Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris put political differences aside Tuesday morning to jointly announce support for Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold, as he campaigns to be the next sheriff of Los Angeles County.
“The one way that we know to make certain the Antelope Valley continues to be safe, and continues to get safer, is if Jim Hellmold gets elected sheriff,” Parris said. “This is not politics as usual; this is the safety of our kids.”
Ledford said Hellmold, a 25-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, had united the High Desert as far as public safety was concerned.
“What we want to see is a continuation of the resources being dedicated to the sheriff’s department, and Jim Hellmold is here to guarantee that kind of continual service and commitment to the Antelope Valley,” Ledford said, adding that Hellmold was one of the few who actually knew about the Antelope Valley.
“When you hear him talk, he talks about us as what we are – a place where we’re raising our families and building a community,” Ledford continued.
As assistant sheriff, Hellmold commands all of the department’s patrol and detective divisions throughout Los Angeles County.
The 46-year-old joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 1988. As a deputy, Hellmold received formal recognition in Long Beach and Bellflower for impacting street crime, and he also served as a youth mentor at local foster homes, according to his campaign website.
In 2000, Hellmold was promoted to sergeant; and in 2005, Hellmold was promoted to lieutenant, where he served as a watch commander at Compton Station during the peak of a violent crime surge.
In 2007, Hellmold was promoted to captain; and in 2011, he was promoted to commander and worked on jail reforms throughout Los Angeles County.
Hellmold announced his candidacy last month, following the retirement of Sheriff Lee Baca. At Tuesday’s press conference, Hellmold said he was making Antelope Valley a priority.
“While other people are hustling around in downtown Los Angeles and they’re securing what are perceived to be L.A. city endorsements, I’m going where the priorities are right here in the Antelope Valley,” Hellmold said. “We will continue this great reduction of crime that’s occurred here, because of the strong leadership that you see right here.”
To learn more about Hellmold, visit his campaign website here.
Others vying to succeed Baca for L.A. County Sheriff include former Undersheriff and Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka; former Sheriff’s Lieutenant Patrick Gomez; Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers; retired Sheriff’s Commander Bob Olmsted; LAPD Detective Supervisor Lou Vince; and Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. The primary election takes place in June.