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Sven Crongeyer

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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.







Sergeant Sven Crongeyer has been employed with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 17 years. His passion for historical research led him to write Six Gun Sound: The Early History of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which traces law enforcement efforts to meet the challenge of public safety that from the beginning were both enhanced and hampered by the influx of ranchers, cowboys, farmers, miners, gunfighters, and gamblers. Los Angeles was a den of iniquity that rivaled even the most famous towns of the Old West: Silver City, Tombstone, Dodge City, and Wichita.

One reader of Six Gun Sound: The Early History of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said, “I am a retired law enforcement officer and really enjoyed reading some of real facts about the Old West. Many of the stories we read and see on TV have been embellished to make it seem more interesting, but the truth is often more fascinating that the fictional accounts. And Sven dug out the truth through research and interviews and provides us some wonderful, great stories about Los Angeles during the times of the Gold Rush, Civil War, and the beginning of the LA Sheriff's Department. He brings to life the desperadoes and the racial problems, offset by strong government leaders and the heroic deeds of the early lawmen. An excellent chronicle of the wild and wooly days out West.”

One reader of Six Gun Sound: The Early History of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said This is a historical account of the earliest days of Law Makers and Breakers in the L.A. area... Quite violent and deadly...Quite interesting! Purchased for a friend who was in the Mounted Posse division of the L.A. Sheriff's Dept. for over 20 years, I still have it and am almost finished! Very informative, engaging and entertaining.”

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