Lt. Donald D. Meredith
Lt. Donald D. Meredith, Fifth Supervisorial District
Commissioner Don Meredith is an experienced educator and public safety executive. He has an extensive career in public service. Don is a credentialed college professor, instructing courses in the Administration of Justice, Corrections, Emergency Management, and Homeland Security. He is a graduate of the USC School of Engineering Aviation Safety Management Institute and the USC School of Public Administration Delinquency Control Institute. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management from Union Institute and University and a graduate of the FBI National Academy for Law Enforcement Executives.
Don was nominated for the Probation Oversight Commission by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. His nomination came as he concluded his service on the Probation Commission where he had served 19 years after being nominated by then Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and appointed to the Probation Commission in May 2000 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. During his tenure on the Probation Commission, he served as part of the Commission’s Executive Team as Vice President, President, and Sergeant at Arms. Highlights of his service include working with former Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers to obtain a location and establish the Probation Training Center to provide for recruit, in-service training, supervisor, and management development courses. He also was responsible for having permanent memorials established to recognize the loss of Probation Forestry Crew 4-4 who perished in the Canyon Fire near Azusa in 1968 and Forestry Crew 5-1 along with LA County Fire Captain Glenn Rocky who perished in the Hacienda Fire in 1955 near La Habra Heights.
As Commissioner, Don was one of the five members appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve on the Probation Oversight Workgroup which was the predecessor to the Probation Reform and Implementation Team. he Probation Oversight Workgroup met with numerous community leaders, justice involved individuals, and held town hall meetings across the county to gather perspective from various stakeholders. All of this proved foundational for the role of the Probation Oversight Commission.
During his service as a Probation Commissioner, Don worked with several formerly incarcerated individuals, as well as faith-based and community-based organizations to develop strategies to reduce recidivism.
Don’s career in public service began in 1972 when he became a Cadet with the Glendale Police Department and promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant. He has received numerous commendations, awards, and medals for community service, distinguished service, and heroism during his law enforcement tenure. His background in law enforcement is extensive and varied but always maintained a focus on partnering with the community, organizations, and schools.
The State of California Department of Justice and Department of Education recognized Don’s skill in dealing with at-risk youth, gangs, drug issues, other youth related issues and appointed him to the DOJ/CDE CADRE. As a member of this team, Don worked with communities, school districts, and law enforcement throughout California on gang, drug, safe community, and safe school issues. Subsequently, the California Department of Education asked Don to serve as a grant reviewer for School Safety Grants with a focus on community partnership.
In addition to his public and community service, Don serves as Command Sergeant Major for the California State Guard’s Emergency Response Command. Under the direction of the California National Guard Adjutant General and California Military Department, the focus of this unit is to provide trained TYPE II Wildland Fire-Fighters, EMTS, Emergency Management and Security Forces to assist civilian authorities in disasters and large-scale emergencies such as wildfires, earthquakes, floods, civil disorder, or terrorism.
Though Don has a background in law enforcement, he is familiar with the justice impacted individuals. As a youth he had his encounters with the system and because of the intervention of law enforcement officers, his path in life was redirected. He also has relatives that have served time in prison and understands the hardship on families. He understands the challenges of the Department as it addresses the needs of the adult and juvenile offenders under the Department’s supervision, and the vision needed to provide alternatives and services as it addresses the needs of the community, public safety, and those it serves though rehabilitation, education, and enforcement to create positive change in behavior.