LASD News

Custody Assistant Academy Class 97 is made up of 20 females and 15 males.


#LASD Sheriff Jim McDonnell Presided Over Graduation Ceremonies of Custody Assistant Class 97

#LASD Sheriff Jim McDonnell Presided Over Graduation Ceremonies of Custody Assistant Class 97

A total of 35 newly-trained men and women lined up in formation for final inspection at the Biscailuz Center Training Academy in Los Angeles, while awaiting the formal transition from Custody Assistant recruits to California Correctional Officers.

Graduation ceremonies were held Friday morning, October 12, 2018, in honor of the recruits’ hard work and determination, at the conclusion of a challenging eight-week course of correctional officer academy training.

Custody Assistant Academy Class 97 is made up of 20 females and 15 males. The class is comprised of 35 recruits, thirty from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, three from Bell Gardens Police Department, one from Gardena Police Department and one from Inglewood Police Department.

Sheriff McDonnell presided over the graduation ceremonies and was joined on stage by Lieutenant Paul Weinrich, Bell Gardens Police Department: Chief Thomas Kang, Gardena Police Department and Captain Ed Ridens Jr., Inglewood Police Department. The Sheriff heartily congratulated the class on their accomplishments and offered words of perspective, “You have chosen to lead a life of purpose by stepping up and embracing the risks you have accepted and the sacrifices you will make by serving the people of Los Angeles County. Thank you for answering the call for public service.”


After each graduate received their certificate, they took their first proverbial steps into a professional law enforcement career and were officially sworn in as California Correctional Officers.

Custody Assistants are para-professional staff with positions assigned to either a patrol station, court lockup or custody facility, appointed to support sworn personnel in observing and processing inmates. They perform a wide variety of duties which include control booth operation to monitor inmate movement and control entry/exit in a facility, process the intake, classification and release of inmates, ensure the maintenance of order and security in the detention area of a facility, and supervise recreational and work activities of inmates.

In a special segment of the ceremony, Mark A. Briseno, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, was named as the Honor Recruit and the top Academic Recruit. This award is earned by the recruit who achieves the highest numerical average based upon leadership qualities, academics, and physical performance throughout the training period.

Each class of recruits processed through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Biscailuz Center Training Academy brings with them an assortment of unique characteristics, talents and skills. An example of such is, among the 35 graduating recruits, 24 speak a language other than English, including Armenian, French, German, Korean, Spanish, Swahili, Vietnamese, and Yoruba; six lived abroad in the countries of Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, and Switzerland.


These graduates bring with them a large source of higher education, 7 recruits have a BA/BS or higher including Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Criminology/Law and Society/Social Ecology, Geology, Psychology, and Masters in Special Education; 3 have service experience in the armed forces, including Nico Hasler’s 10 years’ experience with the Swiss Army; and several recruits have backgrounds in law enforcement, and many come from families with a tradition of serving in law enforcement.

Six recruits have family in law enforcement with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Los Angeles Police Department and Irvine Police Department.

Congratulations, Custody Assistant Academy Class 97, and thank you for the fine qualities you bring to the communities you serve!