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Alumnus to Lead Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

December 08, 2014

Laurie Morrissey
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Jim McDonnell Los Angeles SheriffJim McDonnell, a Class of 1981 criminal justice graduate, recently was elected to lead the largest sheriff's department in the country. He took office as Los Angeles County sheriff on December 1.

More than 10 million people are directly or indirectly protected by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD). The department has primary policing responsibility for 42 of the 88 cities, as well as the unincorporated areas, that make up L.A. County. The LASD manages the nation's largest local jail system, with a housing capacity of nearly 20,000 inmates, and also protects the largest court system in the nation. The sheriff of Los Angeles County is the director of Homeland Security-Mutual Aid for California Region I, which serves 13 million people.

The LASD has more than 18,000 employees, including nearly 10,000 sworn sheriff's deputies and 8,000 civilian professional staff members. It also has more than 800 reserve sheriff's deputies and approximately 5,000 community volunteers (youth explorers and civilian volunteers).

A Boston native, McDonnell served for 29 years on the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and was chief of police for Long Beach, a city of nearly half a million people 20 miles south of Los Angeles. He earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and graduated from the F.B.I.'s National Executive Institute.

McDonnell received the Justice Award from the Saint Anselm College Alumni Association in 2001.

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