and the healthcare that they receive while incarcerated. The American Public Health Association claims that some of these prisoners suffer from a variety of other disorders. They also state that more than 30% of their sample have a severe mental disorder or a substance use disorder. The detainees that were diagnosed with severe mental disorders or substance use were often in jail because they had committed nonviolent crimes.[15] An issue that arises with the incarceration of individuals with mental disorders is that they must be tested for competency before they can be put on trial, which can leave inmates in jail for longer than necessary.[16]

Richard Lamb and Robert W. Grant conducted a similar study of 101 women that are imprisoned in the Los Angeles County Jail system. In this study, they concluded that 70% of them had traumatizing experiences of physical violence, 40% of these women were involved in prostitution, and 84% of the women with children were incapable of taking care of them. In addition, there were more mentally ill men in jail than there were women. In a study of male inmates, there appeared to have been issues of the "criminalization" of those whom were mentally ill.[17]

An issue that resides in these studies is that there is uncertainty when trying to determine if these prisoners receive any beneficial treatment. In response to this issue, Dr. Terry Kupers mentions that when considering the large proportion of prisoners with significant mental illness, few of these Los Angeles County Jail inmates receive adequate mental health treatment.[18] However, mental illnesses have been and are currently being studied in the Los Angeles County Jail. For instance, several researchers studied Bipolar I disorder, and found that a way to decrease the number of inmates with Bipolar 1 disorder is by having them participate in longer psychiatric hospital stays.[19]

One solution to this issue could be opt-out screening and vaccinations for STIs and other infectious diseases, which has the potential to improve health conditions in jail and in surrounding communities. This can be accomplished by providing health care that many inmates, especially impoverished blacks and Latinos, would not receive otherwise. In addition, the implementation of this action would decrease the spreading of diseases from the jail to home communities. Using opt-out screenings and vaccinations can be used as a mechanism to reach out to inner city community health issues as well as provide a new area for research in the effectiveness in vaccinations and screenings.[10]

While health has been one of the primary concerns within the Los Angeles County Jail, the Los Angeles County Jail system also has a bad reputation of targeting minorities for its prisons. Victor Rios argues that a new era of mass incarceration has resulted in the development of a youth control complex. This complex resulted from a network of racialized criminalization, and the punishment arrived from institutions of authority that patrolled and incapacitated Black and Latino youth.[20] Rios concludes that it's not policing but the harsh policing of inner cities that marks young people from their early years, effectively stigmatizing them through negative credentials before they have an opportunity to acquire the more positive forms demanded for participation in mainstream society.


LASD motorcycle detail patrolling the perimeter of the Staples Center during the Michael Jackson memorial service.

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 enforcement when fully mature. In the late 1990s, the LASD successfully implemented a county-wide sound recorder/meter system, ShotStopper, to detect loud noises.[21]

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 (9.1 m) 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.

Starting in 2009, LASD began leasing electric-powered Mini Cooper cars for $10 a month each. In exchange, Mini Cooper's parent company, BMW, requested feedback about the cars. One of the cars is currently being used at the Sheriff Substation at Universal City.[22]

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 Courthouse for 35 years, until her retirement in 1947.

Special weapons teams

The Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) is the LASD's equivalent of a SWAT team, which was originally a creation of the nearby Los Angeles Police Department during the 1960s. Law enforcement agencies from across the nation and around the world often look to the LASD SEB and LAPD SWAT teams for training and advice, often sending experienced officers to train under both departments.[23]

In 1992, after the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, both the LAPD SWAT and LASD SEB 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

Air Rescue program

The AS332 Super Puma flying a SAR mission

The LASD Air Rescue program is used for many emergencies in L.A. County, most notably the wildfire-prone Angeles National Forest. Persons trapped in inaccessible areas are usually found and rescued by LASD Air Rescue. The LASD has multiple Sea King helicopters for this program.

Towards the middle of 2012, LASD's Air Rescue 5 began replacing Sikorsky H-3 Sea Kings with 3 Eurocopter AS332 Super Pumas as primary rescue helicopters.

In addition to having a fleet of three Sikorsky Sea Kings, the LASD also utilizes 14 Eurocopter AS-350 AStar helicopters and 3 Hughes/Schweizer 300 series S-300C helicopters.

The Sky Knight Helicopter Program is an airborne law enforcement program in Lakewood, California which began 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.

Contract law enforcement


The LASD has entered into contracts with the numerous cities to serve as their police department/law enforcement agency. Forty-two (42) of the eighty-eight (88) cities in Los Angeles County contract with the Sheriff's Department for their complete municipal law enforcement services.[24]

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, and then contracted their police responsibilities to the county sheriff. Since the department had substations in those areas, the result was to maintain the status quo.[citation needed]

In contrast, Compton, California, once had a police department. In 2000, the city council voted to dismantle the troubled police department and contract for police services. Compton has been at times notorious for gang violence, especially during its recent history.[25]

Other agencies

LASD provides dispatch services by contract to California Department of Corrections for state parole agents. The services are provided by LASD County Services Bureau dispatchers.

Sheriff's dispatchers at the Avalon Sheriff's Station on Catalina Island also provide dispatch services for the city of Avalon Fire Department.

By liaison via the Sheriff's Scientific Services Bureau, cybercrime detection and investigation often operates in conjunction with other agencies.

Transit Contracts
Community Colleges Services Bureau (#87)
Court Services Division
  • Prisoner Transport Services with 31 of the 58 counties in California
  • Los Angeles County Marshal/Municipal Courts (Merged into LASD Court Services January 1. 1994)
Contract Custody Services

Reserve program

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department supplements its full-time ranks with over 800 reserve deputies. Reserve deputies are often civic minded people that have other full-time jobs outside of law enforcement. However some reserves may be retired peace officers, or former full-time officers that wish to keep their California Peace Officer Standards and Training certification active.

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 Smith & Wesson M&P[26] duty weapon, handcuffs, baton, and other 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. Level I Non Designated and Level II reserve deputies have full peace officer powers when on duty, and 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, as well as overtime for Level I deputies. 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 deputies 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.


9,973 sworn officers, as of 2015[27]

By sex:

  • Male: 86%
  • Female: 14%

By race:

  • Hispanic: 45%
  • White: 39%
  • African American/Black: 9%
  • Asian: 5%

As of the 2nd quarter of 2018, the Los Angeles County Human Resources Department reported a total of 15,521 employees: 4,586 White, 1,921 Black, 7,130 Hispanic, 45 American Indian/Alaska Native, 1,320 Asian, 537 Filipino, 5 Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander, and 40 are two or more races.[28]

Service weapons

Prior to 1991, the standard sidearm of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was the Smith & Wesson Model 15 Combat Masterpiece revolver in caliber .38 Special, with blue steel finish, four inch barrel, and adjustable sights. Deputies were permitted to purchase at their own expense, a stainless steel version of the same weapon, the Smith & Wesson Model 67 .38 Caliber revolver. Ammunition evolved during the tenure of the .38 Caliber revolver. For most of the time period 1939–1976, the standard ammunition was a 158 grain lead round nose bullet propelled at 750 feet per second. In 1978, Remington High Velocity +P 125 grain ammunition was used. In 1985, Federal Law Enforcement Only +P+ ultra high velocity 110 grain ammunition was issued.

From 1947 on, patrol cars were issued with the Ithaca Pump Action "Deerslayer" shotgun with 20 inch barrel, loaded with four rounds of "00" (double ought) buckshot. By 1973, the Department had switched to a custom ordered short barreled shotgun with a 15-inch barrel, recoil pad, and glow in the dark sights. This custom shotgun was also used by certain police agencies that trained their deputies at the Sheriff's Academy, particularly Palos Verdes Police, Torrance Police and West Covina Police. In 1981, the Department switched to a smaller buckshot size, #4 buckshot, to decrease the danger to bystanders.

Until the Department switched to semi automatic sidearms, Sheriff's Deputies were permitted to purchase any Colt or Smith & Wesson revolver with a four, five, or six inch barrel, provided only department issued ammunition was used in the weapon. Officers were permitted to carry off duty any Colt or Smith and Wesson revolver chambered for .38 Special, typically with a 2" barrel. For a short period of time, the Smith & Wesson Model 59 9mm pistol was permitted to be carried off duty, or on duty as a backup weapon. Approved ammunition was Remington 115 grain jacketed hollow point.

Before 2013, the standard issue sidearm of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was the Beretta 92FS in 9mm.[29] In 2013, the department transitioned to the Smith & Wesson M&P in 9mm.[30] Shortly after the M&P's adoption, LASD deputies experienced a rash of accidental discharges in the field, later attributed by the Inspector General's office to insufficient weapon transition training for sworn personnel.[31]


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which was founded in 1850, was the first professional police force in the Los Angeles area. The all-volunteer, Los Angeles-specific Los Angeles Rangers were formed in 1853 to assist the LASD. They were soon succeeded by the Los Angeles City Guards, another volunteer group. Neither force was particularly efficient and Los Angeles became known for its violence, gambling and "vice".

On December 15, 2009, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4–1 to merge the Los Angeles County Office of Public Safety into the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The merger took place on June 30, 2010.

List of sheriffs

Rank structure

Title Insignia
Assistant Sheriff
Chief (Division Chief)
Commander (Area Chief)
Deputy Sheriff (BONUS II)

(Master Field Training Officer / Detective / Custody Senior Deputy)

Master FTO Rank LASD
Deputy Sheriff (BONUS I)

(Field Training Officer + various other assignments in Bureaus & Details)[32]

Deputy Sheriff

(Patrol Deputy, Line Deputy + other assignments)

Deputy Sheriff Trainee


Members killed on duty

Memorial to deputies killed on duty. Located outside the LASD Lakewood Station.

As of 2016, 129 sheriff's deputies have been killed in the line of duty since the department's founding in 1850.[34]

Awards, commendations, citations and medals

The department presents a number of medals to its members for meritorious service.[35] The medals that the LASD awards to its officers are as follows:

  • Medal of Valor: The Medal of Valor is the highest honor a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department can receive. It is awarded to persons who distinguish themselves by displaying great courage, above and beyond the call of duty, in the face of an immediate life-threatening peril, and with full knowledge of the risk involved.[35]
  • Meritorious Conduct Gold Medal: This medal is the second highest award a department member can receive. It is awarded to persons who place themselves in immediate peril and perform an act of heroism and/or save the life of another person.[35]
  • Meritorious Conduct Silver Medal: This medal is awarded to persons who, when confronted by circumstances beyond the normal course of their duties, place themselves in potential peril while performing an act of heroism or while saving or attempting to save the life of another.[35]
  • Lifesaving Award
  • Purple Heart Award
  • Meritorious Service Award
  • Exemplary Service Award
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • Humanitarian Award
  • Unit Commander Award

Deputy gangs

There are at least 18 active deputy gangs within the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.[36] The 1992 Kolts Commission report said they were found “particularly at stations in areas heavily populated by minorities--the so-called ‘ghetto stations'--and deputies at those stations recruit persons similar in attitude to themselves.”[37]

Sitting Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who was according to Los Angeles County court documents a member of the "Banditos" deputy gang himself, has announced a "zero tolerance" policy to curb what he refers to as "deputy cliques." Villanueva has never acknowledged membership in the Banditos deputy gang, but has admitted to being a member of the "Cavemen" while stationed in East Los Angeles.[38][39]

The first deputy gang acknowledged by the LASD was the "Little Devils" in an internal memo in 1973, although they are believed to have been involved in the death of Los Angeles Times reporter and law enforcement critic Ruben Salazar during the National Chicano Moratorium March against the Vietnam War on August 29, 1970.[38] They operated out of the East Los Angeles station and sported tattooed caricatures of a small, red devil on their left calves. They were known at the time to have at least 47 members.[40]

The "Wayside Whities" operated out of the Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center throughout the 1980s, their alleged mission being to "bring to heel" any incarcerated Black men, especially those who fought with white prisoners.[41]

Following years of police violence in the city of Lynwood, over two dozen civil rights attorneys compiled claims and filed a class action lawsuit in 1990, in which they asked the federal court to take over the Lynwood Station, home of the Lynwood Vikings deputy gang.[37]

Los Angeles local news outlet Knock LA has published a database of hundreds of LASD employees found in court documents to be associated with deputy gang activity, including names of officers, gang affiliation, case number, deputy/badge/serial number, and department title. The database includes sitting Sheriff Alex Villanueva as a member of the "Banditos" (although he has also publicly admitted to once being a member of the "Cavemen"), as well as his current Undersheriff Timothy Murakami, also identified in court documents as a member of the Cavemen.[42] Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, who also served as the mayor of Gardena, California, is identified as a member of the white supremacist deputy gang the Lynwood Vikings, and was convicted of federal obstruction charges in 2014.[43]


In October 1969, LASD deputies bungled a drug raid in Whittier along with officers from the California State Bureau of Narcotics and one officer from nearby Vernon. The team went to the wrong address. In the confusion, the Vernon officer, Detective Sergeant Frank Sweeny, fired his rifle. The bullet went through the floor of the apartment and killed Heyden Dyer who lived downstairs.[44]

On February 11, 1989, sheriffs in riot gear invaded the family home of GLOW professional wrestler Mt. Fiji in Cerritos, California during a bridal shower for Dole's sister, Melinda. Much like the Rodney King incident two years later, the event was videotaped by a neighbor, Doug Botts, showing the sheriffs beating the family. After being a celebrity for three years on national television, the massive Mt. Fiji smartly took a passive stance, arms folded in the middle of the street, where the video showed her being beaten to the ground with police batons and flashlights. All 34 members of the party, all Samoan, were beaten and arrested. The Samoan-American community was angered, contending the incident was racist in nature.[45] The family sued the Sheriff's Department and won a $23 million settlement.[46]

In 2006, an investigation into corruption at the department collapsed due to "the intimidation tactics of the LASD". A summary of the allegations claimed that captains in the department were ordered to collect $10,000 from each towing contractor doing business with the department. The payments were used as contributions to political causes favored by the sheriff.[47]

In December 2009, the L.A. Times reported that L.A. County Auditor-Controller Wendy L. Watanabe's office found 348 deputies worked more than 900 hours of overtime between March 2007 and February 2008. This would equal an extra six months of full-time work. The audit found that over the last five years, the department had exceeded its overtime budget by an average of 104 percent for each year.[48]

In September 2009, Mitrice Richardson was observed in a Malibu, California restaurant seemingly experiencing a mental health crisis. She made statements regarding being from Mars and avenging the death of Michael Jackson. Unable to pay her restaurant bill and out of concern for her mental health, restaurant staff called the sheriffs who arrested her and subsequently released her without her car, phone, money or any means of caring for herself at 12:38am. Her naked skeletal remains were discovered approximately eleven months after her disappearance. The county settled with the family for $900,000.00.[49]

According to the Los Angeles Times, in 2010, the department hired almost 300 new officers. The department later discovered about 100 of the new hires had lied on their applications. Fifteen of the new officers cheated on the department's polygraph test. About 200 of the new deputies and guards had been disqualified by other law enforcement agencies for misconduct or having failed qualification tests. The department launched an investigation of how the media found out about the flawed hiring process.[50]

In September 2010, three deputies (Humberto Magallanes, Kenny Ramirez and Lee Simoes) pleaded no contest to charges related to their beating of a prisoner in 2006. The three men were sentenced to various periods of parole and resigned from the department.[51]

In December 2010, members of a widely known gang-like group of L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies known as 'The 3,000 Boys' were involved in a violent fight in the parking lot of the Quiet Cannon Restaurant in Montebello. An anonymous call made to the Montebello police department reported three Sheriff's Deputies were holding down a fourth, beating him severely. Montebello Police arrived on the scene and broke up the fight; however, no arrests were made. The '3,000 Boys' is a name referring to a gang of L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies and Jailers who have been involved in the beatings and organized fights of inmates in the 3,000 block of the Men's Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles. In May 2011, six deputies were suspended without pay (pending termination and criminal prosecution) for the beating of Evans Tutt, an inmate who had been filing complaints about living conditions within the jail.[52]

In January 2011, Deputy Patricia Margaret Bojorquez was sentenced to a year in custody for making a false police report against her husband and recklessly firing a gun in her home.[53]

In April 2011, Deputy Sean Paul Delacerda was convicted of breaking into a woman's home kidnapping, assaulting her with a handgun and falsely imprisoning her.[54]

In July 2011, the department agreed to pay a half million dollars to the family of 16-year-old Avery Cody Jr. Cody was shot by Deputy Sergio Reyes in 2009. Reyes made several statements under oath that were disproven by video of the incident. The department then agreed to settle, but admitted no guilt.[55]

In October 2011, Deputy Mark Fitzpatrick was convicted of an on-duty sexual assault and false imprisonment during a May 2008 traffic stop. Fitzpatrick has a long history of similar complaints against him during his career with the LACSD. The department agreed to pay the woman $245,000.[56]

In January, 2012 Jazmyne Ha Eng was shot and killed by Deputy Brian Vance outside a mental-health center in Rosemead, where she was a patient. Vance said Eng charged him and the other three deputies on the scene, making them fear for their lives. Eng was 40 years old, weighed 93 pounds and stood five feet one inches tall. An internal investigation ruled the killing justifiable, but in February 2014, the county agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle the matter.[57]

In May 2012, part of the Gang Enforcement Team was accused of being a clique called "Jump Out Boys" after a pamphlet was discovered indicating that members would receive a tattoo after being involved in a shooting, glorifying the incident. It drew comparisons to the problematic Rampart Division of the LAPD in the 1990s, who had the same tattoo.[58][59][60][61][62]

In June 2012, Deputy Rafael Zelaya was sentenced to six months in jail for stealing drugs from someone while on duty.[63]

In July 2013 Eugene Mallory was fatally shot in his house while the police alleged that he ran a meth lab, no such drugs were found in his house.[64]

In July 2013, a federal jury awarded $200,000 to a 69-year-old man who had his rib broken by two sheriff's deputies attempting to arrest him in 2009. The jury also ordered Deputy Mark Collins to pay punitive damages of $1,000.[65]

In October 2013, Deputy Mark Eric Hibner, was convicted by a jury of two counts of domestic violence and three counts of making threats.[66]

In December 2013, Deputy Michael Anthony Grundynt was sentenced to three years probation for a fleeing the scene of an accident in 2011. He had been driving while drunk.[67]

In March 2014, Deputy Jose Rigoberto Sanchez pleaded no contest to one count each of rape under color of authority and soliciting a bribe. He was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison. His rapes happened in 2010 while he was on duty.[68]

In July 2014, six correctional officers (two deputies, two sergeants and two lieutenants) were convicted by a federal court of interfering with a federal grand jury investigation of the county jail.[69] In 2011, the officers obstructed an FBI undercover operation that was using an inmate informant to report on brutality and misconduct by jail deputies.[69]

See also


  1. "The Los Angeles Police Department: Then and Now". Los Angeles Police Museum. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  2. "Los Angeles County Annual Report". Archived from the original on September 18, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
  3. "Recommended Budget Los Angeles County 2020-2021" (PDF). Los Angeles County Chief Executive Office. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  4. "About Us". Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 5, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. "LASD.org - Information Detail". Shq.lasdnews.net. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  7. "Must Reads: Sheriff McDonnell inherited a department rotted by corruption. His reform effort is a work in progress". Los Angeles Times. May 24, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  8. "California opens civil rights inquiry into LA county sheriff's department". the Guardian. January 22, 2021. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  9. "Los Angeles sheriff's department faces a reckoning after another police shooting". the Guardian. July 1, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  10. Maleck, Mark; Alexander R. Bazazi; Garret Cox; Germaine Rival; Jaques Baillargeon; Armidia Miranda; Josiah D. Rich (2011). "Implementing Opt-Out Programs at Los Angeles County Jail: A Gateway to Novel Research and Interventions". Journal of Correctional Health Care. 17 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1177/1078345810385916. PMC 3154702. PMID 21278322.
  11. "America's 10 Worst Prisons: LA County". Mother Jones.
  12. Vogel, Chris. "Men's County Jail Visitor Viciously Beaten by Guards". Los Angeles Times.
  13. Faturechi, Robert. "L.A. County sheriff says that much of troubled jail should be closed". Los Angeles Times.
  14. Robinson, Russel K. (2011). "Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race and Incarceration". California Law Review. 99 (5): 1309–1408.
  15. L A Teplin (February 1994). "Psychiatric and substance abuse disorders among male urban jail detainees." American Journal of Public Health. 84 (2): 290–293. doi:10.2105/ajph.84.2.290. PMC 1614991. PMID 8296957.
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