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Sheriff’s Captain in Cerritos Abruptly Transferred to Lakewood  

Lakewood Captain also transferred, many inside question the move, call it political payback by Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers.

Captain Swensson, Keith E.  BIO PIC

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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4 Responses to Sheriff’s Captain in Cerritos Abruptly Transferred to Lakewood  

  1. Cerritos Resident Reply

    June 28, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Why didn’t we (Cerritos) get Captain Ladenheim? The deputies and community rave about his leadership, yet the LA Sheriff plays politics when it comes to our city’s needs. I can’t wait until McDonnel take office, maybe then we can keep good leaders as Captains. Good luck Captain Ladenheim and THANK YOU for serving Lakewood station with the citizens best interest in mind. You were a great Chief of Police! Good luck and hope to see you back soon!!!!

    • M c m a h o n Reply

      June 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

      If either Lakewood or Cerritos Sheriff are that good, why do we have to pay extra $294K annually, for 2nd air helicopter, when we get (ONE) Sheriffs helicopter free as part of the contract?

      Why does Cerritos and Lakewood argue over the redundant Cerritos over Night Parking Ordinance, which impacts E Lakewood, as Cerritos residents dump cars in to Lakewood streets?

      For years, Cerritos Post Office has had burglaries and theft; plus abandoning of stolen cars, brought in from Riverside county after hrs. Cerritos Sheriff doesn’t even keep records of these crimes. Prob. both Cerritos and Lakewood, rate crimes, as not to SPOOK the Chinese residents. Now we suffer, as the 90703 USPO is closed after hrs and Sunday.

      Race card is being played in to our policing too. Tired of not spooking the chinese nor asian remarks by our counsel and managers-directors.

      $300K per Sheriff car / annually
      $1M per Sheriff employee / 24/7 annually

      Cerritos and Lakewood should combine budgets and create there own police.

      Sheriff captains make $300K annually. Way to much money. These incomes are only inflating our economy and depleting the citys’ budget.

  2. Council of Thieves Reply

    June 18, 2014 at 1:34 am

    The problem is with your city council. They contract the sheriff’s department. It’s up to the council to spell out their needs in the contract.

    My guess is the filthy dirt you see in your city hall parking lot has less to do with the RV Bus and more to do with city hall itself.

  3. M c M a h o n Reply

    June 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm


    Memo to story:

    Unknown if he was good or bad.

    Keith sure never went to any neighborhood block parties, nor supported Coffee and Joe at starbucks. My opine, he was ghost for Mgmt. Will credit, the SD response time has improved when called.

    Very non-professional to have SD: ( cars/ buses) all over the following, as looks city is bathed in $$$ for SD this/that, looks like war zone:
    • Spring Festival.
    • Halloween Haunt.

    If he was such talented Mgr, why does he allow the deputies patrol units to talk on their personal cell phones while driving, kind of double standards per Calif. Driving Codes!

    My Personal reaction, never returned a phone call and his secretary was too old to be executive public servant to him & or our community. Was directly told, he had some issues with a local district attorney, by DA Office; along with management from Monterey Park.

    Think it is odd, he would want to work in a city he grew up in, potential conflict of interest; plus he has 2 homes in Palos Verdes Penn.; a long commute, to really do justice to the job.

    After talking with many of his deputies at Starbucks, many deputies stated he was on an ego trip.

    Look back, there was a conflict of interest brewing between the Lakewood / and the Cerritos station, as they had two brothers working the same Sheriff’s Department; plus one of the bros. was also mayor for Yorba Linda.

    Good or bad, my point of view, could lead to potential conflict of interest between departments and cities. Keep elected politicians away from being government employees. Many deputies told me, bros spent allot of time for city council work and billed to sheriffs department, inwhich the taxpayers had to finance. Heard this from both LW/Cer SD.

    Cerritos residents, look at the budget, why does this city need 2 Sheriff Mgr, making over $600K, plus costly community safety div, which again cost nearly $1M to operate, plus the costly overnight parking permit ordinance which cost <$.5M to run yrly.

    Recent interview w/ LKWD CC, mayor still upset, how Cerritos residents dump their over night parked cars in LW/ELW, just so Cerritos can afford the luxury of $$$$ Overnight Parking Ordinance. I know La Palma, Bellflower ditto this. Don’s see Keith did anything to improve relationships between cities.

    Shame, shame, shame, SD bus, parked on the City Hall Parking lot is rotting away, filthy dirty and real pink elephant adj to the N side of the sculpture garden. $300K mobile command center RV Bus is just filthy and non professional. Keith, you sure did not raise the standards for SD, with this dirty RV, in plain view of the city hall?

    Budget review- approval, June 26, 2014.

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