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Charlie Beck sworn in as 55th LAPD chief

November 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Charlie Beck was sworn in as the 55th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department with a unanimous vote at City Hall on Monday.L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa nominated 56-year-old Beck over two other high ranking LAPD veterans. Beck replaces former Chief Bill Bratton, who left the department two weeks ago to work for a security firm in New York.

Beck is a 32-year veteran of the LAPD and is currently serving as LAPD chief of detectives.

Beck comes from a law enforcement family. His father is a former LAPD deputy chief and his wife Cindy is a former Sheriff's deputy. She had the honor of pinning the chief's stars to his uniform.

Beck answered questions and heard plenty of praise from council members before they voted on his confirmation. Some council members described the meeting as a "lovefest" because they said they welcome him as a man of integrity who has risen up through the ranks.

He said he wants to make the department the most effective policing organization in the nation. To do that, Beck wants to add to the ranks of the nearly 10,000-member LAPD, saying police work is about resources.

Homicide is down 20 percent in L.A. this year, and Beck said the LAPD needs to continue reducing crime and improving its public image through constitutional policing. He wants to decentralize the way the department operates, and he supports giving commanders the needed resources to take ownership of problems in their respective communities

Beck will take over at Parker Center at a time when the LAPD faces a budget crisis. The police union has agreed to forgo raises for the next two years, and enrollment at the police academy has been suspended until January.


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