Chief William J. McSweeney, a 37-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, assumed command of the Detective Division on March 21, 2010. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the six bureaus that comprise the Division: Narcotics Bureau, Homicide Bureau, Special Victims Bureau, Commercial Crimes Bureau, Major Crimes Bureau, and the Taskforce for Regional Autotheft Prevention. Prior to this assignment, he was assigned as the Chief of the Department’s Homeland Security Division. There, he commanded the Sheriff Department’s specialized emergency functions including: disaster preparedness, counter-terrorism, air support, Special Weapons Teams, arson-explosives response, hazardous materials operations, and Los Angeles transit security. Additionally, he oversaw the Sheriff’s police service agreements for more than 40 cities and districts in Los Angeles County.
Chief McSweeney is a native of Los Angeles. He attended the University of Colorado and California State University Northridge. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and a Master of Science Degree in Public Administration. Additionally, he holds an MBA Management certificate from Tulane University. In 2007, he completed the graduate program in Organizational Development at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and is an alumnus of the United States Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, California.
Chief McSweeney began his law enforcement career in 1974. Following his academy training, he was assigned to many units within the Department as he moved through the ranks. His early assignments included Custody Division, West Hollywood Station, and South Los Angeles Station (LNX). He later served in various capacities at the Malibu Station, Recruit Training Bureau, Legislative Advocacy, and Internal Affairs Bureau. In 1996, he was selected as the Captain of the Malibu-Lost Hills Station, which serves Malibu and the Northwest San Fernando Valley. He was promoted to Commander in 2000, and was assigned to Field Operations Region II. As a patrol division Commander, he played a central role in successfully merging the Compton Police Department into the Sheriff's Department.
In 2003, Sheriff Baca promoted McSweeney to Division Chief, overseeing the Leadership and Training Division. He is active in several professional and community organizations. He served as president of the Los Angeles County Peace Officers Association in both 2005 and 2006 and is an Executive Board Member. He serves as a Trustee of the Sheriff’s Relief Association, a Director of Gateways Hospital, and is also a member of the Board of Governors for the Boys and Girls Club.
The Chief resides in Westlake Village, where his wife Susan serves as the Mayor of that city. They have three grown children, Brian and Mike, who hold corporate marketing positions; and Katie, who is an attorney. All of the McSweeneys are avid fans of college athletics and they unfailingly attend games both in Los Angeles and out of town.