LOS ANGELES – Adolfo Gonzales began work Monday as Los Angeles County’s chief probation officer, overseeing a system that supervises more than 40,000 juveniles and adults and managing an annual budget of over $1 billion.
A former San Diego County probation chief, Gonzales brings 43 years of law enforcement experience to his new position, including being chief of the National City Police Department and assistant chief with the San Diego Police Department.
Gonzales was appointed to the position last month by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, replacing interim Chief Probation Officer Ray Leyva. Gonzales takes over the probation department as the county seeks to move responsibility for juvenile justice out of the department and put money into diversion programs aimed at reducing the jail population.
In San Diego County, Gonzales oversaw the bifurcation of adult and juvenile probation and received a grant from Georgetown’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform to implement a new youth custody model. Gonzales helped transform San Diego County’s detention facilities “to urban camps, a model of youth-centered, therapeutic and rehabilitative environment,” according to the probation department.
Gonzales said he was “really looking forward” to his new position.
“This Probation Department has an extensive history,” he said. “It’s a department that isn’t only known for being the largest department of its kind in the nation but is also recognized for its dedicated employees. I look forward to working alongside them to support our clients and continue to help transform lives every day.”
Gonzales previously worked as chief investigator for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. He was also an executive fellow with the FBI.