Jim McDonnell (sheriff)
McDonnell in 2014
|32nd Sheriff of the County of Los Angeles|
December 1, 2014 – December 3, 2018
|Preceded by||John Scott (Interim)|
|Succeeded by||Alex Villanueva|
|Born||1959 (age 59–60)|
|Spouse(s)||Kathy McDonnell (wife)|
|Relations||Kelly (daughter), Megan (daughter)|
|Awards|| Los Angeles P.D. Medal of Valor|
L.A. Police Distinguished Service Medal
LAPD 1987 Papal Visit Ribbon
LAPD 1992 Civil Disturbance Ribbon
LAPD 1994 Earthquake Ribbon
LASD Distinguished Service Medal
|Allegiance||County of Los Angeles|
|Branch/service|| L.A. County Sheriff's Department (2014–2018)|
Long Beach P.D. (2010–2014)
Los Angeles P.D. (1981–2010)
|Years of service||2014–2018 (L.A. County S.D.)|
2010–2014 (Long Beach P.D.)
1981–2010 (Los Angeles P.D.)
James McDonnell (born 1959) is an American law enforcement official who served as the 32nd Sheriff of the County of Los Angeles in California. McDonnell was elected as L.A. County's 32nd sheriff on November 4, 2014, defeating former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka. He replaced interim sheriff John Scott on December 1, 2014, when he was sworn in. Previously he served as the Chief of Police in Long Beach, California and before that in the Los Angeles Police Department, reaching the rank of Assistant Chief.
Early life and education
McDonnell grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He then received a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
McDonnell began his law enforcement career as twenty-one-year-old graduate from the Los Angeles Police Academy in 1981. During his 28 years of work in the LAPD, he held every rank except Chief of Police and served as second in command to Chief William Bratton. He was considered a frontrunner for the position but Charlie Beck was appointed instead of him. While at the LAPD McDonnell was viewed as an ambassador who helped the department connect with Los Angeles' diverse communities and political leaders as Bratton's chief of staff and second-in-command. As a candidate for Chief in 2002, McDonnell presented a plan for community-based policing that was eventually adopted by Bratton and served as the foundation to overhaul and reform the LAPD. While working for the LAPD, he held a variety of assignments in patrol, detectives, vice, gang, organized crime, homicide and other divisions. In the 1990s as a commander, he gained attention for his efforts to revitalize the LAPD's senior lead officer program and to build the LAPD forerunner to the Compstat computer crime-mapping system along with helping implement the consent decree.
In March 2010, McDonnell was appointed as the police chief of Long Beach, California, replacing former Chief Anthony Batts, who left to become the chief of the Oakland Police Department, over objections by some in the department who preferred a chief from the department. As police chief, McDonnell dealt with a large increase in officer-involved shootings and a 20% decrease in sworn officers from 1,000 to 800. McDonnell oversaw a 20% drop in violent crime and has been credited with dramatically improving community relations with the police, helping drastically reduce gang activity, and trying to improve racial diversity in the department. After McDonnell's election on November 4, 2014, Deputy Chief Robert Luna was selected to replace him to become the 26th Police Chief of Long Beach. Luna was considered a frontrunner for the position before McDonnell was appointed and became the department's first Latino police chief.
McDonnell has said he would work with district attorney Jackie Lacey to send some prisoners with mental health problems to psychiatric institutions rather than jail. McDonnell has stated that a new facility would be built to replace the dilapidated Men's Central Jail. He has expressed support for a civilian oversight commission to supplement the new inspector general in monitoring the department but has stated that he is still evaluating whether the inspector general should have subpoena power and access to personnel records. He was sworn in on December 1, 2014 and became the first person from outside of the sheriff's department to be elected to the office of Sheriff in over 100 years. Jim McDonnell was also the first incumbant sheriff in over 100 years to lose the position of sheriff in over 100 years. Alex Villanueva succeeded him following the November 2018 general election in California.
- June 2014
|Nonpartisan||Patrick L. Gomez||45,276||6.56|
|Nonpartisan||Todd S. Rogers||41,855||6.06|
- November 2014
Dates of rank
|Sheriff||Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department||December 1, 2014 – December 3, 2018|
|Chief||Long Beach Police Department||March 13, 2010 – November 22, 2014|
|Deputy Chief||Los Angeles Police Department||November 2009 – March 2010|
|1st Assistant Chief||Los Angeles Police Department||November 12, 2002 – November 2009|
|Commander||Los Angeles Police Department||April 2000 – November 12, 2002|
|Captain||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Lieutenant||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Detective III||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Detective II||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Detective I||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Police Officer III||Los Angeles Police Department|
|Police Officer II||Los Angeles Police Department||No rank insignia, badge shown.|
|Police Officer I||Los Angeles Police Department||1981||No rank insignia, badge shown.|
- "L.A. County Sheriff-elect Jim McDonnell has his work cut out for him". Los Angeles Times. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Jim McDonnell Biography". Jim McDonnell for Sheriff. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "LAPD's Jim McDonnell named next chief of Long Beach Police Department [Updated]". Los Angeles Times. February 3, 2010. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Sheriff-elect Jim McDonnell set to be sworn in Monday". Los Angeles Times. November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Jim McDonnell's career as police chief could show how he'd lead as sheriff". Los Angeles Times. October 26, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Long Beach selects its first Latino police chief: Robert Luna". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- Board, The Times Editorial. "Sheriff Villanueva's truth and reconciliation commission is a lie". latimes.com. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
- "Los Angeles County Election Results, June 2014: Sheriff". County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
- "Los Angeles County Election Results: Sheriff". County of Los Angeles Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
| Chief of Long Beach Police Department
| Los Angeles County Sheriff