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Swearing In For Beck, L.A.'s 56th Police Chief, is a Family Affair

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 02:11PM
BeckSwornIn Ed Fuentes

Chief Beck being sworn-in by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

With his family sitting behind him, Deputy Chief Charlie Beck was unanimously approved by council this morning to be the next police chief for the City of Los Angeles.

Before Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa introduced the nominated LAPD Deputy Chief at this morning's hearing, there was one last piece of closed door business: determining Beck's new salary. Then it was front and center in chambers where –– with the Mayor by his side –– Beck fielded questions from council members, mostly centered on each district's concerns.

For Downtown, most of which falls into District 9, Councilwoman Jan Perry repeated praise for Beck regarding his initial work with Safer Cities initiative.

The next step is to bring in County Services to support the city's efforts in Skid Row, said Beck. “We need to drag them in. . . willingly.”

Beck replaces Chief William Bratton, who left office late last month to enter the private sector.

Beck, who is noted as the first LAPD Police Chief to serve as a Senior Lead Officer, reaffirmed the department's commitment to community policing. “The police department must be seen as effective," he said, noting that his goal is to continue the reforms of the last few years and move them down to the heart of the organization, the street cops.

After questions that were less job interview than they were ceremonial, council took a voice vote that was peppered with congratulations at each "yes."

Once Deputy Chief Charlie Beck was sworn in, his wife placed the new stars on his collar and Council president Eric Garcetti pinned a badge on the 56th chief for the City of Los Angeles Police Department.

“It’s a very proud moment, and he’s a good cop, and that’s about relying on instincts,” said Beck's father, George, in the media room. The elder Beck once served as Deputy Chief.

Being a family of officers, the Becks also understand administrative procedure. The entourage quickly left the media room and headed down the hall to witness the paperwork about to be signed in the City Clerk's office.

Update (6pm): According to LAPD's counts, Beck is the department's 56th chief. Interim Chief Michael Downing gets the nod as the 55th. Who are we to argue?


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