About the Los Angeles County
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
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.
In 1951 and at the Age of 17,
Lee Ballenger enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. During his first year
in the Marine Corps he trained with the 3rd Tank Battalion. Shortly after his 18th birthday, Lee Ballenger
was shipped out to Korea, arriving in January 1953. After a short stint “with
the 1st Reconnaissance Company, he returned to tanks in time to participate in the Nevada Cities fighting at the
end of March.” Lee Ballenger continued as a tank crewman until the end
of fighting in Korea. He re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served as a military
police officer until his discharge in 1957.
After his discharge Lee Ballenger
began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
He retired in 1989 at the rank of Lieutenant. Lee Ballenger is the author
of a two volume set on the Korean War: The
Outpost War: U.S. Marine Corps in Korea, 1952 and The Final Crucible: U.S. Marines in Korea, 1953.
According to David Alperstein
of Library Journal, “In his first book, Ballenger succeeds in presenting a lucid account of the 1st Marine Division
in western Korea in 1952, a period of the war (June 1950-July 1953) he describes as a "stalemate" while also pointing out
that 40 percent of all Marine casualties occurred after April 1952. Ballenger argues that this period is ignored by historians.
This book is actually the first of a two-part set whose second volume will cover 1953 and the final bloody months of the war.
The author uses the personal experiences and insights he gained while serving in the 1st Division Reconnaissance Company and
the 1st Tank Battalion as well as his battalion command diaries and other sources to write a concise, readable study of what
he calls the "Unknown War." The tactics and strategies used by the Marines, Chinese, and Korean (North and South) are described
and analyzed. The appendixes provide a detailed list of the many hills, outposts, and military sites relevant to the 1st Division's
story. The book is not meant to be a detailed historical study, but it is an intelligent look at one phase of the Korean War.
Recommended for public and academic libraries, this will be of special interest to veterans and military history buffs.”
According to Roland Green, in
Booklist, “In his second volume on marine operations during the Korean War's last years, Ballenger continues to be a
military historian equally useful to the scholar and the casual buff. The fighting centered on outposts, as each side sought
to obtain the best positions to influence the peace negotiations through numerous small operations, occasional larger ones,
and many raids, patrols, and outbursts of harassing fire. Highlighted in this volume are one of the largest raids, of Ungok;
the bloody ambush at Gray Rock; the long fight for a complex of outposts named after Nevada cities; and the worst battle of
1953, for Boulder City--the last marine engagement in Korea. Ballenger continues to provide model accounts of small-unit actions,
to enlighten readers on the value of tanks in infantry support (a high-velocity tank gun is good backup), and to be none too
charitable toward what is described as the army's tendency to leave the marines holding the bag. Like its companion, The Outpost
War (2000), this is a nearly indispensable Korean War history”