Secret Deputy Subgroups

The Commission recognizes the existence of secret deputy subgroups in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and acknowledges it is a significant problem that requires a proactive and multifaceted response. At the October 2018 Commission meeting, an Ad Hoc Committee was created to address the issue of secret deputy subgroups. 

On April 23, 2019, the Commission voted unanimously on a motion to direct the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to conduct an inquiry into the existence of secret deputy subgroups within the Sheriff’s Department to determine why, how, and to what end personnel join these groups. The OIG is also directed to determine whether members of these groups engage in conduct that violates Department policy or the law.

“We look forward to this long-awaited inquiry,” said Sean Kennedy, L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commissioner and Executive Director of Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School. “This is an issue that has been impacting communities for decades, and we are looking forward to the results of this investigation so we can move forward in recommending solutions to this issue.”

Reports & Motions

pdf_icon Assembly Bill 958 (Gipson): Supporting the Prohibition Against Law Enforcement Gangs (Motion by Supervisors Solis & Mitchell, July 13, 2021)
pdf_icon Assembly Bill 958 (Gipson): Opposing Law Enforcement Cliques and Gangs (Motion by Supervisors Solis & Mitchell, June 22, 2021)
pdf_icon Civilian Oversight Comission's Proposed Policy Prohibiting Deputy Cliques & Preamble to Proposed Policy (Approved & posted 4.15.2021)
pdf_icon 50 Years of Deputy Gangs in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (January 2021, Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law & Policy)
pdf_icon Analysis of the Criminal Investigation of the Alleged Assault by Banditos (Oct. 2020, Inspector General)
pdf_icon Expanding Authority to Investigate Deputy Secret Societies (Motion by Supervisors Hahn & Ridley-Thomas, July 23, 2019)
pdf_icon Report back on the Comprehensive Study of Secret Sheriff's Deputy Subgroup (July 18, 2019)
pdf_icon Expanding Authority to Investigate Deputy Secret Societies (Motion by Supervisors Hahn & Ridley-Thomas, July 16, 2019)
pdf_icon Report-Back on the Status of the Study of Secret Deputy Subgroups including the Cooperation of the Sheriff (Office of Inspector General, June 26, 2019)
pdf_icon Assessing County liability in settlements involving Sheriff "Gangs" (Motion by Supervisors Kuehl & Solis, April 30, 2019)
pdf_icon Direct the OIG to conduct an inquiry on secret deputy subgroups (Commission motion, Apr. 23, 2019)


Comprehensive Study of Secret Sheriff’s Deputy Subgroups (Motion by Supervisor Solis, Mar. 12, 2019)
pdf_icon Reform & Oversight Efforts: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (OIG report, Dec. 2018)
pdf_icon Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence Executive Summary & Final Report, Sept. 2012)

A report by Special Counsel James G. Kolts Report (July 1992)




Last updated 10/15/2020.

Understanding the Role of Subgroups in the Sheriff’s Department

The County of Los Angeles has commissioned RAND to conduct an independent research study on deputy subgroups within the Sheriff’s Department. The study was commissioned to help the County learn more about how these subgroups are formed, why they exist, and what actions might be taken if it is determined that these groups have a meaningful impact on the Sheriff's Department mission.