SIB logo Sheriff’s Information Bureau (SIB)

About SIB

The Sheriff’s Information Bureau provides a number of services to Department personnel, the general public, and members of the media. The Bureau provides 24-hour liaison between the media and the communities we serve. All B-1 Deputies assigned are lead Public Information Officers (PIOs) for the Sheriff’s Department. They are trained in all facets of public outreach and transparency. They maintain social media listening and outreach accounts, write news releases, coordinate substantial media events and incidents, and provide interviews to the media. All members of the Bureau have a responsibility to assist the Department goals as it relates to recruitment efforts, messaging, transparency, and service to its constituency.

Operations

Sheriff's Information Bureau Operations staff oversees and assists all units within the Bureau. Personnel assigned to Operations are responsible for a variety of administrative duties, including scheduling, procurement of supplies, managing both SIB and Executive Division fleet, processing SIB employee evaluations and commendations, proofreading press releases and other documents, composing Bureau-specific administrative correspondence, and coordinating personnel to handle the annual media inspections at all LASD Sheriff's Patrol Stations. Along with the Media Desk PIOs, the sworn staff of SIB Operations are also lead PIOs for the Department who assist with media interviews and Department statements on Level 3 or 4 media events.

Executive Projects Team (Awards/Events)

The Executive Projects Team plans, coordinates and choreographs major Department awards ceremonies and events, including the annual Valor Awards Ceremony; Distinguished, Exemplary and Meritorious Service Awards; Lifesaving and Line of Duty Awards; Legendary Lawman/Law Woman Pinning presentations; Los Angeles County Peace Officers Memorial; Sheriff's Day Luncheon; pre-game ceremonies at professional sports venues; annual holiday parties; years of service and promotional luncheons; and other special events.

The unit plans and coordinates the annual Valor Awards Committee meeting for representatives from each division to vote on Medal of Valor, Meritorious Conduct, Line of Duty and Lifesaving Awards nominations. They also provide assistance to other Departmental units in the preparation of scrolls and certificates; building dedications; funerals for peace officers killed in the line of duty; and assist other Department units with award nominations for outside agencies.

Electronic Communications Team (SIB eComm)

The mission of the Electronic Communications Team (eComm) is to manage the Department’s 48 Facebook accounts with a current total of 323k followers, 39 Twitter accounts with a current total of 153k followers, 32 Nixle accounts with 475k subscribers, 2 GovDelivery accounts with 13k subscribers, and several other social media platforms (Including NextDoor, Instagram, and YouTube); and, train members of the Department on the use of, and to conduct research about electronic and web-based communications. Utilizing a strategic listening process, the eComm unit uses the Internet to locate any activity of a public image or reputation management nature or of concern for the Department, such as force videos, inappropriate employee postings or accounts, or public outrage on an LASD incident or event. The eComm unit does not handle criminal web-based monitoring or response. If eComm personnel come across information that appears to be criminal or tactically disruptive in nature, or activity that may elicit a large police response or necessitate substantial resources, such as protests, rave parties, school threats, or flash mobs, they will alert a supervisor and the information will be shared with the Criminal Intelligence Bureau and the Department Operations Center (DOC). As an agency, LASD will not interfere with the public’s ability to exercise their rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The eComm unit also shares information with the public that will help keep the communities throughout Los Angeles County safe through the use the Department's web sites and social media platforms.

Currently, the eComm unit consists of Bonus Deputy and two law enforcement technicians, known as "Social Media Dispatchers". The Social Media Dispatchers use publicly available web applications and news aggregators to search websites for information relevant to the Department’s image, public safety, and community outreach. They have come across everything from illegal parties being advertised to illicit drugs, assaults and arsonists. They have also located witnesses to shootings or other crimes, intervened on potential suicides, and provided all of the above information to their supervisors and appropriate LASD units for handling.

The Deputy assigned to the eComm unit is responsible for both the supervision of the Social Media Dispatchers, as well as training Department members in the safe use of social media, how to write news releases, and how to maintain personal security on the internet. The Deputy also develops policy, write newsletters and other publications to help Department members negotiate the perils and pitfalls of social media, and teach social media classes.

The eComm unit uses search algorithms which yield a concise newsfeed information about the LASD, which upon further refinement, can be distributed to members and executives so they can see the hard work and accomplishments of LASD personnel or make decisions critical to the operations of the Department or identify if a Department message, statement or response is necessary. These newsfeeds can also be customized for particular units and stations within the Department. Other searches can yield information about upcoming events of note.

Due to the increasing trend in emergency management to utilize social media as a means of quickly pushing information to residents in need, the eComm unit has been configured to work as a social media communications conduit with the public during Emergency Operations Center activations in cases of extreme emergency, crisis, calamity or natural disaster. This concept can be used to successfully apprehend criminals, gather intelligence, or share analytical reports with decision makers. The eComm concept can be integrated into the Incident Management Teams (IMT) as part of the Public Information Officer's section to inform the public about an incident..

Film and Media Projects (FAMP) Team

One of the most important responsibilities of SIB's Film and Media Projects is the coordination of the LASD's press conferences and media availabilities. All aspects of the press conferences, from ensuring that the sound is set up to finding featured speakers and notifying the media, are set up and executed by the Bureau's Film and Media Projects. LASD's Public Information Officers, assigned to FAMP, eComm, or the Media Desk, respond to certain emergency situations and address the media at the scene with the latest information.

The personnel at SIB's Film and Media Projects also work on the LASD's digital media content. They keep LASD.org updated with current information and news of interest to the residents of LA County. They also respond to public inquiries submitted through LASD.org. Film and Media Projects write scripts, produce, film, and edit video for social media posting.

Film and Media Projects also vet and respond to the many requests received by the LASD for documentaries and other types of filming, especially those related to the use of the Department's intellectual property. In addition, they are called upon to help with the writing and development of the Department’s annual ‘Year in Review’ publication and assisting with other major events like the Valor Awards Ceremony. They also handle many Department Global e-mails and the public outreach and media releases for all Department graduations and events.

Graphics Unit

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Graphics Unit was established in 1956 with the hiring of artist Jack Moffett, a civilian. He started out designing training manuals for deputy sheriffs at the Hall of Justice, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters. Early on, he was asked to draw a composite for a detective’s case. Composites have been used since the 1800’s, but this was a first for an LASD employee. It was a successful drawing and led to more composites as well as crime scene diagrams and other aspects of law enforcement graphics. As the work flow increased, becoming overwhelming, Jack recruited many deputy sheriffs with skill and ability to work in the unit. Eventually, Jack was promoted to Graphic Arts Coordinator.

The majority of the case load was for the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau as well as other Detective Units. 20 artists have worked in the unit over the years, both sworn and civilian. Jack Moffett retired in 1982 and passed away in 2008. Deputy Mahlon Coleman became the supervising Forensic Artist. Notable among his cases, was the Richard Ramirez “Night Stalker” case in 1985. After he retired in 1992, Deputy John Shannon supervised the unit and was known for his expert draftsmanship and detailed crime scene diagrams. He trained civilian artist Sandra Enslow, whom he recruited in 1994. Deputy Shannon retired in 2002. Ms. Enslow managed the unit as a Senior Forensic Artist and hired two more artists - Ignacio Mendoza and Sheryl Terrill. In 2010 Sandra was promoted to Jack Moffett’s management position of Graphic Arts Coordinator, Sheriff. The unit fields requests for assistance from various agencies inside and outside Los Angeles County.

The LASD Graphics Unit provides various law enforcement graphics, including publications. The unit also assists with the identification of skeletal remains through skull reconstruction. The unit uses two kinds of facial reconstructions. 3D is where clay is applied to the skull to fill out and complete the image. 2D is the version that is drawn, working from photographs taken of the skull with the markers on to complete the image. The 2D is a faster method and depending on the circumstances of the skull, may be preferable. The LASD Graphics Unit handles composite sketches as well. Composites are information-generating tools and in many instances, are never released to the public, but instead eliminate or corroborate information the detectives already have from witnesses or other evidence.

Internation Liaison Unit

Police Diplomacy: A Global Trust is the interchange of policing resources, training, and experience between nations to enhance public participation and provide a safer, more secure community regardless of geopolitical borders.

Diplomatic relationships have long been the foundation of trust between nations. In fact, a key component of civilian diplomats' work is the cross-border exchange of political, religious, and cultural values. Law enforcement agencies from different countries can do this by exchanging best-practice law enforcement procedures. The results will be the same: Gaining a better understanding of each region's particular challenges, while reducing mistrust and providing a higher level of public safety.

An essential component of this process involves moving from a closed system to an inclusive and open system of public participation in the public safety mission.

Photography Unit

The Photography Unit captures and prints official portraits of newly-promoted Captains and above. They also photograph, print, and electronically archive Department and community events including press conferences, academy graduations, Peace Officers' Memorial, Valor and other awards ceremonies, visiting international delegations, and more. Nearly all of the Sheriff’s events and engagements are photographed. Those photographs are provided to SIB in a timely manner for use on Department social media platforms and are used in many Department publications.

Overview

The goal of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau is to provide accurate and relevant information related to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to our community.

Small teams of media expert Department PIOs, overseen by a sergeant, have been aligned, via organizational charts and a zone concept, with specific divisions and units throughout the Department. With the authority of the Department to embed themselves at any station, unit, operation or environment throughout the Department, team members will proactively seek out and extract positive information from virtually every entity and program Department-wide.

Team members are actively involved with creating, filming, reporting, and developing positive press opportunities. Additionally, the Media Response Teams host, coordinate and are actively involved with news and entertainment radio and television programs and facilitate press events or news conferences. This structure enables team members to cultivate, develop, train, and mentor personnel assigned to those units to broaden the scope and effectiveness of our reach. They also serve as a direct media expert resource to Captains and other executives throughout the Department.

Media Response Teams (MRTs) have been formed to handle substantial noteworthy incidents or those of crisis or calamity. The teams work directly with the Department Operations Center and its field deployments during critical incidents or emergencies and roll-out guidelines, policies and protocols will be established. Each team has experts in the areas of Electronic Communications (eComm), Film and Media Projects, Social Media Dispatching, Media Interaction and Interviews, press liaison and conferences, film and media projects and Special Events.



SIB Captain

Captain Darren D. Harris
Darren D. Harris