The candidates are Deputy Chief Michel Moore, First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell and Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.
The mayor said he would like the city council to confirm his choice by Nov. 10, the earliest date the council can do so.
The head of the L.A. Police Commission, who chose the finalists, defended the fact that all three candidates are white males. "We really looked at a diverse pool," commission President John Mack told ABC7's Adrienne Alpert on Eyewitness Newsmakers.
Alpert pointed out that the choices for chief included "no outsiders, no women, no African-Americans," and generated "no controversy."
"That's a real, real testimony to the progress that, frankly, LAPD has made under the leadership of Chief Bill Bratton," Mack said. "The LAPD of today is a very different police department. It is very diverse at the rank and file level, at the command level."
CNS contributed to this report.