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LA’s appoints first Korean American interim police chief

Dominic Choi was sworn into office Friday as the interim chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) by Mayor Karen Bass, making him the first Asian American to serve in the role. 

Choi took the position after the former Chief Michel Moore retired a day before the ceremony held at LAPD headquarters, according to ABC7. Having served as assistant chief, Choi was selected by the Board of Police Commissioners to become the department’s 58th chief. 

“The number one job of mayor is to keep Angelenos safe, and it is my honor to be here today, as we swear-in Dominic Choi as interim chief of police, as we work to do just that: keep Los Angeles safe,” said Bass, ABC7 reported.

Choi, who was born and raised in Los Angeles by his Korean immigrant parents, started his career with the LAPD in 1995. He was later promoted to overseeing several divisions such as Captain of Foothill Division, Risk Management Division and Pacific Division, LAPD reported. 

In 2019, Choi became the first Korean-American Deputy Chief of LAPD. He then became assistant chief in 2021, according to LAPD

During Friday’s ceremony, Choi said he will prioritize maintaining department-wide stability while in the position. Since he signed on as an interim chief, he will not be filling the role permanently, ABC7 reported. 

According to Bass, when Choi was asked about his reasons for not becoming permanent Chief of Police, he stated per an LAPD press release, “It wasn’t about titles, it was about service.”

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