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Charlie Beck tapped by mayor as new LAPD chief [updated]

November 3, 2009 |  7:34 am

Charlie_Beck
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has selected Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Charlie Beck, a 32-year LAPD veteran with strong support from rank-and-file officers and civil rights advocates alike, to serve as the next chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, The Times has learned.

The choice comes at a time of uncertainty for the department as Beck will be given the task of sustaining Police Chief William J. Bratton’s hard-won gains amid dwindling city budgets.

Beck, 56, has risen quickly through the department’s command ranks in recent years and was viewed widely as the favorite to be selected by the mayor.

From his success in rehabilitating the LAPD’s Rampart Division, which had been at the center of a corruption scandal, and later as head of the LAPD’s forces in South Los Angeles, he has earned praise from police and civic leaders alike for blending a tough stance on crime with a progressive approach to improving the the LAPD’s relationship with the public.

Villaraigosa chose Beck nearly three months after Bratton announced he would step down at the end of October. During his seven years as chief, Bratton oversaw dramatic declines in crime and improved long-strained relations between police and minority communities.

Beck’s appointment must still be ratified by the City Council in a vote expected in the coming weeks, although no serious opposition is expected. With the department budget being battered by the city’s fiscal crisis and morale of rank-and-file officers wavering in the face of a new contract that offers no pay raises, Beck faces a serious challenge of maintaining the progress of the last several years.

[Updated at 10 a.m.: City Council President Eric Garcetti hailed Beck’s selection as the new chief.

“Charlie Beck embodies the new era of the LAPD,” Garcetti said. “He represents the future but connects us with the best of our past. He has the vision, temperament and intellect to continue making Los Angeles safer. I believe he is the right chief for our times. And I commend the mayor.”]

Beck beat out the two other finalists, Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell and and Deputy Chief Michel Moore.

--Joel Rubin and Phil Willon

More photos: LAPD Chief nominee Charlie Beck

More: Who is Charlie Beck? Check out our biography.

Full story: Villaraigosa selects Beck to be next LAPD chief

Photo: Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Charlie Beck has been selected to serve as the next chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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