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Tuesday June 7, 2022 — California Primary Election
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Los Angeles CountyCandidate for Sheriff

Photo of Alex Villanueva

Alex Villanueva

Sheriff, Los Angeles County
454,556 votes (30.7%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Addressing Rising Crime: We will work to restore our budget so we can hire more personnel to reduce crime, and expand our public integrity unit to address corruption in LA; currently ranked #2 in the nation for corruption.
  • Out of control homelessness: Under my leadership our Department has and will continue to further reduce homelessness, if not end it, by expanding our successful Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST) and Mental Evaluation Team (MET).
  • Unlicensed/Ilegal marijuana grows and dispensaries: Last year we in carried out the largest illegal marijuana bust in LASD history (i.e. destroyed 33,480 pounds of marijuana; estimated street value of $1.193B). We will continue these operations.



Alex Villanueva’s mother, Mary Ann was the daughter of Polish immigrants and his father, Victor, was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Alex was born in Chicago, IL but the family moved to Rochester, NY.  Victor and Mary Ann Villanueva moved Alex and his five brothers and sisters to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The family ran a small print shop in a close-knit and safe community.


After graduating from high school in Puerto Rico, Sheriff Alex Villanueva began a long road to earning his college degrees. Along the way, Villanueva joined the military, moved to Los Angeles, CA, became LA Sheriff’s Deputy, served in the Army National Guard, earned his Doctoral Degree, became Adjunct Professor, and eventually became our 33rd Sheriff of LA County.



Villanueva earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts from San Bernardino Valley College in 1986.

B.A. in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, University of the State of New York, Regents College.

Master of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.  

Doctor of Public Administration from the University of La Verne. Villanueva’s dissertation focused on leadership diversity in law enforcement.


Alex Villanueva is the 33rd Sheriff of Los Angeles County, and he is the first Spanish-speaking sheriff in the county. In 2018, retired sheriff’s lieutenant Villanueva defeated incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonell, becoming the first to unseat the incumbent in over 100 years. Sheriff Villanueva also became the first Democratic Sheriff in LA County in almost 140 years.


Alex served our communities as a member of the LA Sheriff’s Department for almost 35 years before becoming Sheriff.


Career at LASD:

Custody, Century Regional Detention Facility.

Patrol Deputy, East LA

Drill Instructor at the Sheriff’s Academy Training Bureau

California Army National Guard, Lieutenant (2nd Battalion, 144th Field Artillery Regiment, 40th Infantry Division).

Sergeant, Lennox and Carson Sheriff Stations, the Community College Bureau, and the Advanced Officer Training unit.

Watch Commander at the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station.

From 2006-2010 Alex was an Adjunct Professor of criminal justice at California State University, Long Beach.


Sheriff Villanueva is married to retired LA County Sheriff Sergeant Vivian Villanueva.


During my first term I have taken necessary steps to enhance public trust of LASD by: 

  1. Implementing the first ever policy banning illegal deputy ‘gangs.’ This policy was turned into a bill (AB 958) with Asm. Mike Gipson and is now state law.


2. Permanently banned ICE transfers within the County Jail system.


3.  Implemented the first wage theft task force.


4. Implemented a de-escalation course for LASD deputies and mandated every sheriff be equipped with body cameras.


5. Greatly expanded LASD's Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST).


6. Preventing hiring the hiring out of state candidates and instead relying on local pipelines to fill staffing shortages. 


7. Ensuring our Sheriff’s are representative of the communities they serve. LASD is the most ethnically diverse department in the United States (LA County Sheriff's Department employees are now Mirroring LA County Demographics ; Black, 7.5%, 8%; Asian, 5.5%, 15%; Hispanic, 52.5%, 49%) with department females accounting for 18.3% of LASD personnel at all ranks (The national average is 11.9%). 

During my 2nd term I will seek to enhance unity, integrity and innovation in the department by building upon much of my work carried out during my 1st term. 


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