Roundtable Discussion: Today’s challenges, trends and opportunities in law enforcement
Paul Vercammen, CNN Reporter and Producer
Paul Vercammen is a reporter/producer at CNN, a five-time Emmy-winner, former news director at KEYT (ABC) in Santa Barbara and former adjunct journalism professor at USC Annenberg.
Peter Bibring, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Peter Bibring is senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California and director of police practices for the ACLU of California. He joined the ACLU SoCal as a staff attorney in 2006. Peter works on a wide range of police-related issues, including race and bias in policing, gang injunctions, excessive force, search and seizure, police interference with First Amendment rights, national security, civilian oversight, and surveillance.Peter’s cases include Vasquez v. Rackauckas, a successful due process challenge to enforcement of a gang injunction in the city of Orange, California; Fazaga v. FBI, a challenge to the FBI’s surveillance of mosques in Orange County; Nee v. County of Los Angeles, a suit on behalf of photographers unlawfully detained for photographing in public; Gordon v. City of Moreno Valley, a challenge to racially-targeted, warrantless raids on African American barbershops; and Fitzgerald v. City of Los Angeles, a lawsuit targeting unlawful searches and detentions in L.A.’s Skid Row area. Prior to joining the ACLU, Peter worked in private practice, specializing in civil rights and workers’ rights. Peter clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He graduated from New York University School of Law, where he was an editor-in-chief of the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, and from Harvard University.
Hon. Scott Gordon, Supervising Judge Los Angeles County Superior Court Criminal Div.
Current Term: Sept 15, 2018 - Sept 14, 2021
Membership: Voting member, reappointed by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Internal Committees: Rules and Projects Committee
Council Liaison to: Fresno, Kings, and San Diego Counties
Judge Scott Gordon was appointed to the bench by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 after serving as a court commissioner since 2002. He is currently the Assistant Supervising Judge of the Criminal Division. He has also served as Supervising Judge in the Family Law Division. Before his commissioner service, Judge Gordon served with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for sixteen years and as a police officer and detective for the Santa Monica Police Department for eight years. Judge Gordon graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills in 1980 with a B.S. Degree in Public Administration. He is an adjunct professor at his alma mater;Southwestern Law School, which he attended while serving as a police officer.
Jackie Lacey, Los Angeles County District Attorney
District Attorney Jackie Lacey has spent most of her professional life as a prosecutor, manager and executive in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. On Dec. 3, 2012, she was sworn in as the 42nd District Attorney. She was re-elected four years later without opposition. She is the first woman and first African-American to serve as Los Angeles County District Attorney since the office was established in 1850.
District Attorney Lacey’s top priority is keeping the streets of Los Angeles County safe from violent and dangerous criminals. She is committed to safeguarding our children from human sex traffickers, our seniors from financial elder abuse and our communities from environmental crimes that threaten our health and our livelihood. District Attorney Lacey established the Conviction Review Unit to assess claims of actual innocence based on newly discovered evidence. She also appointed the office’s first Professional Responsibility Advisor. As chair of the Criminal Justice Mental Health Project for Los Angeles County, District Attorney Lacey leads a multidisciplinary working group devoted to diverting people who are mentally ill out of the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenses.
She initiated an ambitious plan within her office to provide free training to first responders on how to safely de-escalate incidents involving people in a mental health crisis. A Los Angeles native and graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, she leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation, with a workforce of approximately 1,000 lawyers, 300 investigators and 800 support staff employees.
Jim McDonnell, Los Angeles County Sheriff
Sheriff Jim McDonnell was sworn in as the 32nd Sheriff of Los Angeles County on December 1, 2014. Sheriff McDonnell is a Boston native who grew up in a working class neighborhood, a stone’s throw from Fenway Park. He came to Los Angeles almost four decades ago with little more than a dream to be part of protecting and serving the public. He was born to immigrant parents who instilled in him the values that have served as the guideposts throughout his life: hard work, integrity, and treating all people with respect. He began his law enforcement career in 1981 as a twenty-two-year-old graduate from the Los Angeles Police Academy. Sheriff McDonnell served for 29 years at the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), holding every rank from Police Officer to second-in-command. While at the LAPD, he earned that Department’s highest honor for bravery, the Medal of Valor, and helped create the blueprint for LAPD’s community-based policing efforts that have now become a model for law enforcement agencies throughout the nation.
For five years, Sheriff McDonnell served as the Chief of the Long Beach Police Department. In that role, he implemented numerous improvements that resulted in safer communities, increased morale, and enhanced community relations. Sheriff McDonnell draws from his experience at the Los Angeles Police Department and the Long Beach Police Department to lead the largest Sheriff’s Department in the world. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) provides police services for more than ten million residents throughout a geographic area of 4751 square miles. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department also maintains the largest jail system in the nation, housing more than 17,000 inmates daily. The Department’s Court Services Division monitors the largest court system in the nation, encompassing 37 Superior Courts. Through Sheriff McDonnell’s reformative direction, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is now well on its way to accomplishing a number of long-term projects and goals, including the successful completion of consent decrees and settlement agreements with the Department of Justice. Ultimately his goal is to provide the safest possible environment for all residents and visitors to Los Angeles.
Sheriff McDonnell brings to the LASD decades of experience and strong relationships with law enforcement and government leaders. He is a proven and respected voice in local, state, and national criminal justice organizations, having served as President of the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs' Association, President of the California Peace Officers' Association, a member of the California Commission on Peace Officers' Standards & Training (POST), a board member of the Peace Officers' Association of Los Angeles County, and is on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Sheriff McDonnell is also a believer in the importance of education, both in the classroom and on the job. He 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.
Michel Moore, Los Angeles Police Chief
Chief Michel R. Moore is a 36-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. He was born the second of five children in Porterville, California, and grew up in various parts of the United States, graduating high school in Conway, Arkansas. He returned to Southern California in 1978 and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1981.
Chief Moore rose through the ranks of police officer, detective, sergeant, and lieutenant working various patrol, investigative, and administrative assignments throughout the City. Chief Moore promoted to the rank of Captain in 1998 and his assignments included assuming command at Rampart Area following the arrest of Rafael Perez and during the 2000 Democratic National Convention. Upon his promotion to Commander in 2002, his assignments were at Operations-Valley Bureau and later the Assistant to the Director, Office of Operations. In 2004, he was promoted to Deputy Chief and assumed the command of Operations-West Bureau, later transferring to Operations-Valley Bureau in 2005. In 2010, he promoted to Assistant Chief and was assigned as Director, Office of Special Operations. In that position, Chief Moore oversaw Detective Bureau and Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, as well as Citywide Jail, Property and Security Services Operations. In 2015, Chief Moore was assigned as Director, Office of Administrative Services. In that position, he oversaw the Department’s fiscal, personnel, training and various support operations including the Department’s command center, communications and records management. He was also the Chair of the Department’s Use of Force Review Board which evaluates all Categorical Uses of Force, including deadly force and hospitalizations. In 2016, he was promoted to First Assistant Chief and was assigned as Director, Office of Operations. In that position, he oversaw the Department’s geographic bureaus and patrol divisions which provide uniformed and investigative services within the City of Los Angeles. In addition, Chief Moore directed the Department’s COMPSTAT process, including weekly command inspections. On June 27, 2018, Michel R. Moore was sworn in by the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as the 57th Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles.
Chief Moore attended the University of Redlands, completing a Bachelor of Science in Business and Management in 1993 and a Masters of Business Administration in 1999. He is also a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum, the Senior Management Institute for Police, the Supervisory Leadership Institute, and the West Point Leadership program. Chief Moore has completed advanced coursework in emergency management, counter-terrorism, and process improvement. He has received numerous commendations and awards for his police service including the Department’s Medal of Valor, the Police Medal, the Police Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
Chief Moore is a Director for the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, Past President of the Los Angeles County Peace Officers Association, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Police Memorial Association. He is a member of various professional organizations including the Police Executive Research Forum, the Latin American Law Enforcement Association, the Los Angeles Women Peace Officers and Associates Organization, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Chief Moore strives to promote a community policing style of leadership that stresses intelligent, partnership-oriented strategies involving community stakeholders, as well as various members of the criminal justice system.
Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender Central District
Hilary Potashner is the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California. She leads an office of more than 200 employees with an annual budget of nearly $40 million. The Central District is comprised of approximately 19 million people and is divided into three divisions that encompass the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Orange. The FPD’s main office is located in Los Angeles, with branch offices in Santa Ana and Riverside.
Ms. Potashner was appointed to her post by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on June 30, 2015. Her office represents approximately 4000 indigent people annually who are charged with federal criminal offenses in magistrate and district court, as well as individuals who are challenging their convictions and sentences on direct appeal. Additionally, the FPD's non-capital and capital habeas units represent prisoners who are challenging their state court convictions through the federal habeas corpus process.
Ms. Potashner joined the office in 2001. She served as Acting Federal Public Defender from September 2014 to June 2015, Chief Deputy from 2012 to 2014, a supervising trial attorney from 2007 to 2012, and a deputy in the trial unit from 2001 to 2007. Prior to her work at the Federal Public Defender’s Office, she was a deputy public defender for the County of San Diego for more than six years. In addition to her current leadership responsibilities, Ms. Potashner continues to provide direct representation. United States v. Paul Ciancia was one of her more notable recent cases. Mr. Ciancia faced the death penalty for the shooting and killing of a TSA agent at LAX. Ms. Potashner and her trial team were able to save Mr. Ciancia from the death penalty by negotiating a life disposition.
Ms. Potashner is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. She is the President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association and serves as a Lawyer Representative to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She regularly presents to educational and professional organizations throughout the country. Ms. Potashner received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and obtained her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.