PALMDALE – The League of California Cities Desert-Mountain Division named Palmdale Mayor Pro Tem Laura Bettencourt (District 3) as the recipient of the Larry Chimbole Public Service Award at its annual awards banquet, held last week at the Lemon Leaf Restaurant in Palmdale.
Bettencourt was nominated by the Palmdale City Council and selected by the League’s Desert Mountain Division’s Selection Committee, which consists of elected officials from the Desert Mountain Division. The Desert-Mountain Division is comprised of 15 cities, including Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Big Bear Lake, Bishop, California City, Hesperia, Lancaster, Mammoth Lakes, Needles, Palmdale, Ridgecrest, Twentynine Palms, Victorville and Yucca Valley.
“We couldn’t be any prouder of Laura,” said Palmdale City Manager J.J. Murphy. “She has dedicated so much of herself to our City and our residents over the years. Even as she continues her brave fight in her battle against cancer, she is working hard to make a positive difference in our community. Laura Bettencourt personifies the true spirit of this prestigious award.”
The Larry Chimbole Public Service Award is designed to recognize elected officials and/or city managers serving in the Desert/Mountain Division of the League of California Cites. The recipient must share Larry Chimbole’s dedication to public service through outstanding service to municipal government, leadership and activism with the LOCC, and high personal character. The award was established in 2006 and presented to the award’s namesake.
Bettencourt was elected to her first term for Palmdale City Council on May 19, 2009, and re-elected on Nov. 3, 2009, Nov. 8, 2016, and again on Nov. 6, 2018. She was named Mayor Pro Tem on Dec. 22, 2020. Bettencourt works as a crime and intelligence analyst for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and has done so for 22 years. She previously worked for Northrop Grumman at Site 4 on the B2 Bomber project. For the past 20 years, Bettencourt has also worked as an adjunct instructor at Antelope Valley College teaching courses in criminal justice.
Bettencourt holds an associate’s degree from Antelope Valley College, a bachelor’s degree in social ecology, specializing in criminology, law and society, from the University of California, Irvine, and a master’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, San Bernardino. While attending UC Irvine, she worked at the Irvine Police Department. She is also certified by the California Department of Justice in Crime and Intelligence Analysis and has attended both the basic and advanced DEA federal law enforcement academies for intelligence analysis in Quantico, Virginia.
Bettencourt is a member of the Palmdale City Audit Committee, Palmdale Airport Authority, a director on the Palmdale Financing Authority, director on the Palmdale Civic Authority, director on the Industrial Development Authority, director with the Successor Agency, a commissioner with the Palmdale Housing Authority, a delegate representative at large for the North Los Angeles County Transportation Coalition (NCTC), and is a delegate for the California State Prison – Los Angeles County, Citizens Advisory Committee. She is also an alternate delegate for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority, Palmdale Recycled Water Authority (PRWA), California Contract Cities Association, and US/Mexico Sister Cities Association. She was a member of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) commission, and previously served for six years on the board of directors for the Palmdale Aerospace Academy.
Bettencourt holds memberships with the National Criminal Justice Honor Society (Alpha Phi Sigma), the International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA), the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA), the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), the American Society of Criminology (ASC), is a member of the Professional Peace Officers Association (PPOA 621), AVCFT Local 4683A (CFT, AFT, AFL-CIO), and holds a lifetime membership with Girl Scouts of America.
[Information via news release from the city of Palmdale.]