In 1986, Sheriff Sherman Block and the Sheriff’s Department gave the green light to forming something very few police agencies had at the time — a Crime Analysis Unit. Very few police agencies understood what crime analysis was, but once they established the unit and hired the most qualified people, they quickly realized that working smarter was the key to solving crimes and that removing many of the mundane tasks that detectives were used to doing gave the sworn officers more time to catch bad guys and ultimately make our community safer.
The original group of Crime Analysts hired by LASD was a hodgepodge of young college graduates and civilian staff already working for the Department who had proved their value to their supervisors, which made them uniquely qualified for this new profession. Soon, the State of California provided grant money to apprehend what were called “career criminals,” which gave the Department a young, energetic group of law enforcement professionals, who were not sworn deputies and who were not seeing this new job as a way to “get your foot in the door” to becoming sworn. This was a profession that was not a steppingstone to anything. It stood alone.
The last of the original 15 or so Crime Analysts said goodbye on October 27, 2023. Louise Ramirez was with LASD for 37 years, and her going-away party at a fancy outdoor restaurant in Westlake Village was a huge success. A dozen or so of us spoke about what she meant to us personally and what she meant to the Sheriff’s Department. For the past year, she was the Department’s Senior Crime Analyst with the most years on, but even in her last hours on the job, she was still willing to ask questions and help her detectives and her captain with anything they needed. I was honored to be able to participate in her going-away reception, and to be with her when she turned in her ID at the Sherman Block Building with her co-workers there to say goodbye.
C.S. Lewis said, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” She can’t go back to 1986 and arrange things differently, but she sure is making sure that the next chapter of her life is filled with the friends she made and the family who loves her.
Louise, you were always there for your detectives, your captain and, most importantly, your fellow analysts. I can only hope that I follow your example as I follow you into those golden retirement years when that time comes.
Thanks for listening.