Member since: 1980
Occupation: Acting director of the Employee Support Services Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Serving those who protect: Sultan oversees the in-house psychological services team at the nation’s largest sheriff’s department, with more than 10,000 officers and 8,000 civilian employees. He and his 15 colleagues treat “the finest peace officers in the world” for trauma after violent encounters, as well as for depression, problems with alcohol, relationship troubles and other mental health issues. He occasionally travels to crime scenes to aid hostage negotiation teams. “We help the negotiators understand who they are dealing with when someone is barricaded or has a hostage, and what they might say to the individual to bring about a peaceful end to the incident,” says Sultan.
Working overtime: Six years ago, Sultan trained at night and on weekends to be a volunteer reserve deputy sheriff as a way to offer more help to his department. “It keeps me in touch with what’s going on at the station level, with deputies in the field,” he says. Psychology doctorate notwithstanding, he found the sheriff’s curriculum grueling. “What peace officers have to know about law and procedure just to function on the street would surprise anyone,” he says.
Stress relief: Sultan unwinds by playing blues guitar, target shooting, building furniture and reading crime novels. “Michael Connelly does a phenomenal job of creating law enforcement characters that have a very real feel,” he says. He also makes family time a priority. His wife of 27 years, Myra, is a nurse. His two grown sons are following his interest in law enforcement: One is a deputy sheriff in another county and the other is pursuing a career in federal law enforcement.
California dreamin’: Sultan was born in Michigan but grew up in the City of Angels in the 1960s and describes his youth as straight out of the movie “American Graffiti.” He surfed in Malibu during the Beach Boys’ heyday and drove on the infamous Sunset Strip. “Los Angeles was where everything was happening back then,” says Sultan.
Each month, “Random Sample” profiles an APA member. You may be next.