LACHMA Board of Directors
Commander Ray Leyva, a 32 year member of the Sheriff’s Department, began his career as a Reserve Officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1975, leaving the LAPD to work as a Police Officer for the Burbank Police Department in1976. In 1981, he transferred to the Sheriff’s Department, serving as a Deputy Sheriff at Men’s Central Jail, Sybil Brand Institute for Women, Firestone Station and Marina Del Rey Station. When he was promoted to Sergeant in 1985, he went on to work at Marina Del Rey Station, East Lost Angeles Station and Custody Division Headquarters. Upon his promotion to Lieutenant in 1990, Commander Leyva was assigned to the Office of the Undersheriff, East Los Angeles Station, North County Correctional Facility, East Facility, Recruit Training Bureau, Custody Division Headquarters and Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
In August of 1999, he was promoted to Captain and placed in command of Court Services West Bureau, with over 700 employees and reporting to 252 Superior Court Judges. West Bureau, which stretches from Long Beach in the South to Lancaster in the North, consists of 19 Courthouses and had over 60 deputies serving civil process on a daily basis.
In 2001, he was placed in command of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau, responsible for the Office of the Sheriff and all media interaction for the Department, including acting as the Department Spokesperson. In 2003, Commander Leyva was placed in command of the Men’s Central Jail, again with over 720 employees and 7200 inmates in custody at any given time. Men’s Central Jail had a budget of over 90 million dollars and was considered the largest jail in the nation, housing hard core criminals.
In August 2004, Commander Leyva was transferred to the Pitchess Detention Center North Facility, with an operating budget of 25 million dollars. Pitchess Detention Center North Facility, with 210 personnel and 1600 inmates in custody, is a medium- security facility, which houses mid-level security inmates with crimes ranging from murder to fraud. North Facility has been called, by outside regulatory and consulting groups, one of the most effective and efficiently managed units of the Sheriff’s Department, which Commander Leyva attributed to the talented men and women assigned to the Unit.
In March 2010, North Facility was closed due to budgetary constraints and Commander Leyva was moved to the Pitchess Detention Center East Facility. This facility, with 230 personnel and 1800 inmates in custody, is a medium security facility, which houses mid-level security inmates with crimes ranging from murder to fraud. In 2012, Captain Leyva was promoted to the position of Commander and assigned to the Field Operations Region I, where he was given functional supervision over the patrol stations located in Palmdale, Lancaster, Crescenta Valley, Altadena and Temple. In this role he provided leadership, guidance and direction to the 5 defacto “Police Chief’s” in charge of the contract city patrol stations. In 2013, the Department reorganized and Commander Leyva was assigned to the North Patrol Division, where he assumed functional supervision over the patrol stations of Santa Clarita Valley, West Hollywood, and Malibu Lost Hills. In addition, he also was responsible for managing the budget and personnel needs of the Division along with other Administrative responsibilities.
In addition to serving as a Unit Commander or Commander at the above Units, Commander Leyva was also the Captain - Commander of the LASD Incident Management Team #5 until June of 2007. In this capacity, he was in command of the Department’s handling of a number of major events, including: the Catalina Fire, the Tunnel Fire, the Corral Fire and many others over the years. In addition, as the IMT Commander he was involved in the Golden Phoenix exercise, involving the County, State and Federal Government’s response to significant Civil Issues in the Los Angeles County area over a two day period. During times of Civil Unrest in the County of Los Angeles, Commander Leyva was in command of a Tactical Response Force comprised of a platoon of Deputy Sheriff’s, available to respond to any incident in the area.
In 2007, Commander Leyva was appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, to a three year term as the HAPCOA Representative to the Department of Homeland Security Office of State and Local Training Advisory Committee, where training issues impacting agencies at all levels are raised and discussed. This Committee meets twice a year and disseminates best practices through the Rural Policing Institute of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia.
Commander Leyva holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from California State University Los Angeles, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University. Commander Leyva is a graduate of the LASD Deputy Leadership Institute Continuum, Cornell University Leadership Program, Cambridge Associates Leadership Program, and the LAPD West Point Leadership Program. In addition, Commander Leyva in conjunction with the Sheriff’s academy and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, has taught Train the Trainer courses at the Sheriff’s Training Academy, Massachusetts State Police Academy, and Miami-Dade Academy in the area of Analytical Interviewing. Commander Leyva has had extensive training in Emergency Management protocols and recently completed the Tactical Science Course involving Disaster and Crime Scene Management. Commander Leyva has also assisted numerous agencies in the selection of supervisory and management personnel, working through agency assessment centers in agencies such as Denver PD, San Francisco PD, Reno PD, Miami-Dade PD and many others.
Commander Leyva is a Past-National President of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, Past-President of the Southern California Chapter of HAPCOA, Past-President and Board Member of the Los Angeles County Chicano Employees Association, member of the LA Chapter National Latino Peace Officers Association, Los Angeles County Hispanic Managers Association, Los Angeles County Management Council, California State Sheriff’s Association, Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County, Professional Peace Officers Association, Mexican -American Correctional Association and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Athletic Association.