Longtime Pasadena, Calif., Police Chief Bernard Melekian will leave the job he has held since 1996 to head the U.S. Department of Justice’s COPS program in Washington, reports the Pasadena Star-News. The appointment was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Denver.
The Community Oriented Police Services program funds community policing projects across the country. Founded by President Bill Clinton, its original purpose was to put 100,000 new cops on the street. That will be his priority, Melekian said. “The real work of policing is going to be done by men and women on the street. Our role will be to support them,” he said.