The Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission’s goal is to facilitate public transparency and accountability with respect to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Commission provides ongoing analysis and oversight of the Department’s policies, practices and procedures and they advise the Board, the Sheriff’s Department and the public. The Commission strives to perform its duties in thorough, impartial, and transparent manner that promotes credibility, and enhances trust and respect. The Commission welcomes community involvement and provides for opportunities for robust community engagement.
In its November 1, 2016 action, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors appointed nine commissioners to serve on the panel and approved hiring an executive director, attorney Brian K. Williams. Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor Hilda L. Solis authored the December 2014 motion that started the process that led to the commission’s creation. The commissioners include community and faith leaders, a retired Sheriff’s lieutenant, and attorneys with a broad range of experience—from former prosecutors and public defenders to professors and executives from legal non-profit organizations. They are:
- Lael Rubin, Commission Chair, former Deputy District Attorney, appointed by the Board of Supervisors
- Hernán Vera, Commission Vice Chair, attorney and former president and CEO of Public Counsel, appointed by Supervisor Solis
- Robert C. Bonner, attorney and former U.S. Attorney and DEA Administrator, appointed by Supervisor Antonovich
- Patti Giggans, Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, appointed by Supervisor Kuehl
- JP Harris, former Sheriff’s lieutenant, appointed by Supervisor Knabe
- Sean Kennedy, executive director of Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School and former federal public defender, appointed by the Board of Supervisors
- Priscilla Ocen, Loyola Law School Associate Professor, appointed by the Board of Supervisors
- Xavier Thompson, President of Baptist Ministers’ Conference and Senior Pastor of the Southern Saint Paul Church, appointed by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas
- Casimiro U. Tolentino, former Administrative Law Judge for the State of California, appointed by the Board of Supervisors
Los Angeles County is the nation's largest county by population. A subdivision of the State of California, the County of Los Angeles is charged with providing numerous services that affect the lives of 10 million residents who live throughout a sprawling 4,084 square miles of land.
The Commission provides oversight for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is the nation's largest sheriff's department with approximately 18,000 employees. The law enforcement agency provides services to 42 incorporated cities and 141 unincorporated communities, courthouse security for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, and the housing and transportation approximately 18,000 inmates daily within the county jail system, the nations largest county jail system.