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Stephen Beeler

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The Firestone Syndrome
Stephen Beeler  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.







In 1962 Stephen Beeler joined the United States Army, serving in Germany.   After his discharge in 1965 he joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  During his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department he served in patrol, administration, court services, community relations, press liaison and hostage negotiations.  In 1986, he retired from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s because of a duty-related injury.  From 1987 to 1995, he was the business manager for the Arizona Department of Corrections in Winslow.  Stephen Beeler is the author of The Firestone Syndrome.


According to the book description of The Firestone Syndrome, it is “a story based on actual events about an ambitious Los Angeles County Sheriff's lieutenant, Steve Butler, during the late 1970's who is manipulated by his superiors to return to the notorious Firestone Sheriff's Station in south-central Los Angeles to build evidence on suspected Sheriff's deputies his superiors believe are systematically murdering local criminals. Steve Butler is hesitant to return to Firestone because of his tour there as a deputy when he faced the Firestone "Elitists'" scorn for his perceived inability to "pull the trigger" when necessary. His return to Firestone brings about intrigue, murder and an ironic twist with a surprise ending as Steve Butler is used as a pawn by the mysterious killers.”

According to one reader of The Firestone Syndrome, “This is an excellent story. It was really difficult to set the book down at those moments I needed to get back to the demands of real life! I have personal interest in the lives described here as my own father was a cop and I always knew he kept things from us, his family. I always wondered if it was for our protection and this book confirms my suspicions. I doubt his experiences were this intense, I sure hope not!  Bless the souls of all cops that face this kind of life. I can only imagine the personal costs, the internal tests to walk the higher road even when your life is in the hands of a partner or team who could kill you just as easily as they can save you! How do you maintain the good in the midst of such a black hole trying to suck you in?! This story is truly compelling. I recommend you set aside time to read it right through when you buy it.”

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