Thomas Michael Laing, Chief (Retired)
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Thomas Laing joined the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as a deputy sheriff trainee. November 1978, and retired as a division chief July 2013. After successfully graduating from the Sheriff’s Academy Tom began his 35 year career as a deputy sheriff at Men’s Central Jail and Transportation Bureau, before pursuing a seven year assignment at Norwalk Station, where he served as a patrol deputy, training officer, special assignment deputy and community involvement deputy. In 1987 Tom was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and his initial assignment was Lakewood station, where he served as a patrol supervisor and detective sergeant. In 1990 Tom was subsequently assigned as an aide to the Chief of Administrative Division and Executive Offices until his promotion to lieutenant in 1994.
Tom’s assignments as a lieutenant included watch commander at the Inmate Reception Center, Norwalk station and Walnut station, where he facilitated his Region’s initial Community Oriented Policing Services program. In 1996 Tom was assigned to manage the Department’s then newly created Civil Litigation Unit. He held this position until his promotion to captain in 1999.
Tom’s assignments as a captain included the then newly created Career Resources Bureau, where he managed the Department’s compliance with a Federal Consent Decree, followed by unit commander assignments at Inmate Reception Center and East Los Angeles Station. In 2005 Tom was promoted to the position of commander and assigned to the office of the Undersheriff. In 2007 Tom was selected by Sheriff Baca to serve as his Executive Assistant until his promotion to chief in 2010.
Tom’s responsibilities, as the Chief of Field Operations Region lll, included the oversight of seven Sheriff’s stations serving 15 contract cities with a personnel compliment of 1100 sworn and professional staff. During this tenure Chief Laing established a liaison with several victim advocate groups including Crime Survivors which resulted in the creation of an internal program, with the assistance of trained volunteers, for enhancing a victim’s awareness of resources available to them to survive their ordeal.
Tom retired in July 2013, and has joined his wife of 34 years, Janice, in volunteering with his church and community, including Crime Survivors, completing home projects, traveling, serving as a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Museum Committee, and spending time with his grandchildren.