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Beck begins assembling his team to run the LAPD [Updated]

November 23, 2009 |  4:04 pm

[The post has been updated at 10:09 p.m..]

Less than a week after taking over the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck announced a shakeup to the structure and make-up of the department’s command staff, including the demotion of two of the LAPD’s highest ranking officials and promotion of several others.

Beck, who was confirmed as chief by the City Council last Tuesday, promoted Deputy Chief Michel Moore to become one of the LAPD’s three assistant chiefs and assigned him to a newly-created post in charge of Special Services, according to an announcement released Monday. 

In his new post, Moore will oversee an array of specialized operations that, until now, have been run separately, including the agency’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, the elite Metropolitan Division, and the Detective Bureau.

Senior LAPD officials, who requested that their names not be used because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the changes, said Beck decided on the creation of Moore’s new post in hopes that it would streamline a sometimes inefficient organization, in which different units sometimes overlap each other.

To make room for Moore, Asst. Chief Jim McDonnell, who for several years has been the second highest ranking person in the department and ran the agency when the previous chief was out of town, dropped one rank to deputy chief and will move into a new role as Chief of Detectives under Moore.

In the most dramatic of the moves, Beck demoted Asst. Chief Sharon Papa, who has run the LAPD’s Support Services Bureau, down two levels to the rank of commander, several sources close to the decision said.

Beck and his aides declined to discuss Papa’s fall, saying it was a private personnel matter.

The new roster of top-ranking officials released by the department Monday made no mention of Papa. In Papa’s place, Beck elevated Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur to assistant chief and assigned her to a new position in charge of Administrative Services — a role that will be similar to Papa’s old one.

The third assistant chief, Earl Paysinger, will remain in charge of the Office of Operations, although the size of Paysinger’s domain will shrink somewhat, as several units currently under his control are moved to Moore’s new portfolio. The moves by Beck were met with support by council members.

“I looked at the names that he is putting together, and I think it’s a very strong team, and I fully support what’s he’s done,” said Smith, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee. “Every chief has the ability to form his own inner circle.”

With the reshuffling, three of department’s four regional bureaus will also see new leaders. Commanders

Debra McCarthy and Pat Gannon will be promoted to deputy chiefs so that McCarthy can take over the West Bureau and Gannon can run the South Bureau, while Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese will head the Valley Bureau, where Moore is currently in charge.

-- Joel Rubin and Phil Willon