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Search for new LAPD chief begins

October 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The search for the new Los Angeles Police Chief got under way Wednesday with interviews for the first of more than a dozen candidates. Eight candidates were interviewed Wednesday, with five more interviews slated for Thursday. Outgoing chief William Bratton has made it clear that he wants an insider to replace him.

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners says they have their work cut out for them because all of the candidates are highly qualified.

One of the LAPD contenders is Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger who has been with LAPD for 33 years. He also heads the day to day operations.

"This gives us an opportunity really to share with them our thoughts and our vision of what the police department would look like post-Bratton," said Assistant Chief Earl Passinger.

The commission will field 13 candidates and shrink it to three. Those in the hot seat are mostly from within the Los Angeles Police Department, but a few outsiders are also being considered.

The first insider to be interviewed was Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, a 28-year veteran who commands operations for LAPD's South Bureau. Police Commission President John Mack says the department needs a visionary leader to add to the strong foundation built by Bratton.

"Someone who understands the importance of continuing to reduce crime throughout our city but who is going to be equally committed to making sure we continue the progress that we've made coming out of the consent decree," said Mack.

Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur was the second candidate to be interviewed. A 20-year police veteran, MacArthur was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the consent decree.

Bratton, who is leaving at the end of October to work for a global security firm, emphasized that his successor should be promoted from within.

"My preference would be that they certainly consider the individuals that work for me; that would be my preference since they know the city and they know the system," said Bratton.

Some of the other LAPD contenders include assistant chiefs Jim McDonnell, Sharon Papa and Deputy Chief Charles Beck.

The police commission says that L.A.'s next police chief must inspire the rank and file and also police the city's diverse population with respect. Managing the department's resources will also be a deciding factor.

"Someone, who frankly during these tough times, will possess the toughness to make some hard decisions, because the city is facing a major budget deficit, and LAPD will not be spared," described Mack.

The commission plans to have three finalists chosen by Nov. 16. Then, it's up to L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to select the new chief from those finalists.


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