News Details

New sheriff in town

Captain James Wolak

On April 2, Lakewood welcomed a new commander to the L.A. County Sheriff's Station on Clark Avenue.

Captain James Wolak takes over the command of the nearly 300 sworn and civilian personnel who protect Lakewood and the four other cities served by the station. A 28-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department, Wolak served at the Lakewood Station early in his career in his first field assignment as a deputy.

"I'm very happy to be back in Lakewood," said Wolak. "It’s a great community.”

“My top priority will be service to our residents,” said Wolak. “I believe in the Nordstrom philosophy of service where you make a positive impression with good service on your first contact with your customers, be it on the phone or in person. I also believe in intelligence-based policing, where you find out where the crimes are occurring and when, and then make sure you get your deputies to the right places at the right times.”

You can see an interview of Captain Wolak done by Lakewood CityTV at

Wolak graduated top of his class from the Sheriff’s Academy in 1989, and has held a variety of assignments including Men’s Central Jail, Recruit Training, Watch Commander at the Norwalk Station, and Service Area Lieutenant for Paramount (working out of the Lakewood Station). He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Cal Poly Pomona and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University.

The Lakewood Sheriff’s Station, the largest in the county, is considered a key managerial assignment for sheriff’s leadership personnel. Captain Wolak’s predecessor at the station, Allen Castellano, recently promoted to commander and has rotated to a leadership role in the Courts Division.

In his spare time, Captain Wolak enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and working out. He is married with four children, including a son who just graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and is now a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Please join the community in giving Captain James Wolak a warm welcome back to Lakewood.