Last week I wrote about how impressed I was with Jim McDonnell's leadership on the issue of civilian oversight for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department. He will bring in a new era of transparency and success for the department. That's one of the reasons why I am proud to announce my endorsement of McDonnell's campaign for Sheriff today.
Throughout Chief McDonnell's years of public service, he has shown that he is not just tough on crime, but smart on crime, with the insights to recognize the value of investing in prevention and crime reduction strategies that keep our community safe and also help promote more positive outcomes for those at risk of entry into the justice system.
Jim McDonnell has served as Chief of Police in Long Beach since 2010. He previously served as the second in command in the Los Angeles Police Department. Jim has the background and experience to do this job, and do it well. His work in community policing is especially hopeful in terms of forging a new direction for the LA County Sheriff's department. In fact McDonnell's community policing plan was the foundation of Chief Bill Bratton's efforts to reform the LAPD.
I look forward to working with Chief McDonnell to ensure we are providing community-based treatment options instead of incarceration for those who suffer from mental illness and could benefit from these services.
We are all ill-served by warehousing inmates in our violent and overcrowded jails, without rehabilitation options or treatment for those with addictions and mental illnesses. High rates of recidivism without opportunities to reform means that people are on a treadmill in and out of jail, and they, their entire families, and the community suffers when they re-offend. Programs like the Community Re-Entry Resource Center should be improved and expanded, but we also need to get to the bottom of the existing problems in our jails. The sheriff's department has a responsibility to serve and protect all of our residents -- those in jail as well as those in the community.
I look forward to what Jim McDonnell will do for LA County next year, which is why I will be working to help him get elected this fall.