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Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Common name L.A. Sheriff's Department
Abbreviation LASD
LASO (archaic)
Patch of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Badge of the Sheriff of Los Angeles County
Flag of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
"A Tradition of Service
Since 1850"
Agency overview
Formed 1850
Employees 18,347 (2010)[1]
Annual budget US$2,555,453,000 (2010)[1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County of Los Angeles County in the state of California, United States of America
Size 12,308 square kilometres (4,752 sq mi)
Population 9,000,000+
Legal jurisdiction Los Angeles County, California
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Monterey Park, California, U.S.
Sworn members 9,935+(819 Reserves)= 10,754
Sheriff's Deputies (2011)
Civilians 8,811 (2011)
Agency executive Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), sometimes referred to as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office (LASO), is an American law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California. It is the fourth largest local policing agency in the United States, with the New York City Police Department being the first, followed by Chicago Police Department and then the Los Angeles Police Department.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department in the United States,[2] 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"). Forty-two of the county's 88 municipalities contract with the Sheriff’s Department to provide local police protection. These cities range in population from 800 to 177,000, and in size from 1 to 100 square miles.[3]

The Sheriff's Department also holds primary jurisdiction over facilities operated by Los Angeles County, such as local parks, marinas and government buildings; provides bailiff service for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County; operates the county jail system; and provides services, such as crime laboratories, homicide investigations, and academy training, to smaller law enforcement agencies within the county.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is also the second largest transit police force in the nation, aside from the NYPD, through policing contracts of the Metro trains and buses of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metrolink. Furthermore, with policing contracts with nine campuses of the Los Angeles Community College and Lancaster Community College District, the LASD is the largest community policing agency in the United States. The department's headquarters are in Monterey Park.[4]


  • Personnel 1
  • Organization 2
  • Academy 3
  • County jail system 4
    • Controversy 4.1
  • Achievements 5
    • Special Weapons Teams 5.1
    • Air Rescue Program 5.2
  • Contract law enforcement 6
    • Cities 6.1
    • Other agencies 6.2
      • Transit Services Bureau (#60) 6.2.1
      • Community Colleges Services Bureau (#87) 6.2.2
      • Court Services Division 6.2.3
      • Contract Custody Services 6.2.4
  • Reserve program 7
  • Demographics 8
  • Rank and insignia 9
  • History 10
    • List of Sheriffs 10.1
  • Members killed on duty 11
  • Awards, commendations, citations and medals 12
  • Misconduct 13
  • In popular culture 14
  • See also 15
  • References 16
  • External links 17


The LASD is the largest sheriff's department, and the fourth largest local policing agency in the United States. There are more than 18,000 employees; over 9,100 (according to California Post ) of whom are sworn deputies and over 8,000 civilians (professional staff). There are an additional 4,200 civilian volunteers, 900 reserve deputies and 400 explorers. John L. Scott was sworn in as the Interim Sheriff replacing Leroy D. Baca on January 30, 2014.

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.


The following are the LASD Divisions:

  • Sheriff's Headquarters
  • Administrative & Professional Standards - includes:
    • Administrative & Training Division - includes:
      • Contract Law Enforcement Bureau
      • BOLRAC
      • Employee Support Services
      • Facilities Planning Bureau
      • Facilities Services Bureau
      • Financial Programs
      • Fiscal Administration
      • Personnel Administration
      • Risk Management
      • Star Unit
      • Training Bureau
    • Technical Services Division
      • Communications & Fleet Management
      • Crime Analysis Program
      • Data Systems Bureau
      • Records & Identification Bureau
      • Scientific Services Bureau
  • Custody Operations - Contains the Custody Division and the following;
    • Century Regional Detention Center
    • Education Based Incarceration
    • Food Services Unit
    • Inmate Services Bureau
    • Inmate Reception Center
    • Medical Services Bureau
    • Men's Central Jail
    • North County Correctional Facility
    • Pitchess Detention Center East Facility
    • Pitchess Detention Center North Facility
    • Pitchess Detention Center South Facility
    • Twin Towers Correctional Facility
      • LCMC
  • Countywide Services - Contains the following:
    • County Services Division including:
      • Community Colleges Bureau
      • Community Law Enforcement Partnership Program
      • COPS Bureau
      • County Services Bureau
      • Parks Bureau
      • Parking Enforcement Detail
      • Reserve Forces Detail - administrative headquarters for the Reserve and Explorer Programs with over 700 Reserves and 1000 Explorers.
    • Court Services Division - Provides security and support services to the Superior Court in the County of Los Angeles. This includes staffing bailiffs, operating courthouse lock-ups, and serving and enforcing civil and criminal process. Court Services provides these services for 48 courthouse locations throughout Los Angeles County, which include the following:
      • Civil Management Bureau
      • Court Services Central
      • Court Services East
      • Court Services West
      • Transportation Bureau
    • Homeland Security Division which includes:
      • Aero Bureau
      • Special Enforcement Bureau - Special Enforcement Detail (SWAT), Canine Services Detail, and Emergency Services Detail (coordinates and participates in mountain search and rescue, underwater search and rescue, and swift water and flood rescue operations)
      • Emergency Operations Bureau which includes:
        • Industrial Relations Detail - maintains liaison between the business and labor communities. The Detail also trains patrol personnel in the handling of labor disputes and picket lines.
        • Arson Explosives Detail
        • Hazardous Material Detail
      • Transit Services Bureau
        • Transit Services Bureau North
        • Transit Services Bureau South
        • MetroLink
  • Patrol Operations are divided amongst as follows:
    • North Patrol Division - Lancaster, Malibu/Lost Hills, Palmdale, Santa Clarita Valley, and West Hollywood.
    • South Patrol Division - Carson, Cerritos, Lakewood, Norwalk, and Pico Rivera.
    • East Patrol Division - Altadena, Crescenta Valley, Industry, San Dimas, Temple, and Walnut/Diamond Bar.
    • Central Patrol Division - Avalon, Century, Compton, Marina Del Rey, and South Los Angeles.
    • Detective Division - Contains the following; Homicide Bureau, Commercial Crimes Bureau, Major Crimes Bureau, Narcotics Bureau, Special Victims Bureau, and the Taskforce For Regional Autotheft Prevention (T.R.A.P.)


The Biscaluz Center in Monterey Park, which included the Sheriff's Academy -- closed for 30 years -- was recently renovated, expanded, and Sheriff's Academy activities moved back there in 2014. The following information is now becoming obsolete and needs to be updated: 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. There are separate academy curricula for Deputy Sheriffs, Custody Assistants, Security Officers, and Security Assistants.

County jail system

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department operates the largest jail system in the United States. 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 other facilities are East Facility, North Facility, and South Facility.


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.[5] In May 2013, the Men's Central Jail and the Twin Towers Correctional Facility (taken together) ranked as one of the ten worst prisons in the United States, based on reporting in Mother Jones magazine.[6]

One of such issues is visitation controversy, exemplified by a recent event in the Men’s Central Jail. 23-year-old male Gabriel Carillo was severely beaten up and

  • Official Web Site of the LASD

External links

  1. ^ a b "Sheriff". County of Los Angeles Annual Report 2009-2010. Public Affairs, Chief Executive Office. p. 23. Retrieved 17 October 2012. 
  2. ^ LASD Website
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Education-Based Discipline." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. April 29, 2009. Retrieved on March 12, 2010.
  5. ^ a b 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.  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Vogel, Chris. "Men's County Jail Visitor Viciously Beaten by Guards". Los Angeles Times. 
  8. ^ Faturechi, Robert. "L.A. County sheriff says that much of troubled jail should be closed". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ Haney, Craig (2011). "The Perversions of Prison: On the Origins of Hypermasculinity and Sexual Violence in Confinement". American Criminal Law Review 48 (1): 121–141. 
  10. ^ Robinson, Russel K. (2011). "Masculinity as Prison: Sexual Identity, Race and Incarceration". California Law Review 99 (5): 1309–1408. 
  11. ^ L A Teplin (February 1994). "Psychiatric and substance abuse disorders among male urban jail detainees..". American Journal of Public Health: 290–293. 
  12. ^ Finkle, Michael J.; Russel Kirth; Christopher Cadle; Jessica Mullan (2009). "Competency Courts: A Creative Solution for Restoring Competency to the Competency Process". Behavioral Sciences and the Law 27 (5): 767–786.  
  13. ^ Lamb, MD, H. Richard (1983). Arch Gen Psychiatry. pp. 363–368. 
  14. ^ Kupers, Terry. (2009). Report on Mental Health Issues at Los Angeles County Jail. American Civil Liberties Union. pp. 1–79. 
  15. ^ Quanbeck, Cameron D.; David C. Stone; Barbara E. McDermmot; Kyle Boone; Charles L. Scott; Mark A. Frye (2005). "Relationship Between Criminal Arrest and Community Treatment History Among Patients With Bipolar Disorder". Psychiatric Services 56. 
  16. ^ Rios, Victor (2006). "The Hyper-Criminalization of Black and Latino Male Youth in the Era of Mass Incarceration". Souls 8 (2): 40–54.  
  17. ^ Cuza, Bobby. "Gadgets on Patrol Against Crime." Los Angeles Times 9 June 2000: B2.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ LASD Website
  21. ^
  22. ^ LASD Website
  23. ^
  24. ^ KNX1070
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ a b c d LASD Official site
  27. ^ Rise of the Warrior Cop; The Militarization of America's Police Forces, by Radley Balko, Public Affairs, 2013
  28. ^ FBI kept L.A. County jail probe secret from Baca and aides, files show, by Cindy Chang and Jack Leonard, 23 July 2014, LA Times
  29. ^ "L.A. Now". The Los Angeles Times. December 22, 2009. 
  30. ^ Sheriff's Department hired officers with histories of misconduct; Despite background investigations that revealed wrongdoing, incompetence, or poor performance, the department still hired dozens of problem applicants in 2010, internal records show. By Robert Faturechi and Ben Poston, 1 December 2013, LA Times
  31. ^ Three ex-L.A. County deputies convicted of inmate assault: They plead no contest to charges in the 2006 beating and resign from the Sheriff's Department, by Robert Faturechi, 30 September 2010, Los Angeles Times
  32. ^ "KTLA Investigation Reveals Details of Gang-Like Clique Within Men's Central Jail". KTLA News. May 4, 2011. 
  33. ^ Former L.A. County sheriff's deputy convicted of shooting gun, endangering children, 6 January, 2011, LA Times Blog
  34. ^ LA County to pay $900,000 to settle deputy's harassment suit; Deputy Robert Lyznick had alleged that his supervisor sexually harassed him and threatened him with violence. Sheriff's officials say they launched an investigation and took appropriate action. The supervisor, Sgt. Charles Dery, says the allegations were fabricated, by Robert Faturechi, 20 April 2011 Los Angeles Times
  35. ^ L.A. County sheriff's deputy convicted of assaulting ex-girlfriend, 15 April 2011, LA Times Blog
  36. ^ Parents of Avery Cody expected to get $500,000 in shooting by sheriff's deputy; Los Angeles County supervisors still must approve the amount. A wrongful death case was halted last spring when video evidence in the shooting was found, by Robert Faturechi, 4 July 2011, Los Angeles Times
  37. ^ Former sheriff's deputy convicted of sexual assault October 7, 2011, LA Times Blog
  38. ^ County approves $1.8 million settlement in shooting of mentally ill Rosemead woman, by Lauren Gold, 18 February 2014, Pasadena Star-News
  39. ^ Faturechi, Robert (10 May 2012). "Sheriff's clique may have celebrated shootings with tattoo, sources say -".  
  40. ^ Brenner, Lisa;  
  41. ^ Faturechi, Robert (20 April 2012). "L.A. County sheriff's detectives probe secret clique in gang unit -".  
  42. ^ Faturechi, Robert (20 April 2012). "Officials probe secret clique in L.A. County sheriff's gang unit -".  
  43. ^ Sheriff's deputy gets jail time for stealing drugs from suspect, 25 June 2012, LA Times Blog
  44. ^ Man awarded more than $200,000 over 2009 encounter with deputies; James Spinks accused L.A. County sheriff's deputies of illegally detaining him and using excessive force at a train station, by Jack Leonard, 19 July 2013, Los Angeles Times
  45. ^ LA County sheriff’s deputy guilty of domestic violence, threats in Orange County, by Brian Day, 23 October 2013, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
  46. ^ Ex-sheriff's deputy gets probation for hit-and-run drunk driving, by James Barragan, 4 December 2013, Los Angeles Times
  47. ^ Sheriff’s deputy pleads no contest to rape, bribery, by Adam Poulisse, 13 March 2014, Pasadena Star-News
  48. ^ Six Los Angeles sheriff's officials convicted in federal jail probe: reports, Reuters, 2 July 2014
  49. ^ List of 10-8's Cast
  50. ^ LASD Website
  51. ^
  52. ^ Fox Reality - The Academy


See also

  • In Grand Theft Auto V, a parody of the LASD known as the Los Santos County Sheriff's Department patrols Los Santos County, which is based on Los Angeles County.
  • 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. The show aired from May 2007 to July 2008.[50][51][52]
  • In September 2003, ABC premiered 10-8: Officers on Duty, a comedy/drama based on a rookie with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.[49] The show lasted one season. The show's name was based on the police radio code for "in service".
  • The department's gang unit was the subject of a 1988 Academy Award-nominated short documentary film, Gang Cops.
  • 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 popular culture

In early 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. [48]

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.[47]

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.[46]

In October 2013, Deputy Mark Eric Hibner, was convicted by a jury of two counts of domestic violence and three counts of making threats.[45]

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.[44]

In June 2012, Deputy Rafael Zelaya was sentenced to six months in jail for stealing drugs from someone while on duty.[43]

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.[39][40][41][42]

In January, 2012 Jazmyne Ha Eng was shot and killed by Deputy Brian Vance outside a mental-health center in Pasadena, 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 country agreed to pay $1.8 million to settle the matter.[38]

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.[37]

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.[36]

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.[35]

In April 2011, the department agreed to pay $900,000 to Deputy Robert Lyznick. Lyznick claimed he had been sexually harassed by his supervisor Sergeant Charles Dery.[34]

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.[33]

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.[32]

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. [31]

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.[30]

In December 2009, the LA 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.[29]

In 2006, an investigation into corruption at the department collapsed due to "the intimidation tactics of the LASD." A summary of the alligations 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 contibutions to politial causes faovred by the sheriff.[28]

In October 1969, LACS 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.[27]


  • Unit Commander Award:upperright
  • Humanitarian Award:upperright
  • Distinguished Service Award:upperright
  • Exemplary Service Award:upperright
  • Meritorious Service Award:upperright
  • Purple Heart Award:upperright
  • Lifesaving Award:upperright

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.[26]

  • Meritorious Conduct Silver Medal:upperright

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.[26]

  • Meritorious Conduct Gold Medal:upperright

The Medal of Valor award 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.[26]

The department presents a number of medals to its members for meritorious service.[26] The medals that the LASD awards to its officers are as follows:

Awards, commendations, citations and medals

As of 2010, 90 sheriff's deputies have been killed in the line of duty since the department's founding in 1850.[25]

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

Members killed on duty

List of Sheriffs

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

On March 10, 2007, actor Jackie Chan joined forces with the Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy uniform.[22][23][24] One LASD public service announcement has already featured Chan.

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."


Title Insignia State's Regional Insignia

(Conforming Rank)

Leroy Baca's Preference
Assistant Sheriff
Division Chief
Area Commander
Deputy Sheriff (Bonus II) (Master Field Training Officer)
Master FTO Rank LASD
Deputy Sheriff (Bonus I) (Field Training Officer / Detective / Custody Senior Deputy)
Deputy Sheriff

Badges for Sheriff's Security Officers and other civilian uniformed personnel are gold colored shields with a likeness of the California State Bear at the top, and an enameled county seal in the middle. The top-most ribbon contains "County of Los Angeles" and the following one "Sheriff's Department." The bottom ribbons have the job title of the holder and a serial number.

Badges for sworn personnel are metal, gold colored, six-point stars. The center of the badge is circumscribed by a blue cloisonne band containing the words "Deputy Sheriff" and "Los Angeles County" in gold lettering. The inner circle, within the blue band contains a silver likeness of the California State Bear. The serial number of the badge appears at the bottom of the badge below "Los Angeles County." Ranks above Deputy have the title in the top part of the inner-circle of the badge, just above the Bear.

Class A uniforms, which are wool-blend and worn with metal badges and name tags, are the standard every day uniforms. Class B uniforms, which are wash-and-wear polyester-cotton with cloth badge patches, are worn in custody environments, certain specialized units, and can also be authorized for wear in inclement weather or extreme heat. There are also specialist uniforms such as bicycle patrol gear, nomex flight suits, tactical uniforms, and others for special circumstances. Authorized headgear includes the combination cap and campaign hat in green for the Class A uniform, worn with the county hat piece, as well as baseball caps with the Class B uniform.

Sheriff's Security Officers, Security Assistants, and Community Service Officers have the same green pants, but with white uniform shirts. Custody Assistants, who work in the County Jails as well as station lockups, have all green uniforms. Law Enforcement Technicians, Parking Control Officers, and other unarmed civilian uniformed staff wear blue uniforms.

Rank insignia for Lieutenant through Sheriff is worn on the collars of the shirt and the shoulders of the jacket. Rank insignia for Sheriff's Deputies/Detectives and Sergeants is worn on the upper sleeves in the form of chevron stripes. Sworn staff from Deputy upwards wear silver-tan shirts with forest green pants, the traditional Sheriff's uniform in California.

Rank and insignia

  • White: 60%
  • Hispanic: 26%
  • African American/Black: 10%
  • Asian: 4%

By race:

  • Male: 86%
  • Female: 14%

By sex:


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.

Reserve sheriff's deputies are issued a badge, an identification card, uniforms, a Smith & Wesson M&P[21] 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.

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.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department supplements its full-time ranks with over 800 reserve deputies.

Reserve program

Contract Custody Services

  • 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)

Court Services Division

Community Colleges Services Bureau (#87)

Transit Services Bureau (#60)

Other agencies

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.

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.

The LASD has entered into contracts with the numerous cities to serve as their police department/law enforcement agency. Forty (42) of the eighty-eight (88) cities in Los Angeles County contract with the Sheriff's Department for their complete municipal law enforcement services.[20]


Contract law enforcement

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

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

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

The LASD Air Rescue program is used for many emergencies in L.A. County, most notably the wildfire-prone Angeles National Forest. Those who are trapped in hard to reach areas will usually be found and rescued by LASD Air Rescue. The LASD staffed multiple Sea King helicopters for this program.

LASD's Rescue 5, a Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King helicopter, over Rancho Palos Verdes.

Air Rescue Program

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. 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.

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. LASD SEB and LAPD SWAT have helped the United States Department of Defense in the past by training United States Army Rangers, United States Army 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 SEB and LAPD SWAT teams for training and advice, often sending experienced officers to train under both departments.[19]

Special Weapons Teams

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.

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.[18]

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.

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.

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.[17]

LAPD and LASD Metro patrol cars, side by side.
LASD motorcycle detail patrolling the perimeter of the Staples Center during the Michael Jackson memorial service.


While health has been one of the primary concerns within the Los Angeles County Jail, the Los Angeles County Jail system has 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.[16]

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.[5]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[13]

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 antisocial personality disorder, 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.[11] 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.[12]

Another challenge that the Los Angeles County Jail faces is violence within the jail community. Many researchers assert that the violence seen in jails is in part due to males wanting to maintain a position of superiority. Because those who appear to be weak tend to become victims of sexual violence in jail, some men attempt to demonstrate to others that they are too strong to be taken advantage of. This level of heightened masculinity is also called hypermasculinity, and has the potential to manifest itself in the form of violence in a prison setting. Although men prove their masculinity in order to prevent sexual assault, some may also commit sexual assault on others as a mechanism for appearing dominant and masculine. As a result, sexual violence in prison has become a self-propagating spiral.[9]

Following the controversy, Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, announced that the Men’s Central Jail could be closed. The closure of Men’s Central Jail can be made possible if 3,000 low-risk, nonviolent offenders are placed into community-based supervision and education program aimed at reducing the numbers of repeat offenders. Construction of a new jail has been proposed to replace the Men’s Central Jail.[8]


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