[LASD 2019] —
On December 3, 2018, after more than three decades of law enforcement experience, Sheriff Alex Villanueva was sworn in as the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County. Sheriff Villanueva is a distinguished leader and is a tireless advocate for both the community and the hard working men and women who serve with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD). He has challenged corruption and fought for reform since his early days as a deputy on the Department. He wants to rebuild the LASD structure from the ground up, reorganizing the agency around the principles of community policing and ethical standards of conduct. His goal is to create a leaner, more effective LASD to better serve the community.
Sheriff Villanueva joined the Department in 1986, after serving our country in the United States Air Force as a Senior Airman. He also served as a 1st Lieutenant in the California Army National Guard from 1985 until 1992. His journey commenced from his birthplace in Chicago, Illinois traversing to New York, Puerto Rico, and ultimately Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino, California. He met his wife, Vivian, also a veteran of the Department and a native Angelino, in 1993. The two have made Los Angeles County their home for more than 30 years. They have a united 54 years of service patrolling the streets and serving the citizens of Los Angeles County. He retired from the Department as a Lieutenant in early 2018, after 32 years of service, and devoted his attention to his campaign for Sheriff.
Sheriff Villanueva is the product of a close-knit family that understands the value of a good education. He began his college education while in Puerto Rico, and continued while on active duty until he earned an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts and a Bachelor's of Science in Liberal Studies. Later, while working assignments in patrol, he earned his Master's Degree from California State University, Northridge and eventually his Doctorate from the University of La Verne, both in Public Administration. His dissertation, "Leadership Diversity in Law Enforcement" was a ground-breaking study on the impact of promotional practices on diversity in large law enforcement agencies.
Over the years, Sheriff Villanueva has served the community in many roles, both on and off duty. These include Patrol Deputy, Field Supervisor, Training Officer, Drill Instructor, Watch Sergeant, and Watch Commander, as well as Adjunct Professor in Criminal Justice at California State University Long Beach, Planning Commissioner for the La Habra Heights Planning Commission, and founding President of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Professional Association which is devoted to fighting corruption.
Sheriff Villanueva and his wife have resided in Los Angeles County since 2004. He is the proud parent of son, Jared, a US Army and Iraq War veteran, and grandfather of Chrissy and Sophia. In his free time, the Sheriff enjoys spending time with his family.
SD1902: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.