Commander Shannon Paulson joined the Los Angeles Police Department on November 4, 1991. She is currently assigned as the Assistant Commanding Officer of Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau.
Born and raised in Orange County, California, Commander Paulson knew from a very young age that she was destined for a career in law enforcement and her first association with police services was as a police explorer with the Placentia Police Department at the age of 13. She always intended to pursue employment with the Los Angeles Police Department due to its reputation as the finest, most professional municipal law enforcement agency in the nation. While attending college at San Jose State University, Commander Paulson tested with the Los Angeles Police Department at the earliest possible age and left school without hesitation when she was offered employment in 1991. After graduating from the police academy and completing her probationary field training period, she returned to California State University, Los Angeles, and ultimately completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice.
Commander Paulson previously worked as a police officer at West Los Angeles, West Valley and Rampart Divisions, and as a Sergeant at Van Nuys and Newton Divisions. After promoting to Lieutenant in 1998, she held the position of Watch Commander at Hollenbeck and Central Divisions. During her tenure, she has also held positions as an Officer-in-Charge of Specialized Units within Emergency Operations Division, Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau and Security Services Division. She also spent several years as the Officer-in-Charge of the Safer Cities Initiative Task Force, a focused community-based policing effort within the Skid Row region of Downtown Los Angeles. She promoted to Captain I in 2016 and was initially assigned as the Commanding Officer at 77th Patrol Division. She was then promoted to Captain III and served as both the Commanding Officer of Security Services Division and Wilshire Area prior to promoting to Commander in August 2021.
Commander Paulson additionally has prior active duty and reserve service with the United States Navy as an enlisted Intelligence Specialist and a commissioned Intelligence Officer. As an Iraqi War combat veteran, she left the Navy in 2012 after attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Her military and law enforcement experience led to her engagement with the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, a grant funded training cooperative associated with the Department of Homeland Security. On behalf of the Consortium, she instructs emergency response personnel across the nation and assists with the design of curriculum on subjects related to terrorism, crisis response and disaster management.
Commander Paulson is happily married, is a parent to three “fur-babies” and resides in the Los Angeles region. She enjoys travelling with her wife, most sports (both watching and playing), pursues a rigorous weightlifting regimen and competes in amateur power lifting competitions at both the national and international level.