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Los Angeles County, CA June 3, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

"Why I am running" -- a message from the Chief...

By Jim McDonnell

Candidate for Sheriff; County of Los Angeles

This information is provided by the candidate
My vision for the Sheriff's Department and our community
Keeping our communities and streets safe for children and families, serving as an anchor for individuals in need, treating every member of our society with respect and professionalism -- these are the values that motivated me to seek out public service many years ago. After a thirty-year law enforcement career at the Los Angeles Police Department and four years as Chief of the Long Beach Police Department (the second largest police department in LA County), these abiding convictions continue to guide my work. With your support, it would be my privilege to continue this vitally important work as Sheriff of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

As the son of immigrants who worked hard to build a better life for their family, I bring to my work a deep appreciation for the multicultural fabric of our community. I believe that we all deserve the opportunity to reach great heights and to realize the American Dream, as embodied in our constitutional freedoms.

Our dreams flourish when we feel safe in our communities and when we trust our public institutions and those charged with our protection. The LASD is an integral part of the bedrock of our community; it must, at all times, operate in a manner that earns and maintains the confidence of the 10 million residents of our County.

I have had the privilege to work in partnership alongside the men and women of the LASD throughout my career. I have seen areas of tremendous achievement and innovation within that Department. And I have also watched, in recent years, the wide array of problems facing LASD and the need for new leadership that can bring about meaningful and lasting reforms.

Our community seeks - and deserves - an effective and professional Sheriff's Department committed not simply to community safety, but also to the highest standards of ethics, constitutional policing and respect for all. The many hard working men and women in LASD similarly deserve a leaders who can chart a clear and unambiguous path forward and who is unencumbered by past practices or internal alliances.

My experience as a leader in the law enforcement community on a local, state, and national level has given me unique insight into the demands facing L.A.'s next Sheriff in today's complex environment. I played a leadership role in the transformation of the LAPD during difficult times and am the only candidate to have run a major city police department. I have served as the President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs' Association, where I became acutely aware of the challenges facing the 45 partner police agencies in our county. I have been active for years in state and national organizations addressing issues of critical importance to our region's public safety. I have also partnered with numerous community-based organizations that have effectively addressed public safety concerns at a grass roots level, while enabling our youth to reach their fullest potential. I know what it means to be the outsider coming into a strong department culture, but have seen first-hand how to develop a team of professionals who have achieved incredible results in crime prevention and reduction, while building strong ties and positive relationships within our many diverse communities.

It is widely held that the LASD cannot restore public trust without strong, effective, and experienced leadership - leadership that can bring in a new and fresh set of eyes. That leader must also have credibility within the community; an understanding of the troubling problems facing the Department and an enduring commitment to moving beyond past practices; and an adherence to the strongest principles of constitutional policing. It is only with that type of leadership that we can bring back the "shine to the badge," restore the confidence of our community in the integrity and operation of LASD, and resurrect a sense of pride in all who work in the Department.

I believe I am the person most capable of restoring this trust and bringing focus back to the many hard working deputies of the LASD, instead of the few who have tarnished the badge, eroded the critical mission of the Department and put our essential community relationships at risk. I would be honored to have the opportunity to move LASD forward as its next Sheriff.

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