Two years ago, I took the oath to lead the nation’s largest Sheriff’s Department in a manner that put public trust at the core of what we do. I also made a promise to the 18,000 men and women at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) that this could, and would, be done by focusing on our future together and closing the door on the divisiveness and factions that once threatened this great organization.
We all knew from that day going forward, this would require thoughtful deliberation, a fresh perspective and ultimately, a change in personnel. Two years ago, this organization was recovering from a long period of uncertainty. I described it as a civil war. I pledged not to make change merely for the sake of change, but to give everyone a chance to show the kind of professional passion, or what I call “fire in the belly,” that could move the LASD beyond the dark days of the past.
I have been watching and listening carefully to understand this vast organization and the very talented people who have made the LASD a national leader in law enforcement.
I have sought to respect our great traditions, while also seeking new ideas around innovation, as well as an open dialogue about the enormous capabilities and responsibilities of the LASD.
I have been looking for the qualities in individuals that would show great competence, of which there are plenty within the LASD, but also deep compassion and character. Specifically, I have been looking to identify the Department’s future leaders who will withstand the public and internal scrutiny which is, and should be, the standard of all law enforcement executives as they work every day to earn the respect of their peers and their subordinates. Great organizations are built by developing great teams who work effectively with each other.
Therefore, it is time for me to announce the appointment of an Undersheriff, as well as additional changes at the top echelon of the Department’s rank structure, which will take place in early 2017.
Before I outline my selections…
I want to thank the departing executives for the vital assistance they have provided me during the past two years.
They are Executive Officer Neal Tyler and Assistant Sheriff Richard Barrantes.
Together, they represent over 80 years of professionalism and excellence in service to the Sheriff’s Department and the public.
In addition to their decades-long commitments to our personnel and public safety, each has left our community and our Department with unique and special legacies.
Executive Officer Neal Tyler was the right choice for the transitional period that helped the LASD move forward during a challenging time. As the Executive Officer, Neal Tyler provided a wealth of experience and valuable insight into the organization and a steady hand in assisting me in learning the rich traditions and culture of this proud organization. His constant focus on ethical decision making and his passion for mentoring others is only part of his legacy at the Department. From the beginning of his career, he set a high standard after graduating number one in his Academy class. Since 1984, Neal Tyler participated in the development of multiple approaches to mentoring law enforcement officers about ethics in police decision-making.
His work has culminated in our current large-scale initiative to help our own sergeants improve the mentoring, counseling and leadership abilities which they in turn use to assist our deputies.
Assistant Sheriff Barrantes began his career with a dangerous two-year deep cover assignment, and from that impressive starting point continued his career toward making a lasting mark on LASD personnel’s awareness of the importance of physical fitness. He has done this through his leadership in our own Los Angeles Sheriff’s Athletic Association (LASAA), and by more than thirty years of winning personal gold medals at the World Police Olympics. Through his involvement in LASAA, he inspired hundreds of others to compete and succeed in the law enforcement Olympic competitions.
Assistant Sheriff Barrantes has also been recognized with awards for his contributions toward reducing criminal recidivism and making the country’s largest, most complex court system more safe and efficient in numerous ways.
These are just a few examples of how these two Department leaders contributed to public safety and service with their leadership in key programs, initiatives, and improvements to our operations.
I am deeply indebted to Neal Tyler and Richard Barrantes for the leadership, creativity, and expertise they have provided this organization for decades, and to me personally since I became Sheriff.
And now to the announcements of new executive personnel;
For the first time since 2013, the LASD will have an Undersheriff. Assistant Sheriff Jacques Anthony La Berge is a 31-year veteran of the LASD in a career that spanned service in our jails, Special Enforcement Bureau and Transit Services Division. His years in patrol in some of our most diverse communities, from Santa Clarita to Century Station prepared him well to be Chief of North Patrol Division where he oversaw the implementation of the Antelope Valley Settlement Agreement with the United States Department of Justice. He currently serves as Assistant Sheriff, Patrol Operations.
Chief Bobby Denham of Central Patrol Division will promote to be the Assistant Sheriff of Patrol Operations, which oversees four patrol divisions of 23 patrol stations. Chief Denham is a 38-year veteran of the LASD. Bobby Denham has served in the communities of Palmdale, Lancaster, Central and South Los Angeles, and Altadena. Since he was promoted to commander in 2013, he has been assigned to Central Patrol Division, South Patrol Division and North Patrol Division. Most recently, he has led the effort of the Violence Reduction Network collaborative with federal, state, and local law enforcement, and the City of Compton. Chief Denham is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and received a certificate in Leadership from the University of Virginia.
Chief Eddie Rivero of North Patrol Division, will promote to be the Assistant Sheriff of Countywide Services Operations. Chief Rivero is a 27-year veteran of the LASD. His varied experience has prepared him well to oversee the diversity of countywide LASD responsibilities that include the Detective Division, Court Services Division, and the Community Partnerships Bureau. Chief Rivero has also worked at Special Operations Division, Operation Safe Streets, and as the Sheriff’s Public Information Officer within the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. Chief Rivero has also worked a variety of commands including patrol, court services, and the jails. He served at the station level at Norwalk Station and as the captain of Carson Station. As a commander, he oversaw operations at Central Patrol Division and South Patrol Division. He held assignments at Men’s Central Jail and the Advanced Officer Training Unit. Most recently, he serves as Chief of North Patrol Division. Eddi e Rivero oversaw the continuing implementation of the Antelope Valley Department of Justice settlement agreement to improve service in that area. He also founded the Respect-Based Leadership Training Program at the Bureau of Compliance.
In addition to the above appointments, a nationwide executive search is underway for a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the LASD’s nearly $3.3 billion dollar budget.
Kelly Harrington, Assistant Sheriff over Custody Operations, will continue to oversee the nation’s largest jail system and the reforms that have been implemented.
There will be further personnel changes in the near future.
Once again, I would like to thank this entire team for serving the LASD with honor and pride.