Incumbent Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell Faces Several Challengers

A number of candidates have announced they intend to join the race to become the Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 2018. At least two of the challengers have extensive backgrounds in law enforcement: Lt. Alex Villanueva announced his candidacy last week, and this week retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Commander Bob Lindsey indicated he would also run for the office.

The Incumbent

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell won election to office in 2014 after a successful campaign. He had previously served as the Police Chief of the City of Long Beach, a coastal community of approximately 470,000 people. Long Beach currently ranks as the second most populous city within the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.

During the 2014 race, he vied with two other candidates, former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka and Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers, to succeed outgoing Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. Todd Rogers subsequently became a Councilman in Lakewood.

Bob Lindsey's Law Enforcement Background

Bob Lindsey, aged 61, the most recent candidate to express an interest in entering the race for Los Angeles County Sheriff, left the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after more than three decades of service in order to accept a new position as the Director of Security with the Los Angeles Superior Court in 2011. As a sheriff, he helped launch a program to provide uniform field training curriculum for deputies. He retired from the Department with the rank of a commander.

As the Director of Security for the L.A. Superior Court, his work responsibilities included supervising the allocation of bailiffs, officers who assist judges in maintaining order during court proceedings. He also sought to promote courthouse security.

The 2018 Campaign

A number of issues of public concern may attract debate during the 2018 race. These subjects may include the candidates' positions regarding maintaining high morale and standards of conduct within the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The subject of ensuring adequate deputy recruitment in the future will also likely figure prominently in the race.

One issue which will likely generate public discussion during the course of the campaign relates to the Department's approach to handling internal disputes. Reportedly, efforts in some cases by the Department to contest civil service commission rulings that found in favor of sheriff's deputies has generated criticism.




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