After serving as Chief William Bratton's right-hand man for most of the decade, McDonnell vied for the LAPD's top job last year but was denied in favor of Charlie Beck. McDonnell's most recent position at the department is deputy chief in charge of detectives. (The list of others who have left to take their own departments includes San Francisco police Chief George Gascon, who departed the LAPD to take over the department in Mesa, Ariz., before moving to San Francisco).
A well-liked leader with roots in Boston, McDonnell will be running the department in the county's second-largest city. Long Beach police have grappled with entrenched gangs and a spate of officer-involved shootings.
McDonnell is an acolyte of the kind of community-based policing that made Bratton's tenure such a success.