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Torrance Police Department (Images of America: California)
John Prins  More Info

About the Torrance Police Department

The City of Torrance is located in southwest Los Angeles County in a region known as the South Bay. The fourth largest municipality in Los Angeles County, the City is bordered on the southwest by one mile of beach, on the west by the City of Redondo Beach, on the north by the community of Lawndale, on the east by the Cities of Los Angeles' Harbor Gateway and Gardena, and on the south by the communities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.


The City is part of the greater suburban Los Angeles area. Prior to 1912, Torrance was part of a Spanish land grant belonging to the Dominguez family. The land was largely unpopulated, open, dusty plain. By 1912, a real estate developer from Pasadena named Jared Sidney Torrance had purchased 2800 acres to make his vision of a "Modern Industrial City" a reality. Police services during this period were provided by Los Angeles County in the form of a Constable stationed in Lomita. During these early years, the City's physical layout followed Jared Sydney Torrance's master plan.


Today, the Torrance Police Department has 240 sworn police officers and 101 civilian support personnel.  In addition to the main police station, the Torrance Police Department operates four Police Community Centers.  The Torrance Police Department is organized into four Bureaus, with a Captain in charge of each bureau, reporting to the Deputy Chief of Police.  The four bureaus are:  Administrative, Services, Patrol and Special Operations.


The Patrol Bureau contains the Patrol  Division which is the largest personnel pool in the department.  The Patrol Division is under the command of one captain. Six lieutenants serve as watch commanders. There are twelve field sergeants and 80 officers in Patrol. Lieutenants, sergeants and officers are assigned to work one of three different shifts, 07,15 or 00 watch. The City is divided into 6 beats, with each beat patrolled by at least one unit.


Patrol is the largest division within the Police Department, and the Patrol Officers are the first responders to our community's calls for service; playing a key role in our public service, crime prevention, crime detection, criminal apprehension, S.W.A.T., C.S.I., K9 and Community-Oriented Policing efforts.


Patrol Officers generally work in full uniform and operate marked black and white police vehicles. A Patrol Officer's day ranges from handling routine reports to life threatening dangerous situations. When not answering calls for service, Patrol Officers seek out and proactively suppress criminal activity. They also routinely participate in such activities as traffic enforcement, community problem-solving activities, assisting citizens in improving the quality of life in the City and numerous other law enforcement functions








Sergeant John Prins is a 27-year member of the Torrance Police Department.  He has served the Torrance Police Department in many capacities, including as a patrol officer, crime scene investigator, detective, background investigator, SWAT officer, and K-9 handler. John Prins is the author of Torrance Police Department.


According to the book description, “The Torrance Police Department dates to May 23, 1921, when city trustees appointed Ben Olsen as city marshal and, shortly thereafter, hired Byron Anderson as night watchman. The efforts of these men were devoted to dealing with thieves, keeping the peace, and “declaring war on speedsters.” From such humble beginnings, the Torrance Police Department has grown into the fourth largest municipal law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County. Its position as the anchoring police force of the South Bay section of the county and its reputation as an innovator in crime fighting have been firmly established over time. Today, with a total of 242 sworn and 100 support personnel, the highly regarded Torrance Police Department serves more than 142,000 inhabitants in 21 square miles.”

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