In a powerful demonstration of his extensive grassroots support from L.A. County Democrats in the race for Los Angeles County Sheriff, LAX Police Chief Cecil Rhambo was formally notified by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) that he earned a recommendation for endorsement from the Screening and Early Endorsement Recommendation (SEER) Committee.
In order to receive the SEER Committee recommendation for endorsement, a candidate needed to receive 60% of the votes among eligible and present LACDP SEER Committee members. At the vote this past weekend, Rhambo garnered over 68% of the vote— 5 times more than the nearest challenger, and 15 times the vote of incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
In response to the LACDP’s notification, LAX Police Chief Cecil Rhambo released the following statement:
“Make no mistake. Sheriff Alex Villanueva has shown he is willing to do anything and everything – even lie – in order to hold on to power and prevent the Democratic Party from uniting behind a candidate in the primary election. And while this represents a step in the party’s process, the fact is that I am deeply humbled and grateful to have received this recommendation from the grassroots Democratic activists who make up the LACDP Screening and Early Endorsement Recommendation Committee.
“It’s abundantly clear that Alex Villanueva has abandoned the values and principles of the Democratic Party and failed the people of L.A. County. That’s why it’s critical that we, as a coalition of activists, leaders and organizations who believe in the urgent need for change, real justice and reform, unite together so that we can be in the strongest position possible to defeat Alex Villanueva and end his reign of corruption in 2022.”
Notably, last week the Los Angeles Times wrote a story highlighting the misleading attacks from Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s campaign that made clear the incumbent is laser-focused on LAX Police Chief Cecil Rhambo as his chief rival. This past weekend, Spectrum News aired a first-on-television story on the network with video footage proving that Villanueva’s attacks were false.
Significantly, this follows the recent announcement by the Rhambo for Sheriff campaign that it had topped over 100 endorsements, in what has become a wide-ranging coalition that spans increasingly countywide.
This powerful announcement comes on the heels of Rhambo’s op-ed last month in LA Magazine blasting top cops who are fighting vaccine mandates as being a clear and direct threat to the public safety they claim to be dedicated to protecting.
Rhambo’s campaign recently released a new online ad titled “Stop This Injustice,” which draws a contrast between Rhambo and Sheriff Villanueva, highlighting the incumbent’s refusal to stop deputy gangs, secret police and corruption, along with his war against the county’s vaccine mandate, the Inspector General as well as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Cecil Rhambo is a longtime public servant and public safety officer who currently serves as the Chief of Airport Police at LAX. Rhambo was raised in Compton and South Los Angeles after being adopted from Korea as an infant, graduating from Washington High School. Following college, Rhambo started his 33-year career in law enforcement, where he quickly moved up the ranks.
As a Sergeant, Rhambo was assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau where he assisted in the formation of the Shooting and Force Response Team in the wake of the Rodney King beating, the first time the Sheriff’s Department used Internal Affairs bureau began extensively reviewing reports of excessive force, including creating a database where the misconduct records of officers would be tracked as an “early warning” system.
As a Lieutenant in Internal Affairs Bureau, Rhambo began leading the Shooting and Force Response Teams and was later directed to head the Asian Crime Task Force, where he commanded a group of investigators and multilingual deputies to investigate crimes in LA County committed against Asians or by Asians, focusing on community outreach.
In 2000, after the city of Compton voted to disband its police department, Cecil was assigned to be the Captain of Compton’s Sheriff patrol contract, returning to the community he was from. During his three years in this role, Rhambo heavily focused on community policing in the worst-hit areas of the city, which resulted in a dramatic reduction in crime, gang activity, and traffic fatalities along with establishing their first youth boxing and recreation center and paving the way for the first Starbucks.
After leaving the City of Compton, Rhambo was asked to re-start the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Bureau, which focused on suppressing violent crime, combatting homelessness, parking enforcement, quality of life programs, youth programs, the mental health response teams that partnered a deputy with psych clinicians county-wide, and the Crisis or Hostage Negotiations Team which responds to high-level crisis events like SWAT responses or suicidal barricades.
While commanding the COPS Bureau, Rhambo designed the basic model that’s used to address homeless people to this day by the Sheriff’s Department, relying on a “soft approach” of deputies dressed in soft uniforms partnering with outreach workers and various governmental departments to make contact with the chronically homeless, offer them bridge and supportive housing and connect them with services, including dental offices, showers, clothing, food, and partnering with the Public Defender’s Office to expunge minor offenses.
Later, when the Sheriff’s Department came under fire from the ACLU and the FBI for prisoner abuse, Rhambo took on his boss, then-Sheriff Lee Baca, and other people in leadership. Rhambo urged Baca to fully comply with the FBI, but was ignored. Rhambo eventually testified against the LASD’s corruption, resulting in the imprisonment of Baca and 11 deputies.
As Chief of Airport Police, Rhambo leads the nation’s largest dedicated airport public safety force. Rhambo also served as City Manager of the City of Compton from 2017 through July 2019 and Assistant City Manager of the City of Carson from 2014 to 2017.
For more information please visit www.RhamboForSheriff.com.