LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There has been a changing of the guard at the Los Angeles Police Department, which on Wednesday bid farewell to its chief, then immediately greeted its newly sworn-in chief.
It was the last day on the job for LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who announced in January that he would retire this month. Beck has spent more than 40 years with the department, leading as its chief since late 2009.
The department’s rank-and-file gathered in their dress uniforms to salute Beck as he left LAPD headquarters for the final time before getting into a private vehicle with his wife. He looked relaxed in an orange linen shirt as he shook hands with his officers, and hugged former colleagues, including former police Chief Bill Bratton and incoming Chief Michel Moore.
Officers remained in place to salute Moore as he walked into headquarters for the first time as chief, after being sworn in by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Beck’s successor was selected by Mayor Eric Garcetti with heavy input from Beck. Moore was chosen over San Francisco police Chief William “Bill” Scott and Deputy LAPD Chief Robert Arcos.
When he announced the selection earlier this month during a news conference, Garcetti said, “I’ve seen him work with difficult issues, whether it is with impounding cars and working with the immigrant community and his strong commitment to civil rights. I’ve seen his work personally. No one works harder. No one reads more. And no one has a greater breadth of experience.”
Moore will take over a department that, in many ways, has been on the upswing in recent years. Homicides are at their lowest sustained point in decades, and the department has markedly improved its standing in the community since the Los Angeles riots and the Rampart scandal in the 1990s gave it a national reputation for brutality and corruption.
But there are a number of significant challenges Moore is facing.
Overall, violent crime has risen for four straight years after 12 years of declines. Police shootings have gone up while dropping in other large U.S. cities, and the department is still a focal point of criticism by the local Black Lives Matter movement, whose members regularly attend the meetings of the Board of Police Commissioners to chastise the department over the shootings of civilians.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)