The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced the appointments of an assistant sheriff and an undersheriff this week.
Cecil W. Rhambo, Jr. was appointed assistant sheriff and Paul K. Tanaka was made undersheriff.
Assistant Sheriff Rhambo's Career
Rhambo, a 31-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, will oversee the leadership of the department’s Divisions of Custody, Correctional, Court, Technical Services, and Leadership and Training.
As one of two assistant sheriffs, he will command the nation’s largest County Jail and Court Services systems. He will handle the administration of a daily inmate population capacity of nearly 20,000 inmates and court security for nearly 600 courtrooms across the county, officials said.
Rhambo joined the Department in 1981 and has worked at the Men’s Central Jail; Biscailuz Center Jail; the Carson and Marina del Rey stations, and the Narcotics Bureau.
He made sergeant in 1989 and was sent to the West Hollywood substation, then worked in the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Internal Criminal Investigations Bureau.
During his law enforcement career he was also on loan to the California State Department of Insurance and the County Department of Health Services, Safety Police.
Rhambo achieved the rank of lieutenant in 1996 and was assigned to the Pitchess Detention Center, after which he spent time at the South Facility, Carson Station, Internal Affairs Bureau and Asian Crime Task Force.
Rhambo was promoted to captain in 2001, and assigned to command Compton Station and then COPS Bureau, where he oversaw Crisis Negotiations; the Countywide COPS; County Parking Enforcement; VIDA (youth intervention); the Mental Evaluation Team; the North Regional Surveillance and Apprehension Team (NORSAT), and the Community Impact Team.
Rhambo achieved the rank of commander in 2005 and was subsequently assigned to Field Operations Region I, where he oversaw Budget, Personnel, and the Lancaster and Palmdale stations.
Promoted to chief in 2008, Rhambo assumed command of Field Operations Region II, where he oversaw the operations of the Century, Carson, Compton, Lomita, Marina Del Rey, South Los Angeles and West Hollywood stations.
He also commanded the Community College Bureau; the Parks Bureau; the Community/Law Enforcement Partnership Program (CLEPP); Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Bureau and the Operation Safe Streets Bureau.
Assistant Sheriff Rhambo holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Humboldt State University and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.
Undersheriff Tanaka's Career
Tanaka joined the Department in 1982.
As second-in-command, Undersheriff Tanaka will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Department.
Undersheriff Tanaka began his law enforcement career with the El Segundo Police Department in1980. He transferred to the LASD two years later, holding various line assignments as a deputy in patrol, custody, and recruitment.
He was promoted to Sergeant in 1987, and went to work at the Lynwood Station.
Tanaka achieved the rank of lieutenant in 1991 and assumed posts at the Mira Loma Facility; the Inmate Reception Center; the Lennox Station, Region II COPS Program; the West Hollywood Station, and the Administrative Services Division.
In 1999, he was promoted to captain, assuming command of the Community Oriented Policing Services Bureau, which also included the Asian Crime Task Force, Regional Community Policing Institute, and the VIDA (youth intervention) Program.
Tanaka made the rank of commander in 2001, and was subsequently assigned to the Office of the Undersheriff.
In 2002, Tanaka was promoted to chief and given responsibility for directing the Administrative Services Division, where he managed the department’s budget and personnel services.
Tanaka was appointed to the rank of assistant sheriff in 2005 and oversaw the leadership of the Department’s Custody, Corrections, Court and Technical Services Divisions.
In 2007, he commanded the department’s three Field Operations Patrol regions, Detective Division, and the Homeland Security Division. In addition, with a budget of approximately $2.5 billion and more than 18,000 employees, Tanaka oversaw the operation of the Administrative Services Division, which included the Department’s financial matters, human resources and facilities construction and maintenance.
Tanaka served six years on the Gardena City Council -- beginning in 1999 -- and was elected mayor in 2005.
Tanaka holds an accounting degree from Loyola Marymount University and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of California.