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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

Los Angeles CountyCandidate for Sheriff

Photo of Jim McDonnell

Jim McDonnell

1,169,184 votes (47.15%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Maintain our momentum in bringing much-needed reforms to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
  • Focus on our core mission of reducing crime across Los Angeles County
  • Continue the work of the Human Trafficking Bureau to aggressively address the growing problem that victimizes some of the most vulnerable in our society, our children and young people.



Profession:Los Angeles County Sheriff
President, Los Angeles County Police Chiefs' Association — Elected position (2013–2013)
President, California Peace Officers Association — Elected position (2010–2011)


St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice (current)
University of Southern California Master's Degree, Public Administration (current)

Community Activities

Member, Citizens Commission on Jail Violence (2012–2012)


Sheriff Jim McDonnell began his law enforcement career in 1981 with the Los Angeles Police Department.  While with the LAPD, he helped create the blueprint for LAPD’s community-based policing program that led to building strong relationships between law enforcement and the community.  Sheriff McDonnell also served as Chief of Police of the Long Beach Police Department for five years where he implemented a number of initiatives that resulted in safer communities.  Sheriff McDonnell was elected County Sheriff of Los Angeles in 2014. 

Sheriff Jim McDonnell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.  He is also a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute and has completed executive education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles City Fire Chiefs Association
  • Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association

Organizations (3)

  • California Peace Officers Association
  • Mexican American Bar Association PAC
  • Laborers Local 300

Elected Officials (3)

  • Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Individuals (3)

  • Steve Cooley, Former Los Angeles County District Attorney
  • Shaquille O'Neal
  • Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of Los Angeles County (2)

What can the Sheriff do to deal more effectively with mentally ill prisoners incarcerated in County jail?
Answer from Jim McDonnell:

Sheriff McDonnell believes that jail isn't the appropriate place for the treatment of the mentally ill.  McDonnell has quadrupled the number of response teams that pair patrol deputies with mental health workers to divert some inmate patients into community treatment programs. The Sheriff is working with the Board of Supervisors on a new correctional facility for inmate patients in need of mental health care and substance abuse programs. This new facility is intended to be a national model that unites the County's mental health and medical professionals to provide compassionate care for this population while focusing on public safety.    

What steps do you feel should be taken to correct the problems of brutality that have been identified within the County jails?
Answer from Jim McDonnell:

McDonnell served on a commission where he gained awareness of the problems plaguing the jail system.  The Commission issued a report with 63 recommendations, which McDonnell aggressively uses as a baseline for change within jails.

McDonnell negotiated agreements with the Department of Justice to increase staffing, training, and the oversight of federal monitors. Since 2014, the federal monitors report a 'sea change' inside jails in the reduction of use of force and increased deputy morale, resulting in a decline in inmate complaints.  This is the result of increased accountability with supervision, cameras in facilities, and de-escalation training techniques for deputies.    


Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Since first being elected County Sheriff of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Jim McDonnell has stressed the importance of treating all members of our community with respect, being transparent with and accountable to the individuals that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department serves, and creating a working environment that recognizes and rewards character, competence, and compassion.

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