Sheriff Alex Villanueva
Sheriff Alex Villanueva was elected the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 2018; the first challenger to unseat an incumbent in more than a century. A 34-year veteran of the Department, Sheriff Villanueva commands the largest Sheriff’s Department in the United States, with nearly 18,000 budgeted sworn and professional staff.
As Sheriff, he has initiated reform efforts which have significantly improved morale within the organization and community engagement outside the organization. One such effort was solving the problem of recruitment and retention, an issue which the last three office holders failed. Under Sheriff Villanueva’s watch, hiring has more than doubled in comparison to previous years. He has dedicated his time to increased civic trust and engagement by holding town halls to personally address unique issues that affect specific communities within Los Angeles County, and beyond. His committed efforts to achieve complete public transparency by placing all allowable departmental information on-line (LASD.org), were recently commended by the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission. By removing ICE from the county jail system he has restored public confidence in the Department. As a result, violent and property crimes have fallen drastically. He has redirected resources to tackle the tough problems; Mental Health and Homeless Services teams have expanded to meet the increased need of the people of Los Angeles.
A veteran and a leader on and off-duty throughout his career, Sheriff Villanueva honorably served in the United States Air Force, the California Air National Guard, and the California Army National Guard. As a training officer, an academy instructor, a field supervisor and a watch commander during his career, Sheriff Villanueva encouraged those he led to aspire to a culture of integrity and community trust to affect positive change from within the department. A strong proponent of education, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from the University of the State of New York, his Master’s Degree from California State University, Northridge, and ultimately his Doctorate from the University of La Verne, both in Public Administration.