LASD International Liaison Unit

International Liaison Unit Meets with Ukrainian Police Chief, Japanese Prosecutor & Korean Commander

A Ukrainian Police Chief, a Japanese Prosecutor, and a Korean Commander, that's an example of the outreach that LASD has with our international communities.

It’s not unusual for the International Liaison Unit (ILU) of the LA County Sheriff’s Department to meet and interact with police or government representatives from other countries on any given day.

Last week, however, the unit encountered it’s most diverse shift in quite some time.  Three unique delegations from three different countries—with wildly divergent interests--all fell on the same bustling Wednesday.  

Ms. Yasuko Okamoto of the Japanese Public Prosecutor’s Office kicked off the morning with a walkthrough at the Inmate Reception Center.  Accompanied by Consular Officers from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, Ms. Okamoto wanted to learn more about the basics of law enforcement in Los Angeles County.  What are the responsibilities of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department?  What is it like for an inmate to be booked into the LA County jail system?  What does a patrol station cover?  And how exactly do we train our recruits to work in the challenging jail and patrol environment?  Following her in-depth look at the Inmate Reception Center, the entry point of the LA County jails, ILU arranged for her to meet the hard working deputies of East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station.  There, she encountered Captain Chavez and Deputy Arnott, and learned about deputies’ roles in the community, their equipment, and day-to-day responsibilities.  Deputy Arnott even had some local East LA specialties on hand, tamales and pan dulce, for a quick pit stop.  Ms. Okamoto ended her day with a visit to Biscailuz Regional Training Center, home of the Academy.  There, Lt. Wolak spoke to her at length and concluded the visit with a poignant display of the Memorial Wall. 

Simultaneously, Superintendent General Hakkwan Kim of the Korean National Police Agency was delving into recruitment material with Deputy Cho of LASD’s Recruitment Unit.  Back home in Korea, Superintendent General Kim is second in command of the Daejeon Metropolitan Police.  Together, they spoke of the hiring standards of LASD and strategies for finding the best and brightest candidates for the job. 

On the other side of town, Dr. Steve Sultan, Director of Psychological Services Bureau (PSB), listened intently as Patrol Police Chief Mykhailo Vershynin spoke somberly of the tragedies faced by his patrol officers in Ukraine.  PTSD is all too common among the police of the Donetsk Region, and resources like chaplain services are only in their infancy.  Chief Vershynin and Yaroslav Malko, the first official chaplain for Ukrainian police, were looking to LASD for best practices on establishing psychological support services for their personnel.  Dr. Sultan explained LASD’s organizational model of PSB, hiring, the importance of confidentiality, and the evolution of his Bureau over time.

Last Wednesday is but one example of how LASD welcomes police and government officials from all nations to stop by and discuss best practices on an array of policing topics.  We firmly believe that by sharing our successes and our lessons learned, we can improve the experiences of our international partners.