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LA Sheriff Lee Baca Recommends Terri McDonald Be Interim Sheriff

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Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

After just one year with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Terri McDonald has been recommended to become the interim sheriff by current Sheriff Lee Baca when he retires at the end of the month.

Terri McDonald first made headlines last year as an unexpected choice to become assistant sheriff for the custody division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.


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McDonald’s appointment to assistant sheriff represented a significant departure for the department, which has historically promoted from within, according to a blog by Zev Yaroslavsky, LA county supervisor for the third district. The position also made McDonald the highest-ranking woman in the department’s history.

Related news: Sheriff Lee Baca Announces Retirement After 48 Years With Department

As an assistant sheriff, McDonald has reported directly to Baca and been able to see how recent shifts of certain oversight and incarceration responsibilities from the state to its counties, or “realignment,” is working. Some of her responsibilities include advising and assisting Baca in administrative and policy as well as recommending disciplinary action affecting personnel within her area of responsibility.

Before working for the Sheriff’s Department, McDonald worked as an undersecretary of operations for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) since 2011.  During these years she was California’s point person for “realignment.” She said one of her many responsibilities included moving 10,000 inmates to five other states due to massive overcrowding, giving her a national perspective on prison models, according to Yaroslavsky’s blog.

Related news: Replacing Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca Will Take Until End Of 2014

“In my new role,” she said of becoming assistant sheriff, “I’ll have the opportunity to see the impact and work on solutions.”

McDonald is a 24-year veteran of the CDCR, and prior to working as the undersecretary of operations was the chief deputy secretary, associate director, chief, correctional administrator, correctional captain, correctional lieutenant, and a correctional officer.


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At the CDCR McDonald supervised approximately 300,000 parolees and offenders in prison, was an executive leader for roughly 60,000 employees and had an operating budget in excess of $10 billion, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

McDonald is a member of the American Correctional Association and the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents.

She graduated with honors from the University of San Francisco with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Leadership in Law Enforcement.

More information: Lee Baca



LA Sheriff Lee Baca Recommends Terri McDonald Be Interim Sheriff


Article: LA Sheriff Lee Baca Recommends Terri McDonald Be Interim Sheriff
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Ashley Soley-Cerro