After beating former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka in November’s election, former Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell became the first non-LASD member to head of the department in 100 years. He was sworn in on December 1st as Los Angeles County’s 32nd Sheriff, and called for a fresh start for a department that has been entwined in controversy for the last several years. Allegations of deputies beating and humiliating inmates, the convictions of several deputies for obstructing an FBI investigation into the jail, and general low morale have plagued the LASD in recent years.
However, McDonnell has promised that change is coming to the LASD, and it will include more transparency, better accountability for LASD employees, enhanced crime prevention, and managerial evaluations. He has also said he wants to rebuild the run-down building that houses the Men’s Central Jail.
McDonnell rose through the ranks at the Los Angeles Police Department before leaving to become the chief of police in Long Beach, where he is credited with helping lower violent crime rates, reduce gang violence, and improving community relations with police. At the LAPD, he held every rank except chief of police and served as second in command to Bill Bratton, who is now the Commissioner of the New York Police Department. McDonnell is a native of Boston, Massachusetts.
Jim McDonnell, Sheriff of Los Angeles County