31 People Hope to Be Chosen to Succeed Charlie Beck As Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department

Chief Charlie Beck Makes Retirement Announcement
Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

A total of 31 men and women have thrown their metaphorical hats into the ring in the hope of succeeding Chief Charlie Beck as the head of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LA Times’ Kate Mather and Cindy Chang broke the news Tuesday morning, after talking with Police Commission president Steve Soboroff, who confirmed the number of people who applied for the position before the end of the Friday deadline, after a three week window in which applications were accepted following a national search.

While no names have officially come forward, the Times learned from Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala, that she did not apply. The respected and well-liked Girmala oversees the department’s Office of Special Operations, which includes the Counter-Terrorism Special Operations Bureau and the Detective Bureau, which in turn include such specialized divisions as Metro, Air Support Division, Major Crimes, Robbery-Homicide Division, Juvenile, Forensic Science, Gang and Narcotics and more.

She was thought to be one of a number of possible front-runners.

Other well-regarded names of possible applicants have included First Assistant Chief Michel Moore, a 35-year veteran of the department who is head of Operations and second in command under Beck, and was a finalist for the position of Dallas police chief last year. Also on the same list of high-profile possibles is former Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur, who retired in 2015 after 35 years at the LAPD, and now works with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office as the mental health training coordinator for county law enforcement.

WLA was able to confirm that Moore and MacArthur have indeed applied.

In addition, the LA Times confirmed that Robert Arcos, the deputy chief who heads up the LAPD’s Central Bureau, and Deputy Chief Phil Tingirides, who leads the department’s South Bureau, are also on the list of applicants. Both are highly thought of as well.

And there are other department insiders, or former insiders, whose names have been mentioned as possible contenders. Some handicappers are pushing for a woman or Latino chief since either would be a first for the city.

The method for choosing the chief is laid out in general terms by the city’s charter. If we use the past as a guide, the 31 applicants will eventually be narrowed down to a longlist of 12 or so.

Steve Soboroff and the commission’s vice president Matt Johnson will do the narrowing of the list given them by the Personnel department.

The five-person Police Commission will then interview everyone on the smaller list, and winnow that list down to three finalists.

Those final three names will be given to Mayor Eric Garcetti in order of preference. Garcetti will select the next chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.

The City Council must then ratify the mayor’s choice.

Chief Charlie Beck made the surprise announcement that he was retiring at an otherwise routine press conference on January 19. Beck will officially step down on June 27, which is his 65 birthday. The chief made a point of announcing his departure well in advance, thus giving the city plenty of time to search for and choose a worthy successor.

To prepare for a rigorous search for candidates, the Los Angeles Police Commission held a series of six town hall-like forums around the city to get feedback from community members about what they believed the city needs in the next chief. A national policing nonprofit, the Police Executive Research Forum, assisted with the process by looking for and alerting worthy prospects elsewhere in the U.S.

In 2009, the three finalists were Jim McDonnell, who is now, of course, the Los Angeles County Sheriff, Mike Moore, who is an applicant now, and Charlie Beck, whom then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa selected.

Chief Beck has said he is hoping for a homegrown next chief, in other words, a department member, or a former department member, who he feels would be the right choice to oversee the policing of LA’s diverse communities.

More as we know it.


  • The best candidate for the LAPD, would be James, I would hope he transfers over there with his pair of fresh eyes and brass buckles…

  • “Fresh Eyes” can’t go anywhere yet, PT is still using him to promote all of his peeps.

  • Retired and laughing from the sideline. Watching the latest promotions, what a joke. Feel bad for the working folks who must put up with poor supervision, lack of direction, and bullshit new units requiring a captain. Karma is a bitch and will get them all. How many captain and above jobs have been added since McBuckles took over. WTF. Only the voters will help the LASD. The unions and the folks suffering at the bottom can’t do a dam thing. Hats off to the men and women who continue to do the job at a line level. Hang tough and do what you were hired to do. Keep us safe. Thanks

  • Only a few good guys, whom I respectfully say are stupid, are actively risking their lives and careers for genuinely doing what they were hired to do. The great majority are being smart, by just answering calls and calling the sergeant when a decision needs to be made, who in turn would call a Lieutenant, who in turn would call a captain, who I hope them would call McBuckles to ask , let’s say, how to get a criminal of a roof whithout injuring him. Most field deputies are doing the bare minimum and transferring out to safer jobs such as recruitment and public information bureau. Many others to the Court Services Divisions. To have a good record, free of complaints and uses of force inherently to the job, they have to do the bare minimum for the least amount of time. Those are the future executives of the department, the ones who have a good record. The guys doing the real police work, under McBuckles are risking their lives and risking McBuckles fabricating a case against them, to show stats. Ironically under McBuckles regime, they work in the gray and get creative to make a fake case against deputies, same old stuff just a different sheriff.

  • However, I have noticed that a real deputy, doing the real police work, sure may get killed doing it or fired by McBucklrs for doing it. But for sure McBuckles will roll in his 100K armored black Denali with his 10-men, or women, security detail at the funeral, should a deputy get killed. He would present the family with his fake condolences and would speak platitudes and political mantra.

    I miss Baca in his not too fancy crown victoria, with his only one driver, rolling throughout the county without security detail. I guess McBuckles is afraid of something, or he likes to roll in style.

  • Well, the residents of LA city are stuck with whatever puppet the political hacks think will best serve their needs for posturing and future office. Fortunately, all LA county residents get to vote for who the next sheriff will be. There are three choices on the ballot: McDonnell, the incumbent, and challengers Villanueva and Lindsey. Do your homework and chose wisely, but bear in mind what we may think internally matters little to what voters at large will do. Heck, most deputies don’t even live in LA county.

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