Three Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Stations Ranks Among Best Worldwide

Three stations in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been selected as the best of the best of more than 800 police stations worldwide, according to a recently released report. The following stations, in order by ranking with one being the best, were selected by Altus Global Alliance:

1. San Dimas Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, San Dimas, California

Captain Joseph S. Hartshorne, Station Commander

2. Lakewood Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lakewood, California

Captain David L. Fender, Station Commander

3. Lancaster Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lancaster, California

Captain Carl H. Deeley, Station Commander

According to the report, the program worked as follows. During a one-week period beginning October 22, 2007, more than 3,500 people visited over 800 police stations in 22 countries around the globe, according to the report prepared by Altus Global Alliance, a worldwide organization of five justice reform groups based in Brazil, Chile, India, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States. This was the second annual occurrence of this global event, known as Police Station Visitors Week, which was created to assess citizen satisfaction with services delivered by police departments, identify good practices used by police, and strengthen relations between police and their local communities, Altus officials said.

In the United States, the Vera Institute of Justice, a founding member of the Altus Global Alliance, organized visits by 33 local community groups in cooperation with 12 law enforcement agencies. These agencies serve a range of urban, suburban, and rural constituencies, and the groups who made visits represent a diverse mix of local interests and communities.

I am most gratified with these results, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca. I thank Altus for this honor and believe it’s another example of how we are trying to be the best law enforcement agency in the country and the world.

Citizens used a special kit to guide their visits, following the same protocol as other civil society groups around the world. Immediately after the visit, participants answered a series of questions about what they had observed. Their answers were collected via Altus’ global Web site. Using the ratings supplied by the visitors, Altus calculated an overall score for each station and separate scores in five categories of service: community orientation, physical condition, equal treatment of the public, transparency and accountability, and detention conditions.

Altus officials also said the most valuable results of this event were that visitors resoundingly reported that their opinions of law enforcement improved considerably after these visits, and many expressed how happy they were for the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about community needs. The report is available online at