Los Angelenos seek a reformer to lead vital, but embattled, County Sheriff Department

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department provides law enforcement services in unincorporated areas and 40 cities, operates jails, directs and coordinates emergency services and maintains security in superior courts.  On June 3rd, Southern Californians will vote to replace the office of L.A. County Sheriff vacated by the resignation of Lee Baca in January.  

Sheriff Baca spoke with DemoCast about his affinity for fellow military veterans at a ceremony at Forest Lawn 3-years ago.

The field of candidates Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold; Long Beach Chief Jim McDonnell; Retired Sheriff's Dept Cmdr. Bob Olmstead; Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers; former Under-Sheriff Paul Tanaka; LAPD Detective Lou Vince; Former Sheriff's Lt. Patrick Gomez.

"Los Angeles County voters are soon to pick a new sheriff from a field of seven candidates, each with a reasonably decent chance of making it to a runoff, and it's hard to overstate both how unusual and how momentous that is," 
L.A. Times published in its Opinion/Endorsements section on April 30th.

KCAL9's Dave Bryan reports on the first public debate of the campaign between six of the seven candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff sparred on March 19th.

The Times continued: "What is needed is a candidate with the law enforcement credentials, the integrity, the backbone and the skills to march the deputies, their leaders and their culture through a rigorous and soul-searching reinvention, all while raising performance standards and recommitting the department to transparency and humane and constitutional treatment of suspects, inmates and the public at large.

Janice and Stanley Black, Jim McDonnell, Jill Black Zalben, Jack Black
L.A. Sheriff candidate Long Beach P.D. Chief Jim McDonnell came to explain his positions to prospective voters and backers at a brunch organized by the family and friends of businessman and philanthropist, Stanley Black, in Beverly Hills on May 17th.

Among those attending were actor James Darren (seen listening with interest) and and City Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who spoke on McDonnell's behalf.

Jim McDonnell fields questions about the duties of the LA County Sheriff Office. He patiently responded to voters' concerns about the duties of the County Sheriff's Office, for instance, policing the L.A. County Prison System, street and highway patrolling, guarding the courts, parks, bomb-squad, homicide investigation, and distribution of FEMA resources and aid.

Southern California Public Radio KPCC newsman Frank Stoltze reported that Chief McDonnell:

Has also come under fire in Long Beach for an increase in police shootings. Yvette Mullens’ 19-year-old stepson fled officers after a car stop and was shot after a long foot chase. He was unarmed. She’s angry McDonnell defended the officers who fatally shot him.
“He’s helping cover up the situation,” says Mullens. “He’s helping justify his officers' behavior." McDonnell says the teen was reaching for his waistband when officers fired. He notes crime is down dramatically in Long Beach — even amid budget cuts.
Here, Chief McDonnell reponds to a question about reports of increased gun firings recently.

The Los Angeles Times characterized the challenge of the Sheriff's task in its endorsements this spring:

That latter standard is the bar a candidate should meet. The one who comes closest is Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. The Times strongly recommends a vote for McDonnell for sheriff.

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