Lee Baca Named National Sheriff of the Year

The National Sheriffs’ Association announced that Los Angeles Sheriff Leroy D. Baca has been selected as the Sheriff of the Year winner. The award will be presented at the Opening General Session of the Association’s Annual Conference in June.

Sheriff Baca was elected as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in Los Angeles County in 1998. He commands the largest Sheriff’s Office in the United States with a budget of $2.5 billion. He leads nearly 18,000 sworn and professional staff who compromise the law enforcement providers for forty-two incorporated cities, 140 unincorporated communities, ten community colleges, and thousands of Metropolitan Transit Authority and Rapid Rail Transit District commuters. The Sheriff’s Office directly protects more than four million people.

The Office of the Los Angeles County Sheriff manages the nation’s largest local jail system housing nearly 20,000 inmates. Sheriff Baca developed Education-Based Incarceration (EBI) to address the high rate of offender recidivism in Los Angeles County. EBI uses innovative, evidence-based strategies to deliver education and life skills that provide hope and opportunity to offenders who want to live a better life and become contributing members of their communities. The Office also protects the largest court system in the nation.

Sheriff Baca is the Coordinator of Mutual Aid Emergency Services for California Region 1, which includes the County of Orange. Region 1 serves 13 million people.

Sheriff Baca is the founder of Public Trust Policing that includes diverse advisory councils; a Clergy Council of more than 300 ministers, pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, and leaders of every faith community. He also operates sixteen nonprofit youth centers; ten at-risk regional training centers for at-risk youth ages 10-18, and provides dozens of deputies to 240 elementary and middle schools who teach 50,000 children about positive solutions to the problems of drugs and gangs. He operates one of law enforcement’s largest prevention and intervention programs in the nation.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff Office’s service area has one of the nation’s lowest crime rates for a major metropolitan area. Deputies arrest more than 90,000 felony and misdemeanor suspects, as well as respond to more than 1,000,000 calls for service annually.

Sheriff Baca, a United States Marine Corps Reserve veteran, earned his Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He was elected to the NSA Board of Directors in 2005 and elected to the Executive Committee in 2011. He is the chair of the NSA Global Affairs Policing Committee and also serves on the Congressional Affairs and Homeland Security Committees.

The National Sheriffs’ Association established the Ferris E. Lucas award in 1995 to recognize an outstanding sheriff of the year for contributions made to improve the Office of Sheriff on the local, state, and national levels, and for involvement in the community above and beyond the responsibilities required. The award is given in memory of Ferris E. Lucas, NSA Past President (1944-46) and executive director (1964-82), who completed 50 years of distinguished service and leadership in law enforcement. Pursuit Products, Inc. is sponsoring this year’s award.

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is one of the largest associations of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,080 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of approximately 20,000.

NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-two year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government. For more information on NSA, visit www.sheriffs.org

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