An Asian American will be the new chief of The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), taking charge of a force predominantly led by White men.
On Wednesday, the Police Commission announced that Assistant Chief Dominic Choi will take the reins as interim chief beginning in March. The assignment will last until mid-summer, before a permanent replacement steps in.
Upon Chief Michel Moore’s unexpected retirement, the civilian Board of Police Commissioners unanimously chose Choi, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Following the commission meeting, Mayor Karen Bass introduced Choi. “In Picking Choi, the Police Commission went with an experienced insider who has held a variety of roles as he ascends the department’s ranks,” Bass said.
The son of Korean immigrants graduated from the University of Southern California, Choi began working for LAPD in 1995.
He quickly rose through the ranks from working patrol assignments, to deceive, to sergeant, then lieutenant. In 2014, Choi became Captain and in 2017 he became the Commander of Operations Central Bureau. Shortly after this, he was promoted to LAPD’s Homeless Coordinator until becoming Deputy Chief in 2019.
At the news conference, Choi said “I’ll be available not only to you and the commission but to the personnel of the LAPD and to the public.”
CBS News reported that Moore will continue to help the department during this transition.
In January, Moore said “I’m here to ensure that this department is successful and that this mayor and this city is successful.” He added “I want to see this transition as smooth as possible while also allowing me to move onto the next volume of my life.”
Moore has displayed confidence marking this choice “a great day on a number of fronts.”
Choi will assume leadership over the massive, multibillion-dollar organization. He explained his strategy: “not to go in there and turn everything upside down.” Instead, he hopes to create stability within the department.
Becoming the first chief of Asian decent, Choi said “I proudly represent that community, but just to be clear, my role is to represent all the communities throughout this city.”
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