Assistant Chief Dominic Choi named interim LAPD police chief, becoming 1st Asian American to lead department

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The Los Angeles Police Commission appointed LAPD Assistant Chief Dominic Choi as interim chief, beginning in March, following the retirement of Chief Michel Moore.

“This appointment will continue our work to make Los Angeles safer. I look forward to working with Interim Chief Choi in the coming months as he provides steady and stable leadership for our police department,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “Interim Chief Choi’s more than 28 years of service to this City as a member of the police department put him in a unique position to not only lead, but to grow and improve our department. I want to thank Interim Chief Choi for his willingness to accept this appointment as we work to make our city safer for all.”

Choi will be the first Asian American to lead the department.

The son of Korean immigrants, Choi began his LAPD career in 1995 after earning his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California.

He worked patrol assignments in different divisions, rising through the ranks to detective, sergeant, and lieutenant. In 2014, he was promoted to captain, serving in both Foothill and Pacific areas. In 2017, he was promoted to Commander of Operations Central Bureau and later became the Department’s Homeless Coordinator. He remained in that position until he was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2019.

Moore announced his retirement from his position with the LAPD last month, an unexpected departure as the head of one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies.

Bass stated she had asked Moore to stay and serve in a consultant role to assist an interim chief, for an undetermined time period.

Moore has been chief since 2018 and had been reappointed last year for a second term as chief – though he did not plan to serve the full five years.

Moore said it was a “distinct honor and privilege to have served for more than four decades on the finest police department in the world and for the last five-and-a-half years as chief.”

“I’m proud of my leadership and the service over the course of that arduous time. Our people rose each occasion. They demonstrated professionalism, grace and grit. During my tenure I know I’ve made mistakes and missteps, but I’m also confident that my work has seen success across a broad spectrum of topics, unmatched by any other law enforcement agency in this country,” said Moore.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore announced Friday that he will be retiring from his position with the LAPD in February.

“To those who believed in me, to those who were patient…to those who allowed me in their lives and to my critics, while it may not have seem at the time, each of you have had an impact in my life and I am grateful,” Moore added.

“He led our department through tumultuous times, a worldwide pandemic, in which he implemented creative strategies to combat spike in crime throughout the country,” said Bass. “He has served our city with distinction and has always worked to ensure that Los Angeles was prepared.”

Moore said he and his wife plan to move closer to their out-of-state daughter. He has been a police officer for more than four decades.

“More importantly, to my wife Cindy, the most important person in my life, who has been by my side, thick and thin, I’ll be forever grateful and in your debt for your boundless love and devotion for allowing me to take this path and supporting me in this journey, and believing in me despite my faults and shortcomings,” said Moore, holding back tears.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

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