Karen Bass Appoints Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, Two Police Commissioners

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced two appointments to the Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday, along with a deputy mayor of public safety.

Brian K. Williams, currently the executive director of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Oversight Commission, will serve as deputy mayor of public safety, overseeing agencies that include the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department. Bass last week had named Guillermo Cespedes, head of the Department of Violence Prevention for the city of Oakland, to the position. But the Los Angeles Times reported that Cespedes withdrew his name from consideration.

Karren Lane, who was previously appointed deputy mayor of community engagement, was announced Tuesday as deputy mayor of community safety.

Bass named Dr. Erroll G. Southers and Rasha Gerges Shields to the police commission, a five-member panel made up of appointees by the mayor that oversees the LAPD. The current members were all appointed by former Mayor Eric Garcetti. It was not immediately clear which two members Southers and Shields will replace.

Southers, a former FBI agent, currently serves as associate senior vice president of safety and risk assurance at USC. He has also been assistant chief of homeland security and intelligence at the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department.

Shields, who serves as co-chair of the police commission's advisory committee on building trust and equity, has previously worked in the U.S. Attorney's Office as a federal criminal prosecutor as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

"My number one job as mayor is to keep Angelenos safe," Bass said in a statement. "The only way to do that is to hold people who commit crimes accountable and to take real steps to prevent crime from happening in the first place. The appointments I'm making today represent a major step toward transparency, accountability and a comprehensive approach to public safety that includes a police department that protects the community and leaves community members feeling safe no matter where they are living in Los Angeles."

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