Most of us recognize that America’s relationship with Law Enforcement is at an all-time low. Recent events across the United States have punctuated the need for Law Enforcement to reaffirm their commitment to our communities and extend a hand to all citizens regardless of race, socioeconomic status or political affiliation.
As your Sheriff I have a vision I believe is a universal principle, common among all people. Simply stated, I want my Deputies to treat me fairly, be responsive to my problems and above all I want to be treated with respect and without prejudice. I want my public servants to project the utmost professional image to those we serve from all walks of life and to assume a role as a member of all communities rather than just a visitor for an eight-hour shift. I want my police to stop criminals, lower the crime rate and instill a sense of security. No matter what, Law Enforcement must ensure our communities are as safe and secure as possible while ethically protecting the rights of every citizen, both the innocent and the accused.
I know what it takes to inspire the young people of all neighborhoods to join the forces of good citizenship. I understand the mistrust of law enforcement and the grave consequences to our community if something is not done soon. As the Sheriff I am committed to personally engage with the community and directly communicate with you, those we serve. We will not agree about everything but one thing I can promise you now is my willingness to work together. We are one community from the ocean to the desert, one community in a noble effort to live in peace where our kids can walk the streets without fear of crime and without fear of the police. We are together in a community where 99 percent of all people have the same vision and goals; to live a quality life, raise our children to be better than us and to leave a legacy we can be proud of for future generations. This is my vision for the future and why I want to be your Sheriff!
After 32 years of public service and retiring as a commander on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I returned to life as a normal citizen. I watched from the sidelines, no longer able to affect positive change from within the organization, while sadly witnessing the disintegration of my beloved Sheriff’s Department. Racked by scandals of corruption, allegations of pay-to-play, nepotism, jail inmate abuse, I had high hopes that Sheriff Jim McDonnell would bring back the shine to the badge and reestablish the once great relationship with the citizens of Los Angeles County.
However, since his election three years ago, Sheriff McDonnell has largely left intact the executive leadership principles of the previous administration. Sheriff McDonnell promised to take a look at the department with “fresh eyes” to establish positive change. To the contrary he has gravitated toward the same philosophies of the previous administration that led a once great department to the tune of colossal failure.
Sadly, under the leadership of Sheriff McDonnell there have been no effective changes in leadership principles. Since taking command, Sheriff McDonnell has wasted public funds while complaining he has no money for gang enforcement. He has promoted persons to his executive staff with nefarious backgrounds of founded investigations for inmate abuses, falsification of evidence, wrongful death and disparate treatment of minority communities. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Sheriff McDonnell stood by and voiced adamant support for these promotions and other decisions he made, which greatly compromised the department’s image and position of public trust.
Why would Sheriff McDonnell promote these individuals over others more qualified with spotless careers? Why would a Sheriff who ran on a platform of reform place such persons in these great positions of power? Sheriff McDonnell has again failed to gain the public’s trust. Is this the leadership the community was expecting when they elected Sheriff McDonnell? Sheriff McDonnell’s actions and lack of judgment ever since taking office have spoken louder than his words. Sheriff McDonnell appears to be the same old kind of politician that promises one thing and delivers another!
As Sheriff, Mr. McDonnell has muzzled his executives much like a dictator from speaking in disagreement with him, preventing the free exchange of ideas. Sheriff McDonnell has established a “gag order” policy which threatens executives with discipline who disagree with his decisions. That is not leadership! That does not inspire public confidence!
The policies of Sheriff McDonnell no doubt led to his vote of no confidence by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority who voted to shift patrol responsibilities to other law enforcement agencies in this time of terrorism.
As a lifelong citizen of Los Angeles County, as the father of a deputy sheriff and as someone compelled to do right by those we serve, I decided to emerge from retirement and run for Sheriff of Los Angeles County. I cannot stand by and observe any longer!
I know what it takes to lead fine men and women to serve their community. I know what it takes to "Affect Positive Change".