The unexpected retirement of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has triggered the need to find a new leader for the nation’s third-largest police department.
Mayor Karen Bass has not provided a specific timeline for the hiring process, but she recently announced the commencement of a nationwide search for the next police chief of Los Angeles. Emphasizing the importance of community involvement, Mayor Bass stated that the search will incorporate substantial input from the community, as well as consultations with law enforcement professionals and experts.
The Los Angeles Police Commission, appointed by the mayor, is set to name an interim chief as the search for Moore’s permanent successor is in progress.
Meanwhile, individuals who previously held positions in the city administration and members of the community have started expressing their opinions on their expectations for the upcoming chief.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, representing LAPD officers, released a statement expressing their search for a leader dedicated to increasing the number of police officers, decreasing violent crime, and boosting morale.
The league expressed that during these difficult times for our city and our profession, it is crucial to have a leader who is not afraid to speak truth to power and who will prioritize the well-being of all Angelenos.
Former L.A. city councilmember Joe Buscaino, who also served as an LAPD officer, highlighted the diverse communities within Los Angeles on Monday, Jan. 15. He emphasized that the policing needs of the city vary significantly, ranging from the upscale neighborhood of Porter Ranch in the San Fernando Valley to the working-class area of Watts in South L.A., as well as the harbor community of San Pedro.
According to him, the upcoming LAPD chief should have a clear understanding of these distinctions. Buscaino expressed his desire for the next police chief to be unafraid of opposing calls to defund the police, while also acknowledging the need to reassess which calls for service should be handled by police officers.
Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, is among the voices advocating for defunding the LAPD.
Abdullah stated on Monday that she does not support the overall idea of a police chief, citing BLM-LA’s lack of support for the LAPD’s existence. Abdullah emphasized the importance of community input in the selection of the police chief, stating that it is crucial for the city of L.A.
The community has an important role to play. Public forums are necessary for open discussion and debate. Abdullah emphasized the need for a community selection process.
In a statement, she emphasized the importance of making the names of the candidates for LAPD chief known to the public.
In a surprising move, Mayor Eric Garcetti decided to break tradition in 2018 by opting not to disclose the names of the three potential candidates he was considering for the position of Police Chief, which was left vacant after Charlie Beck’s departure. Several news outlets, such as the Los Angeles Daily News, disclosed the names of the last contenders despite obtaining knowledge of their identities.
In 2018, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti considered several candidates for the position of police chief, including Robert Arcos, who was then a deputy chief in the LAPD and is now the chief of the Bureau of Investigation in the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. Another finalist was William Scott, who had previously worked in the LAPD and currently serves as the San Francisco Police Chief.
It remains unclear whether Arcos or Scott have expressed any interest in running again this time. Buscaino expressed his support for the idea of L.A. hiring its first female police chief, reiterating his stance from 2018. He believes that there are qualified candidates currently employed within the LAPD.
Buscaino stated on Monday that it is an opportune moment to appoint a highly capable woman to head the LAPD. “Other police departments in the county have,” according to reports. In recent years, a number of women have taken on high-profile leadership roles in Los Angeles.
In a historic moment for the Los Angeles Fire Department, Kristin Crowley has made history by becoming the first woman chief to lead the department. This significant milestone was achieved in March 2022, marking a new era for the department and breaking barriers in gender representation. In November, Bass was elected as the first female mayor of Los Angeles, alongside Hydee Feldstein Soto, who became the city’s first female city attorney.
Furthermore, the composition of the City Council experienced significant changes during that year, resulting in a historic increase in the number of women serving on the council.
During a recent statement, Buscaino revealed that he has not had any communication with LAPD Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides and is uncertain about her potential interest in applying for Moore’s position. According to Buscaino, who has previous experience working with Tingirides during their time in the police force, he believes she would make a formidable candidate if she decides to apply. He mentioned that Tingirides was even a finalist for the position of Austin police chief in 2021.