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Lakewood Captain also transferred, many inside question the move, call it political payback by Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers.
In a questionable move, Captain Keith Swensson was moved to Lakewood after only recently getting promoted to Cerritos.
By Brian Hews
Cerritos Sheriff’s Captain Keith Swensson has been reassigned to the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, Hews Media Group-Community Newspapers can confirm. The move has raised eyebrows inside the politically unstable law enforcement agency that has been rocked by turmoil over the past several months.
Swensson will begin his new assignment as Captain in Lakewood beginning this coming Sunday.
William Cicchillo, who oversaw the Los Angeles County Reserve Forces Bureau will replace Swensson as the new Captain of the Cerritos Station.
Nicole Nishida, a spokesperson for Acting Sheriff John Scott told HMG-CN on Tuesday afternoon “Bill Cicchillo will be the Captain of Cerritos and Keith Swensson will be the Captain of Lakewood.”
Noshida said there have been numerous personnel movement within the Sheriff’s Department.
“The Sheriff has been committed to implementing reforms and changes since he took the interim Sheriff position. There have been continuing initiatives to improve and enhance the overall performance of the Department. The Sheriff is a big proponent of Good to Great principles. He believes that the right people should be on the right bus in the right seat. He will continue to evaluate and assess the structure and personnel for the greater good of the Department,” Nishida said.
HMG-CN also learned that Lakewood Captain Merrill Ladenheim has been transferred from his slot at the Lakewood Station to a new assignment in the Major Crimes Unit for the LASD.
Ladienheim recently made internal waves inside the LASD when Sheriff candidate Paul Tanaka sent out an email to members of the media announcing that the popular Lakewood Sheriff Captain was publicly supporting his campaign for Sheriff.
Sources tell HMG-CN that current Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers, who is the current Mayor of Lakewood was outraged over Ladenheim’s public endorsement of Tanaka, and that Rogers may have had a hand in having Swensson moved into the Lakewood slot.
Ladenheim, in his endorsement of Tanaka over Rogers in the June Primary election, told media members in an email: “Make no mistake about it; no one likes to be called on the carpet and held accountable for affairs that they have not been attentive to. Myself included! But that’s what it took to clean-up the streets and rid this County of people who take great pleasure preying on others. Oftentimes being a remarkable leader can be a lonely job; easy to make plenty of enemies along the way because you stuck to your ideals, and expected the same from others.”
Ladenheim never made direct reference to Rogers in the email.
Rogers finished sixth in a seven candidate race to replace retired Sheriff Lee Baca.
Baca abruptly left office after the US Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation indicted nearly two dozen Sheriff personnel members in a massive corruption probe that has generated national and international media attention.
Rogers, a one time ally and supporter of Baca’s, quickly attempted to distance himself from Baca during the heated campaign. Rogers only received six percent of the total vote.
Swensson will now oversee the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station that contracts for law enforcement services with the cities of Hawaiian Gardens, Artesia, Bellflower, Paramount and Lakewood.
Swensson began his career with the Sheriff’s Department in 1987. After graduating from the Sheriff’s Training Academy, his assignments included the Men’s Central Jail, Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, Recruit Training Bureau and the Office of the Undersheriff as the Department’s Lobbyist in Sacramento and Washington, DC.
Swensson also has worked at the Lakewood Station in the past when we was a former sergeant and also worked in the Technical Services Division and as a Chief’s Aide.
In 2005, Swensson was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, Communications and Fleet Management Bureau and was Executive Aide for the Assistant Sheriff.
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