LA Mayor has until June to choose a new police chief

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has until the end of June to choose the city’s next police chief ahead of Chief Charlie Beck’s retirement.

Beck announced last month that he would be retiring on June 27 – his 65th birthday. Beck was installed as chief in 2009.

Beck continued the reforms and community policing model established by former Chief William Bratton, but tensions have risen in recent years between the police department and the African American community following high-profile police shootings of African American young men in other cities.

Los Angeles has also seen a rise in violent crime. Recent statistics show violent crime rose for the fourth year in a row, while homicides have decreased.

In the early stages of the search for a new chief, no names have emerged, but Beck and others have said there are several viable candidates within the department. Generally, an outside candidate would be chosen if the mayor wanted to make changes to the department.

Here’s how the process works.

The job will be posted, and the Personnel Commission will forward names to be considered by the five-member Police Commission. The Police Commission members are appointed by Garcetti.

The Police Commission will then narrow the list of candidates to their top three and submit those names to Garcetti. Garcetti will make a recommendation for the next chief, which the City Council must approve.

The Police Commission has held six community meetings across the city to get feedback from residents on what qualities they would like to see in their next chief. There is also an online survey residents can take to submit their views.

In an interview on KPPC, Beck would not say who he thinks should be the next chief.

“It’s a difficult job and I think it’s been more difficult over the past couple of years than the past decade,” he told KPCC’s Larry Mantle.

Beck said the next chief needs to be a good spokesperson for the department and well-grounded in policing.

The department has never been led by a female chief, but that could change.

“There are a number of candidates, more than one, that are female, just happen to be female, and are eminently qualified to do the job. So, I think that may be something that happens,” Beck said.

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