Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ended months of speculation Monday, when he announced that Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michel Moore would replace Charlie Beck as chief of the LAPD.
In his announcement, Garcetti highlighted Moore’s experience in reform efforts and his ties to the community.
“He doesn’t need to hit the ground running,” Garcetti said. “He’s already running.”
Moore’s appointment must be confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council.
Moore is a 36-year LAPD veteran. He got his start as a police officer, rose through the ranks and in 2010 was promoted to assistant chief, and was assigned to the Office of Special Operations. In 2015, he became director of the Office of Administrative Services, and has most recently served as director of the Office of Operations, which oversees uniformed officers.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott and LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Arcos were also in the final running to be the next chief. The search spanned several months, as Garcetti considered dozens of applicants from LAPD and from police departments across the country. The Police Commission also held six community meetings across L.A. to hear feedback from residents on what qualities they would like to see in the next chief.
Beck, who will depart on June 27, has been chief since 2009. He announced his retirement in January, amidst tensions between the African-American community and the department following the high-profile police shootings of African-American young men around the country.
Recent Los Angeles Police Commission meetings have often ended with activists shouting at the chief, forcing recess or sometimes even adjournment. And on May 8, a woman threw an unknown white powder at Beck during a Police Commission meeting, later claiming that it was the ashes of Wakiesha Wilson, a 36-year-old woman who died in LAPD custody.
Beck also caught flak during his final months due to a rise in violent crime. According to statistics released in January, violent crime rose for the fourth straight year in 2017, following 12 years of declines. However, Beck pointed to declining homicide rates as something to be happy about. Since 2010, Los Angeles has seen fewer than 300 homicides each year, a streak unseen since the 1960s.
“Am I proud in how we’ve done on homicides? Absolutely,” Beck said.
However, Garcetti recognized that the department has much work to do when it comes to building community trust. He noted that the future of community relations was an important element in his search for a new chief. Moore agreed, reflecting on the needs of local residents, and the need of LAPD to connect with Angelenos.
“I’ve never been more invested in trying to understand the city,” Moore said.