Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck sworn in, for a second time, in ceremony at headquarters [Updated]

It was all pomp and pageantry at the LAPD's downtown headquarters this morning as newly appointed Chief Charlie Beck was sworn in to office -- for a second time.

Beck officially became the department's leader a few weeks ago when the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s nomination of Beck.

Beck, 56, took the oath of office in a brief ceremony after the council vote. Today's event was for show and celebration. Against the backdrop of City Hall, elected officials, department brass and a few hundred other guests filled the courtyard outside the LAPD's gleaming new headquarters.

Mounted police sat atop their horses on First Street, which had been closed to traffic, while the department's official band alternated between festive holiday music and traditional police marching tunes. An LAPD helicopter pilot showed off, flying in low circles overhead. Beck walked onto the stage to the plaintive drone of bagpipers. 

The bunting-laced dais was packed with Beck’s family – a clan rooted deeply in the department. His father is a retired LAPD deputy chief, his sister a former department detective, his stepdaughter a young patrol officer and his son is scheduled to graduate from the LAPD academy Friday.

Many council members, civilian police commissioners and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca also attended. Beck’s predecessor, William J. Bratton, returned from his new job as head of a police consulting firm in New York City for the celebration. Next to him was Daryl F. Gates, another influential leader of the department who served for 14 years until 1992.

As before, Beck was sworn in as the 56th LAPD chief by Villaraigosa, who, in his remarks, called the new chief “the right man at the right time to shape this department in the future.”

Council President Eric Garcetti took up the refrain, saying Beck – a 32-year veteran of the force – had the trust and respect of the department’s nearly 10,000 officers needed to solidify reforms Bratton introduced.

“For the first time in many decades, what we are asking of this chief is to continue the momentum of reform, rather than be the first to usher it in,” he said. Beck “embodies the new era of LAPD.”

For his part, Beck hit familiar, self-effacing notes from the many speeches and town-hall talks he has given since being selected. Saying he was “humbled” by the responsibilities of the new post, he praised his officers for successes in pushing down crime and portrayed the LAPD as a vital agency “inexorably tied to the city” that wants – and needs -- to collaborate with other city departments.

The morning kicked off a daylong series of celebrations. After the swearing-in, Beck planned to join hundreds of officers at a barbecue at the academy and tonight will be feted at a gala dinner hosted by the Los Angeles Police Foundation at the Getty Center.

[Updated at 2:34 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the gala was being hosted by Villaraigosa.]

-- Joel Rubin at LAPD headquarters

Photo: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck thanks City Council members and other dignitaries following his remarks at today's swearing-in ceremony. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

More photos . . .

More breaking news in L.A. Now:

Skull of ancient ground sloth found in Riverside County

Rampart Division officers exchange gunfire with suspects

Chapman University group finds new way to relieve stress during finals week -- puppies

FBI serves search warrants at Yahoo, Google in Erin Andrews tape case

L.A. Clerk says vote-by-mail could bring dramatic boost in turnout -- and costs

Comments () | Archives (4)

Huh. I thought the city was bankrupt.

But no, we have a gleaming new office building, not one but two ceremonies that took up police time, and we're following that up with a BBQ and "gala" dinner.

Times are good, once again, folks!

I feel fortunate in being invited to attend Chief Beck's swearing in this morning. Over the past weeks, I have spoken to many of my law enforcement friends and they all feel that Chief Beck was the right choice for Los Angeles in 2009. The few times I have spoken to the Chief I have impressed by his focus on issues we have discussed and his concern.
Good luck Chief Beck.

PS Where was Bernard Parks???

Did Los Angeles need their Police Chief to be sworn in twice? A waste of time and resources. Some way to spend money when cash is tight and resources are limited. What is going on in are town. This is like a family that is on a budget going out and throwing their child an extravagant birthday party. LA officials need to get worken and stop revisting the past we have been here and done this before. Got a new Chief! Go to work quite playing with the people s money.

Congrats Chief Beck. He will get most of the police officers out from the office/desk and send them back to patrol. One of the next things for him to do should be to demote Paysinger. He is no good and speak with fork tongue. If he keeps him there, it will be very disappointing to many of the officers and employees of the department.

I wish you nothing but success in leading the police department.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: