Deputy Chief Downing attended the University of Southern California where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1982, completed POST Command College in 1997, and the FBI Leadership in Counter-Terrorism (LinCT) in 2007. He was appointed to LAPD in 1982 and progressed through the ranks, promoting to Deputy Chief in April 2007.
Chief Downing is the Commanding Officer, Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, where he oversees Major Crimes Division, Emergency Services Division, Metropolitan Division, Air Support Division, and Emergency Operations Division. These divisions include the Anti-Terrorism Intelligence Section, Criminal Investigative Section, Organized Crime, Surveillance Section, Hazardous Devices Section, Operation Archangel, LAX Bomb K-9 Section, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Mounted Unit, Underwater Dive Team, and Emergency Preparedness and Response.
He completed a two-month secondment to the New Scotland Yard's Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command SO-15 and has testified before Congress relative to radicalization, intelligence, homeland security, and information sharing.
State and local law enforcement play a significant role in national security. It has been clearly demonstrated that as far as the defensive team, there is no force better in the world than United States military. With great precision and courage, our federal intelligence agencies and the United States military operations have diminished, diffused, and deflated the capability of Al Qaeda. And they continue to be relentless with affiliate's or associate's efforts to re-boot and re-group. It is because of this effort that the threat of overseas adversaries attacking the homeland is significantly less that it was a decade ago.
By all accounts, the threat has evolved and morphed into more of a homegrown, decentralized, lone actor inspired by an ideology that is easily resourced on the internet. Because of our vast defense, there is now less collaboration; however, there is some level of cohesiveness amongst this current threat. We are also seeing our terrorism threats coverage with other criminal disciplines such as gangs, cartels, transnational organized crime, and other traditional crime. The challenge for the federal government and state and local law enforcement is the threat is now more complex and the intelligence signal is weaker than it once was. The best opponent for a decentralized adversary is a decentralized organization - State and local law enforcement.