LAPD Chief Charlie Beck
appointment confirmed


. Chief Charles L. Beck
Chief of the LAPD
  Chief Charles Beck Message
Message from the Chief

from Chief Beck

Each morning when I wake up and put on this uniform, I am proud to be a member of the LAPD family, and now I'm honored to have been selected as the leader of this extraordinary family, its 56th Chief of Police.

To be a part of the history of this great organization in the capacity of Chief is humbling and I can honestly say, a bit overwhelming.  But I would not have even considered applying for and pursuing the position had I not felt deep in my heart that I am truly the right person at the right time for this organization.  I have been entrusted with the critical job of continuing to ingrain the many changes we have experienced over the past 7 years into the very DNA of this organization.
Change does not only take place at the top levels of any organization, but must also be embraced from the roots up, and in this Department, that means by the boots on the ground.  I want to take the culture change that has occurred in the upper echelons of the Department and make it the core of our rank and file.  I also believe that the only way an organization truly changes is by giving people the resources they need to do their jobs and then hold them accountable.  That means putting more officers into the Areas.  I want to give the Area Captains their own ability to manage their resources, put the authority where the accountability is.

The progress and transparency that has taken place over the past several years must be maintained and expanded.  Although the leader is important to the LAPD, it takes a team of people to do the job.  It is much too complicated for just one person.  Chief Bratton did a tremendous job of building a team, but that doesn't mean we can't build something better.  Think of it in these terms; expect an evolution, not a revolution.  The selection of the Chief of Police is just that, a selection, it's not an election.  The other candidates have not gone away and I intend to continue to utilize their talents and energies.

I will also work hard to convince our many diverse communities that their talents and energies are also critical to our success.  The recent Harvard and LA Times polls make it clear, the people of Los Angeles like their Police Department and think you are doing a great job.  That's the way it should be.  The people of this City should be proud of and feel as if this is their Department.  As your Chief, I will have an open line of communication with the different communities of this City to gain a better understanding of the views and opinions of how we protect and serve.  I will also continue the cause of increasing the size of this Department.  We can never go back to the way we used to police, that thin blue line that focused only on response and enforcement.  This needs to be the way we do business:  collaboration and transparency.  We must work with all of our communities and address their problems.  I believe it starts at the patrol level, that is the primary service delivery vehicle and that is who shows up first.

I also care about your views and opinions.  I want each and every one of you to do well, to feel the same pride that I do to be a member of this policing family.  I have 32 years of working the streets of this City and have learned that by visiting each of the stations, and talking to officers one on one; I can gauge your thinking about the future of the organization and your place in it.  I don't want you to have to go through an extended learning curve like I did.  I want each of you to progress and develop your careers through compressed evolution.  I want to create and maintain a common framework and shared vision that will include every Department employee, both sworn and civilian.

I know the ghosts of this Police Department's past, I lived them.  In the 90's we did not always rise up to our abilities. We did not do what we should have done in some instances.  Feeling the mixture of the pain and pride of our past, I want to convert former Chief Bratton's legacy into our Department's destiny.  As an organization we are the bridge between our own past and our future.

This is not just a job to me, this is who I am.  My father joined the LAPD in 1950 and retired as a Deputy Chief.  I joined the Department in 1977.  My sister was one of the greatest detective's I have ever worked with.  My wife was a narcotics canine handler for the LA County Sheriff Department.  My daughter is currently a patrol officer in Hollywood and my son will graduate from the Academy on December 4, that graduation will be the first time that I will preside over a ceremony as the Chief of Police of this City.  I can't argue when people say my blood runs LAPD blue.  That is why I do this job.

Together, we will continue our commitment to reduce crime and the fear of crime, and making this City the safest in America.  Through your continued exemplary hard work and commitment, we will achieve great things as we move forward.  My message to you and what I always want you to remember is this, cops count - character counts; do the right thing and you can be the difference.

One last thing before you go to work tonight or today. From now on, when you're in a class C assignment, you can wear long sleeves with no tie.

Thank You

.Cindy Beck puts a four-star pin on the collar of her husband,
LAPD's new Chief, Charlie Beck, after he is sworn in.
(photo by Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. council confirms Beck as new police chief

One councilman calls the hearing before their vote a 'love fest.' But some warn that the council and chief will soon be butting heads over increasing the size of the police force.

by Joel Rubin , LA Times

November 18, 2009

Los Angeles City Council members Tuesday formally appointed Charlie Beck as the city's new police chief, enthusiastically praising the selection of the LAPD veteran for the job, but also acknowledging that the city's ongoing fiscal crisis will inevitably complicate, and perhaps strain, his relationship with elected officials.

Council members unanimously approved Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's nomination of Beck, who becomes the 56th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Surrounded by family and friends, Beck officially began the five-year term when he was sworn into his new position by Villaraigosa following the council's action.

The unusual voice vote, in which each council member stood and expressed support for Beck, came after more than an hour of comments that were remarkable for the complete absence of opposition or serious questioning of Beck and his plans to run the LAPD. During the hearing, Councilman Richard Alarcon made light of the easy pass the council gave the nominee, calling the session a "love fest."

In "previous appointments, there seemed to be elements in the community that had issues with the nominee," Alarcon said. "I can't think of any other situation where a chief has been welcomed so much."

Nonetheless, Beck's ascent to one of the most powerful local law enforcement positions in the nation comes at a time of uncertainty for the department, as the new chief will be expected to sustain former Police Chief William J. Bratton's hard-won gains amid dwindling city coffers.

To do this, Beck and his staff inevitably will tangle with the council as LAPD officials try to secure as much funding as possible, while council members, facing a budget shortfall that could reach $400 million next year, try to rein in spending..

Former chief and current Councilman Bernard Parks jokingly hinted at the rougher treatment Beck could receive in future visits to the council, suggesting that Beck keep a videotape of the confirmation hearing to help him remember the day when the council was entirely friendly toward him.

"There will be dark days," Parks said, turning serious.

Beck, 56, made clear that he has no illusions that the task before him will be easy and he wasted no time in trying to gain an upper hand in what promises to be a long and difficult struggle with the council over the LAPD's size. He gently but unmistakably put the council on notice Tuesday that he believes that the dramatic declines in crime and improved ties with minority communities that the LAPD has achieved in recent years will hinge on whether the council is able to avoid cutting the number of officers.

The current size of the force, which hovers just below 10,000 cops, is the largest it has ever been -- the result of an aggressive push over the last few years by Villaraigosa and Bratton to add 1,000 officers. The council backed the effort until last month when, in the face of the worsening fiscal crisis, it canceled plans for a new class of recruits to begin training this month and ordered the department to slow down the rate of hiring officers. The LAPD remains a few hundred officers shy of the mayor's goal and is permitted for now to replace only officers who retire or leave.

On Tuesday, Beck urged the council to continue increasing the LAPD's size as soon as possible and warned that slips backward would hinder his ability to further ingrain Bratton's progressive reforms into the rank and file.

He evoked the dark memories of previous decades when a severely understaffed force of about 6,500 officers did little more than race from emergency to emergency and alienated the neighborhoods it served.

"To go backward would mean going backward in our ability to police this city," he said in his comments after the hearing.

Beck has made similar statements at several town hall-style meetings in recent weeks, urging residents to tell council members that they want the hiring to resume.

But with the deft manner in which he conveyed his message, Beck underscored a significant difference in style between himself and Bratton.

Bratton, raised on the in-your-face, smash-nosed style of politics favored in New York and Boston, had a sometimes strained relationship with council members, who chafed at the harsh barbs he occasionally tossed at them.

Beck, by contrast, who has served in the LAPD for 32 years, has presented a decidedly quieter and self-effacing manner.

"The big difference between [Beck] and Bill Bratton is he's not going to be confrontational," said Councilman Dennis Zine, an LAPD reserve officer. "He's got the respect of the council, he's got the respect of the mayor. . . . Bratton had a very brash attitude, he alienated a lot of my colleagues. You're not going to see Charlie Beck alienating. What he will do is he will galvanize and we will work with him."

Other council members echoed Zine. Bill Rosendahl, who represents the city's Westside, called Beck's interpersonal skills "a breath of fresh air."

And Jan Perry, who got to know Beck when he ran the LAPD's South Bureau and Central Division downtown, said: "Even when he doesn't agree with you, he's a good listener and isn't dismissive of other viewpoints."

However, Perry cautioned: "He's going to have to be realistic. Any one of us would like to increase the size of the police force, but there may not be the money to do that in the immediate future."

Times staff writers Maeve Reston and David Zahniser contributed to this report.,0,7280095.story


.LAPD Chief designate Charlie Beck points out some of
the badges belonging to officers he has served with who
have died while on the job. The badges are on the wall
leading to the entrance of the new LAPD administration
building in down town Los Angeles, CA 11-13-2009.
(photo by staff photographer John McCoy)
  Charlie Beck confirmed as L.A.'s top cop

by Rick Orlov, LA Daily News

November 18, 2009

The Los Angeles Police Department entered a new era Tuesday with the City Council's unanimous, 14-0, confirmation of Charlie Beck as the city's 55th chief of police.

Beck, 56, was immediately sworn in by council President Eric Garcetti and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, allowing him to succeed former Chief Bill Bratton, who resigned two weeks ago to take a private-sector job. A public swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 3.

A 32-year veteran of the department, Beck was selected by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take over a department that has expanded to more than 10,000 officers while the crime rate has shrunk for seven consecutive years.

"It is very, very gratifying," Beck said. "I know a lot of people think it (his confirmation) was rushed through, but to those of us in the process, it seemed like forever."


But, the LAPD _ like all city departments - is facing a grim financial future and could be forced to make cutbacks to live within the new budget realities.

Beck, whose father George was an LAPD deputy chief and whose two children are in the department, has been chief of detectives since 2007 after rising through the ranks from patrol to command jobs, primariiy in South Los Angeles.

In taking the job, Beck will be paid $307,000 a year. Bratton, who had previously commanded the police departments in Boston and New York City, earned $321,000.

Beck had been making $218,000 a year, but was part of the delayed retirement DROP program. In taking the chief's job, Beck will have to end his participation in that delayed retirement program and repay about $350,00 he'd withdrawn from the pension system.

Beck has pledged to continue the reforms initiated by Bratton, saying that policing needed to change in order to be effective in a city as diverse as Los Angeles.

The recognition on the need for change was driven home early in his career when he was on patrol in Watts, Beck said in a recent interview.

"I would be driving by and see absolute hate toward the police, even from little kids," Beck said. "Now, when you drive through, people wave. It is a different LAPD."

Beck said he was an early convert to Bratton's approach and his goal is to take the attitude from the common level and make sure it is something accepted by officers.

"It is much easier to keep the reforms in place rather than to engender it," Beck said. "The challenge is to continue to do what I think people have come to expect from the LAPD.

"We need to continue to be open, to be transparent, to continue to work with people and reach out," Beck said. "We need to continue to respect the public and build collaboration throughout the city."