LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — City officials Tuesday announced the new chief of the Long Beach Police Department.
Mayor Robert Garcia and City Manager Pat West were on hand to formally announce Robert Luna as the 26th Chief of Police, according to Long Beach officials.READ MORE: West Valley Animal Shelter Dogs In Quarantine After Outbreak Of Canine Influenza
Luna will fill the vacancy left by the current Chief, Jim McDonnell, who won his bid for Los Angeles County Sheriff.
“We’re going to truly miss Jim McDonnell,” Luna said. “The last four and a half years of his service and leadership were amazing. He’s going to do an incredible job as the next sheriff of LA County.”
A nearly 30-year LBPD veteran, Luna, who started his career as a reserve officer in 1985, currently serves as Deputy Chief and manages the department’s Patrol Bureau, an executive position he has held since 2006, according to the city’s website.
Luna was originally considered the front runner for the position in 2010, when it became available. The position instead went to McDonnell — a decision Luna said had deeply disappointed him.
“Any time you give something your all, and you don’t get it, it is difficult,” Luna said. “Failures, or not getting something, is part of life. You’re going to get knocked down, you have to dust yourself off, you have to get up, and you have to keep on going.”READ MORE: LA City Council Votes Unanimously To Crack Down On Street Racing Promotion
Luna, who adopted the policies of the new chief at the time, then became McDonnell’s right-hand man.
“I’ve been a sponge, I’ve been in awe,” Luna said. “(McDonnell) is a great leader. He is a great manager. He’s a great police executive.”
While the police department is still rebounding from years of cutbacks, Luna said he would have to consider his budgetary options before committing to any restaffing effort.
“We want more officers, but at the same time, it may be at the detriment of parks and recreation, library or other crucial city services,” he said.
At the ceremony, West described Luna as “compassionate” and “full of integrity”, according to the LBPD Twitter page.
Mayor Garcia’s office also tweeted out his congratulations to Luna.MORE NEWS: Lakers Legend Magic Johnson On Unvaccinated Players: ‘I Would Never Do That To My Teammates’
Luna will assume the role of Police Chief on Nov. 22, officials said.