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James D. Whaley

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Field Guide to Law Enforcement 2006 (Miscellaneous) (Miscellaneous)
Lloyd L. Weinreb; James D. Whaley  More Info

About the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department is the largest sheriff's department in the world. In addition to specialized services, such as the Sheriff's Youth Foundation, International Liaison and Employee Support Services, the Department is divided into ten divisions, each headed by a Division Chief.


 There are three patrol divisions (Field Operations Regions I, II and III), Custody Operations Division, Correctional Services Division, Detective Division, Court Services Division, Technical Services Division, Office of Homeland Security, Administrative Services Division, and Leadership and Training Division.


The Sheriff's Department of Los Angeles County was formed in April, 1850. Elections for the office of Sheriff were held annually until 1882, when the term was increased to two years; in 1894 the term was increased to four years. The first Sheriff of Los Angeles County was George T. Burrill and his staff consisted of two Deputies.


Twenty-four men have served Los Angeles County as Sheriff since 1850: nineteen were elected and six were appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve the unexpired term of their predecessors. Two were killed in the line of duty. Of those appointed, four were re-elected to the office. The youngest man ever elected to the office of Sheriff was William B. Rowland, who was sworn in when he was 25 years old (in 1871), and was re-elected three times. The record for the longest consecutive service goes to Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, who completed 51 years in the department, from deputy in 1907, to being appointed Sheriff in 1932 and then retiring in 1958. Our previous Los Angeles County Sheriff, Sherman Block, entered the department as a Deputy Sheriff in 1956 and continued up through the ranks until he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to succeed Sheriff Pitchess in 1982. In June of 1982, Sheriff Block was elected to a full four year term as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.







James D. Whaley began his law enforcement career in 1967 as a deputy sheriff when he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  In 1975, a little over a year after his graduation from law school, he joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  In 1980, he was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent.  He retired from the FBI in 1999.  He continues to be active in law enforcement as a special consultant to the California Department of Corrections, Deadly Force Review Board and as an attorney in private practice.  He is the co-author The Field Guide to Law Enforcement.


According to the description of The Field Guide to Law Enforcement, “it provides clear, concise, and up-to-date statements of the rules of law applicable to situations commonly encountered by police officers in the field. Rules are stated from the point of view of an officer on duty. Officers who familiarize themselves with the layout and contents of the Field Guide should have no difficulty understanding the rules and applying them to "street" situations. The Field Guide has been designed for easy reference. The seven sections have been arranged according to the most common street situations. Topics within each section are in an easy-to-follow order, usually one to a page, with cross-references to related topics. Tabs at the bottom of each page make it easy to find the desired topic.”

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