... a forum for the dissemination of information, sharing of ideas,
and suggesting of ways the community can become engaged
in making our streets safer, to improve the quality of life ...


Thirteen Applicants Remain
for LAPD's next Chief of Police

Bill Murray - 8/29/02


Thirteen applicants remain for LAPD's next COP
The question is ... and this may be your last chance to say, "What's your criteria for Chief?"

NOTE: This article was updated on September 4th, as the initial round of the interview process began. The thirteen names listed here below are those confirmed as being on the semi-final list.

As we've moved through the summer the search has continued for the next LAPD Chief of Police. We're nearing the end of a process set in motion with the Police Commission's decision not to reappoint the last chief.

Thirteen of the over four dozen original applicants for the job remain.

Immediately after it received the Blue Ribbon Committee's Report on Selection Criteria on August 27th, the Board of Police Commissioners met in Closed Session and considered the full list of applicants one at a time. One by one it considered candidates, discarding those it felt did not meet the selection criteria.

Initially not all on the resulting short list of thirteen received an endorsement from every Commissioner, but the Board did unanimously support the entire final list.

The thirteen names were not officially made public, because the Board had promised some of the candidates their privacy will be protected. But it was known that the short list includes prospects who had publicly said they'd applied for the position in the past.

Some of the thirteen applicants who remained confirmed that they'd received invitations to interview for the job with the Board of Police Commissioners beginning next week, Sept. 4, 5 and 6, as it moves towards making up its final list.

The members of the Board will need to eliminate all but six names, placing them in the order of preference.

Eventually it will be up to them to forward the resumes of three applicants in ranked preference to the Mayor, who can either choose from this initial group or ask for three more. His decision is then subject to approval by the fifteen members of the City Council.

Originally Commission President Rick Caruso would only confirm that the list of thirteen includes both men and women, is ethnically diverse, and has applicants both from within and without the LAPD. Some of them are from out of state.
NOTE: There have already been several steps in this process, all of which we've reported ...

Chief Selection Process
(lists all the steps in the process)

Application for Chief
(candidate requirements and job description)

Community's Role
(reports on all 7 city-wide community criteria meetings)

Blue Ribbon Panel
(lists the 15 members of the committee and their Report)

For your convenience, and so you'll learn a little about the known candidates, we have created the following list of the applicants. As you can see, in each case there's a link to more biographical information.

The small red dot in front of a name (
) indicates an applicant who we have confirmed is one of the thirteen asked to interview with the Commission.

Among the first group are those who are currently serving with the LAPD, which we've listed by rank and length of LAPD service:

Assistant Chief David Gascon (joined the Department in 1971) - currently the Chief of Staff for the Los Angeles Police Department, responsible for overseeing the Internal Affairs Group, the Ombuds program, Governmental Liaison, and Administrative Group

Deputy Chief Margaret York (a 32 year veteran of LAPD) - the first woman in the history of the LAPD to reach the rank of Deputy Chief - currently serves as the commanding officer of LAPD's Operations Central Bureau, and oversees all Department operations in Central, Hollenbeck, Newton, Northeast and Rampart Areas

Deputy Chief David Kalish (began his LAPD career in 1975) - currently serves as the commanding officer of LAPD's Operations West Bureau, and oversees all Department operations in Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Pacific and Wilshire Areas

Commander George Gascon (first joined the LAPD in 1978) - currently serves as commanding officer of the Department's Training Group, responsible for overseeing all training for the Department's sworn and civilian employees

Commander Jim McDonnell (a 22 year veteran of LAPD) - currently assigned as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Police and also as the Senior Lead Officer (SLO) program coordinator, Safe Parks Coordinator and provides oversight for the Departmentís Community Policing efforts and strategies

Commander Sharon Papa (joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1997 when the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Police Department merged with the LAPD
- served with the MTA Police for almost 17 years, and was its Chief of Police from 1990 to 1997) - currently serves as the commanding officer, Community Affairs Group

Here are others of the known applicants who are currently Chiefs of Police in other cities, those who serve other Departments after having had long LAPD careers:

Chief Mark Kroeker - Portland Police (was with LAPD 32 years) - a former Deputy Chief at LAPD, spent a year in Bosnia working with the United Nations on peacekeeping and policing efforts, and has been Portland Chief since December of 1999; was a finalist for the LAPD job five years ago

Chief Art Lopez - Oxnard Police (was with LAPD 28 years) - a former Deputy Chief at LAPD, has been Chief of the Oxnard Police Department since November of 1998 and known as a firm believer in the concepts of community based policing

Finally, here are the known applicants who are current or former Commissioners or Chiefs of Police from other cities, who did not serve at LAPD:

Commissioner John Timoney - Philadelphia (appointed Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department in 1998) - early career was spent in the New York City Police Department where he became the youngest person in NYC history to hold the "four star" position of Chief of Department

Chief Paul Walters - Santa Ana (appointed Chief of Police for the City of Santa Ana in 1988) - has 30 years of diverse police experience, and command responsibilities in every rank from Police Officer through Captain; strong proponent of Community Oriented Policing

Commissioner Ronnie Watson - Cambridge, Mass. (appointed Commissioner of Police for Cambridge, Mass. in 1996) - prior to that he'd spent 33 years with the Chicago Police Department; implemented a "Community Policing Strategy" for the City of Cambridge

Chief Arturo Venegas - Sacramento (appointed as Sacramento Police Chief in 1993) - earlier career was spent with the Fresno Police Department; a strong believer in community policing, his Department features a Reginal Community Policing Institute; was a finalist for the LAPD job five years ago

William Bratton - New York City (former Senior Consultant, Kroll Associates) - well known Police Executive with tenures as Chief of Boston Transit Authority Police 1990-92, Chief of New York Transit Police 1992, Commissioner of the Boston Police Deptartment 1993, and Commissioner of the New York Police Department, 1994-96

Some of these applicants are well known, others not. Los Angeles Community Policing will continue to provide the residents with as much information as possible about these potential new Chiefs of Police.

And we'll update and correct this list as often as we can . . . so keep checking back.

Please let us know at if any of this information is inaccurate (here or anywhere on the site), and we will make corrections right away.

Also let us know if we have inadvertently missed anyone or
if the status of any of the applicants on this list changes.

Oh, and in case you're wondering who we support ...

(the LA Community Policing preference)

This may be your last chance to serve up community criteria in the quest for a new LAPD Chief of Police, as we ask the question of the week, "What's your criteria for Chief?"

How high on your list would "community policing" appear, and what would it entail?

Please take advantage of this important final opportunity to make a difference. The Board intends to begin its interviews of the remaining thirteen applicants next week.

As always, we ask that your responses be about principals, not personalities . . . about what qualities you'd like to see in a Chief, not which candidate you prefer.

And who knows? Your input on selection criteria might help frame the questions asked . . .

We wish to include your perspective and some of your ideas, making this article the beginning of a dialogue about what you think about the issue, and a true LACP community effort.

We'll be adding to the responses all week long as replies come to us. And next week we'll pick another topic (feel free to suggest a future "Question of the Week).

Our practice is to protect the anonymity of any individual whose opinion we use on the site, so unless you specifically tell us it's OK to use your name, we won't.

But our preference is for participants to give us permission to use their names, the sections of the city they're from, and / or an appropriate title.

Let's see if together we can make a difference!

Yours in service,

Bill Murray
LA Community Policing


Note: This list will not be shared with any other group, nor will it be used for purposes other than promoting Los Angeles Community Policing.

Yours in service,

Bill Murray

Thank you for supporting your LAPD Officers.

feel free to send comments to:

copyright 2002,
Los Angeles Community Policing