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Los Angeles City Hall

Mayor Karen Bass announces Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, Police Commissioner Appointments

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Karen Bass today announced the appointment of her Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and two appointments to the Board of Police Commissioners.

“My number one job as Mayor is to keep Angelenos safe,” said Mayor Bass. “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.”

Brian K. Williams, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety – Brian K. Williams will oversee the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Port of Los Angeles Police, the Los Angeles World Airport Police, and the Emergency Management Department. Williams will also work closely across the Administration and City Departments to increase public safety, advance prevention and intervention strategies, implement department reforms. Williams currently serves as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, where he works with the Board of Supervisors as well as community stakeholders to provide fair and objective analysis of LASD policies and procedures. There, he worked on the nation’s first Family Assistance Program. Williams has also served as President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southern California, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations that educates children in the areas of financial literacy and lifeskills. He has previously served as Deputy Mayor under Mayor James Hahn, where he was responsible for the management and oversight of major city departments including LADOT, Public Works, and ITA. Before that, Williams served in the Office of the City Attorney as a Special Assistant City Attorney.  

Karren Lane, Deputy Mayor of Community Safety – Karren Lane was previously announced as Deputy Mayor of Community Engagement; she will now serve as Deputy Mayor of Community Safety. Lane will leverage her experience and expertise in criminal justice reform and public safety to launch the Office of Community Safety.  As a leader in the non-profit sector and philanthropy, Lane has successfully partnered with community residents, government and the private sector to improve the social and economic conditions impacting families in California.  She will also oversee community engagement and participatory governance in a variety of areas, including community safety and homelessness solutions. 

Dr. Erroll G. Southers, Commissioner, Board of Police Commissioners – Dr. Erroll G. Southers is the Associate Senior Vice President of Safety and Risk Assurance at the University of Southern California (USC), responsible for overseeing the Administration Division’s Safety Departments – the Department of Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, and Fire Safety and Emergency Planning. His career has spanned all levels of law enforcement. Dr. Southers is a former FBI Special Agent, who also served as Assistant Chief of Homeland Security and Intelligence at the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department. He first joined USC as a Professor of the Practice in National and Homeland Security with the Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he also served as Director of the Safe Communities Institute and Director of Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies. He was appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as Deputy Director for Critical Infrastructure of the California Office of Homeland Security and was also appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to the Commission on the State of Hate. 

Rasha Gerges Shields, Commissioner, Board of Police Commissioners – Rasha Gerges Shields was appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Police Commission’s Advisory Committee on Building Trust and Equity, where she worked to examine best practices on a wide-range of issues that resulted in reform recommendations to the Board of Police Commissioners. Shields has served as a practicing attorney for more than 20 years, including having served as a federal criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office working on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. She also clerked with the federal judge who oversaw the Los Angeles Police Department consent decree. Shields served as Co-Chair of LAPD’s Implementation Committee and was appointed by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to co-write a report recommending changes to UCLA's public safety efforts.