LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced Friday that he will retire June 27, after serving as police chief since 2009.

“Serving the citizens of Los Angeles for over 40 years has been the honor of a lifetime,” Beck said in a statement on his Twitter account. “I believe we are in the right place to support my decision, and give the next generation of LAPD leaders an opportunity to lead.”

Beck, 64, publicly announced his retirement plans at a late-morning news conference with Mayor Eric Garcetti to announce crime statistics.

The police chief’s announcement, which appeared to catch some members of his own command staff off guard, comes as a surprise, as Beck will be stepping down prior to the end of his second term in Nov. 2019.

 

Beck joined the department as a reserve officer in March 1975 and became a full-time officer in March 1977. He was then promoted to sergeant in 1984, to lieutenant in 1993, to captain in 1999 and commander in 2005.

In 2006, Beck became a deputy chief, achieving the same rank his father attained at the agency.

Beck has been under fire in recent years, with activist groups such as Black Lives Matter calling for his ouster in response to what they call a rise in police shootings of black suspects.

But Back enjoyed the support of Mayor Garcetti and most of the Police Commission, the civilian panel that oversees the LAPD.

“Under his leadership he has helped to make the LAPD the preeminent law enforcement agency in the world,” commission member Steve Soboroff said. “His focus on community policing has resulted in creating, maintaining and expanding the great relationships the department has with the diverse communities of Los Angeles. The many successes in programs that have been implemented under his leadership will serve as a testimony to his skill as a leader.”

Other city officials, such as Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell, thanked Beck for his service to the city.

“The department is ready for fresh eyes to take our organization to even higher levels,” said Beck. “Thank you Los Angeles for allowing me to serve your for all these years. God bless all of you, and God bless the Los Angeles Police Department.”

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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