DOWNEY - Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was in Downey last week to receive a recognition from the Los Angeles County Board of Education "for his years of dedicated service and his commitment and vision in the area of education."In presenting a resolution, the board recognized that the county's top law enforcement officer, who was first elected to the post in 1998, "has more than lived up to his honorary title of Education Sheriff." Baca has successfully launched many school-related initiatives, the resolution stated, including the promotion of secondary and higher education not only for deputies, staff members and other employees of the Sheriff's Department, but also for inmates at all correctional facilities the department operates. "It's true that Job One of the county sheriff is law enforcing, and Sheriff Baca's record on that score is certainly distinguished," said board vice president Douglas Boyd at a presentation ceremony during the board's regular meeting at the Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey. "The sheriff's record in the area of education is less well known, but truly remarkable." Baca, who holds a doctorate in public administration from USC and is a life member of the university's honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, created the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department University, in partnership with 13 accredited colleges. The university offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, Ph.D. and juris doctorate degrees. About 1,000 sheriff department employees are currently enrolled in the program, which also is open to police and fire agencies and county probation officers. "It is an honor to be recognized by educators for doing what I think is a very important job - creating education and learning opportunities for those in law enforcement and for those who are in the custody of law enforcement," said Baca. Baca is also credited for developing "education-based incarceration," a system that last year provided nearly 2 million hours of inmate education in GED, high school courses and vocational studies.
********** Published: December 30, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 37