Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa chose Charlie Beck, a 32-year police veteran with strong support from rank-and-file officers and civil rights advocates alike, to succeed William Bratton as police chief, reports the Los Angeles Times. The selection comes at a time of uncertainty for the department. Its budget is battered by the city’s fiscal crisis and the morale of rank-and-file officers is wavering because of a new contract that offers no pay raise.
Beck, 56, has risen quickly through the command ranks and was widely viewed as the favorite for chief. From his success rehabilitating the police Rampart Division, which had been at the center of a corruption scandal, and later as head of police forces in South L.A., Beck has earned praise from both cops and onetime police critics for blending a tough stance on crime with a progressive approach to bettering police relations with city residents. The other finalists for the job were Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell and Deputy Chief Michel Moore.