Sheriff Lee Baca is, for those with the knowledge and history of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs, nothing short of a breath of fresh air! “Oh what does John J. Nazarian know?” Lots, I met Sheriff Peter J. Pitchess a few times when I was a teenager, and I met him again as an adult at the memorial and funeral for Deputy Arthur E. Pelino. Art was murdered after an altercation with an alleged mentally ill subject March 19, 1978 (Art was my advisor along with Bob Warford at the old Newhall station and several hours after Art was murdered I picked up his body from the coroners office and took him to the Pierce Brothers Mortuary in Eagle Rock and it was there that I embalmed and prepared him for his funeral).
Peter J. Pitchess was one of the most powerful law enforcement figures in the world in his day. He came from the J.Edgar Hoover school of law enforcement, no body in there right mind would ever take on Pitches or for that matter J. Edgar Hoover. Both Peter J. Pitchess and J.Edgar Hoover were cut from the same cloth. They knew how to control anyone and anything that was a threat to their reign, and these two guys both “reigned” and some may have described the administrations as a reign of terror, I call it genius, pure genius. Pitchess from 1958 to 1982 was the sheriff of Los Angeles County, please keep in mind that he had served 12 years with the F.B.I. under guess who? J.Edgar Hoover was the Director of the F.B.I. from 1935 to 1972, look at the time these two legends in law enforcement spent in the “saddle.” Nobody would dare or wanted to be on the bad side of these two men. All that I have to say is “perfect,” there will never be another law officer like Pitchess or Hoover, well at least not till after the revolution.
Now we find the one person who is nothing less than a breath of fresh air, Lee D. Baca. Baca joined the department in 1965 and was sworn in as the Sheriff of Los Angeles County in 1998, I and a few friends had breakfast with Sheriff Baca the morning of his swearing in as “The Sheriff” at the Armenian memorial. Say what you will about the current controversy as to the care of prisoners or as they are referenced today as “inmates.” Modern law enforcement and the expectations of society makes the job of a sheriff or chief of police (particularly in our multi-cultural cities and counties) tough at times and why do you ask? Demographics is the word that comes to my mind, Los Angeles has slowly and continues to be a residence of third world types. Baca has bent over backwards to make his department accessible to all who wish to express themselves, is as they say in Yiddish, a mensch, a person of integrity and honor.
Sheriff Baca is responsible for 9000 sworn personnel and 700 reserve deputies, wait it gets tougher, he also has 7600 civilians. Can you even begin to imagine the havoc a group like this can cause? Also keep in mind that the old days when you had to be just short of a saint to become a L.A. Deputy is gone. Departments in the modern days of law enforcement are to make policing a mirror of the communities they police and to some degree that too is a problem few want to discuss. Sheriff Baca has made changes to this department that few would have had the strength or confidence to make, Lee Baca made those changes when no one else would.
Sheriff Baca is responsible for thousands of prisoners and perhaps some of the worst scum of the earth that is available for critiquing, think about it. Nothing will ever be perfect in the county jail and no one is going to make it work perfect. Funnier yet is that when many of these prisoners were on the street they did nothing but create havoc what it must be like to keep thousands of them penned up! In short Lee Baca will overcome these issues that are being drummed on in the media like “the sky is falling.” It almost seems to me that the issues are more political and socio-economic issues than one of failure of Sheriff Bacas administration or his abilities. For myself and DesperateExes.com we support Sheriff Lee Baca and always will, great Sheriffs are hard to find!
Closing thought, in Maricopa County, Arizona none of these complaints would make a blip on the radar…why, you ask? simple the citizens in that county support law and order and tend to be elderly and retired, and Sheriff Joe knows how to keep the bad guys in check, “socio-economic.”
Straight Talk with John J. Nazarian, Private Investigator
October 28, 2011
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