In a move that likely surprised some political observers, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Monday that he had selected 37-year veteran Michel Moore to be the 57th chief of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Assistant Chief Moore, who has risen through the ranks, would succeed Charlie Beck, who is retiring after 41 years with the department and just short of 10 years as chief.
“Mike Moore is the right leader at the right time to accelerate our progress in bringing crime down, deepening trust between officers and our communities, and improving working conditions for our rank-and-file,” Garcetti said at a press conference. “His experience, strong character, and commitment to the demands of 21st century policing will serve the people of our city well.”
The City Council is expected to approve Moore's nomination in the coming weeks.
Moore has been involved with everything from counter-terrorism and the use of force to fiscal, personnel, training and other operations during his career. Currently he is responsible for running LAPD’s patrol units.
“I wish to continue building momentum, particularly in communities of color, and improving public safety, while we build a more diverse and representative department, and supporting the people of this department,” Moore said at the press conference.
The other two finalists were LAPD Deputy Chief Robert Acros and San Francisco Police Chief William Scott, who was with the LAPD for 27 years. While none of the three candidates were considered to have an inside track after the mayor met with them last week, Scott and Arcos were thought to have deeper political and social ties to some of the city’s political leaders and neighborhoods than Moore has—an important asset in 21st century policing. Acros and Scott are Latino and African American, respectively.
The L.A. Black Lives Matter chapter, citing Moore's participation in two shootings for which he was cleared and in once instance decorated, criticized him as “part of the 'leadership' that made LAPD the most murderous police department in the nation.”
Garcetti said the appointment of Moore – “one of, if not the most, qualified law enforcement professionals in America” – as “the most important decision that I will probably make as mayor.”
Remiscent of former LAPD chief William Bratton, Moore has a reputation within the force as a detail-oriented leader who relies heavily on data and statistics. An LAPD Medal of Valor winner, he was a finalist in 2009 when Beck was selected.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents the department's sworn officers, congratulated Moore and indicated a willingness to “roll up our sleeves and get to work with Chief Moore” to address the concerns of police officers.
Looking to continue the LAPD’s progress since the dark days of the Rampart scandal, Moore’s message was that his tenure would offer the department an “opportunity to reset, to reinvent, [and] to reinvigorate.”
Chief Beck’s last day on the job will be June 27.