Arcadia, which served as WWII internment camp, names its first Japanese-American police chief

Captain Roy Nakamura, a 28-year veteran of the Arcadia Police Department, will get the top job when Chief Robert T. Guthrie retires in January.
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Decades ago, the city of Arcadia served as a World War II internment camp for thousands of Japanese-Americans. Now the city has named its first police chief of Japanese descent.

Captain Roy Nakamura, a 28-year veteran of the Arcadia Police Department, will get the top job when Chief Robert T. Guthrie retires on Jan. 9, 2021, the Los Angeles Times reported.

About 19,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were temporarily held at Arcadia's Santa Anita Park racetrack during the war.

Most lived in converted horse stalls before being transferred to officially designated camps in California, Arizona and elsewhere.

"It's progress," said Nakamura, 56, of his promotion. "Obviously, I wasn't here during those times, and not everything in history has been positive, but we're also here to learn from our mistakes, and I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe in the city of Arcadia."

Nakamura will also become the first Asian-American police chief in the city of about 58,000 people where 61% of residents identify as Asian-Americans, the Times said.

"I'm looking forward to the honor and privilege of leading the men and women of this department," Nakamura said.
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