Officer Spotlight – Chief Earl Paysinger
Earl Paysinger, the vice president of civic engagement at USC and a respected leader within the Los Angeles Police Department and the South L.A. community, died on December 16, 2019. He was 64.
Paysinger came to USC in 2016 with 41 years of experience at the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served with distinction, most notably as first assistant chief.
In his role as the university’s vice president of civic engagement, he strengthened community outreach and involvement in the neighborhoods surrounding USC. Through programs like the Good Neighbors Campaign — which provides educational and financial support to local families, businesses and organizations — he tackled tangible issues like small businesses and homelessness while working to elevate residents’ social, physical and economic well-being.
“There are always opportunities unrealized,” he said in 2016. “As many programs as there are and opportunities available, there’s still a population of community and youth looking for something else — and our job is to provide that something else.”
During Paysinger’s tenure with the LAPD, the department forged enduring partnerships with neighborhoods throughout the Los Angeles area. His particular focus was South L.A., as he spent half his career in that community with the department’s 77th division.
“The fact that I’ve had that experience of seeing the people where they live and having a crystal clear perspective of what they need and what they’re asking for — I know that’s what makes my presence here valuable,” he said in 2016.
His hallmark achievements included a revitalization of the 21 Community Relations offices around the Los Angeles area. Paysinger also re-engineered the LAPD Cadet Leadership program, which has provided thousands of children with vital lessons in academic excellence, character and judgment. Its participants have a 91% graduation rate from high school.
Paysinger grew up in Harbor City and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Long Beach. He was a graduate of the FBI’s Command College and the West Point Leadership Command and Development Program. He also earned an Executive Master of Leadership from the USC Price School of Public Policy.
Thank you for your service Chief Paysinger. You are missed.