Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain Stephen M. Smith, Commander of Parks Bureau, was recognized by the Joyful Child Foundation as the “Community Partner of the Year.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Stephen M. Smith, Commander of Parks Bureau, was recognized by the Joyful Child Foundation on October 26, 2013, as the "Community Partner of the Year."

Since Captain Smith assumed command of Parks Bureau in December 2009, he has consistently searched for ways to create a safer environment for the Patrons of the Los Angeles County Parks. In 2011, Captain Smith met with Erin Runnion, the Mother of Samantha Runnion and Founding Director of The Joyful Child Foundation. Erin is dedicated to ensuring that Samantha's tragic death will continue to be a catalyst to engage adults in our collective responsibility to protect our nation's children.

Following the meeting with Erin Runnion, Captain Smith enlisted the assistance of the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation who enthusiastically came on board. He then dedicated a large portion of his personnel to trainings with The Joyful Child, including over 30 Ambassadors, 24 Instructors, and countless volunteer assistants to create ongoing prevention education at Los Angeles County Parks. Since the first training, over 650 children have been trained. His staff was the first group to pilot the new BRAVE Workshops and they hope to reach over 1,500 children in the year ahead.

The Joyful Child Foundation-In Memory of Samantha Runnion is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization founded in 2002 after the abduction, molestation and murder of five-year old Samantha Runnion. In order to prevent child sexual abuse and abduction The Joyful Child Foundation will:

Be the resource for concerned parents to engage in the movement to stop predatory crimes against children.

Provide proactive education and empowerment tools to children and parents.

Facilitate collaboration among individuals, non-profit organizations, schools, businesses, and government to create sustainable community initiatives to ensure that safety education for child protection continue in perpetuity.


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Departments Parks Bureau is dedicated to providing a safe and drug free environment at all Los Angeles County Parks.

Providing Public Safety for Parks

Community Partner of the Year Award
Community Partner of the Year Award

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