Los Angeles Police Department chief Charlie Beck is going to step down from his post in June 2018.
He made this announced on Friday.
A son who followed in his father’s footsteps by the joining the LAPD, the Los Angeles Times reports that Beck has been chief for “just over eight years.” During that time numerous changes were brought about at the LAPD:
Beck was credited with shepherding the LAPD through years of turbulent budget woes and continuing its reforms. In the face of nationwide and local protests over police shootings of black men, he oversaw efforts to encourage his officers to avoid using deadly force by trying to verbally defuse tense encounters with civilians. And he began rolling out body cameras department-wide, marking a new era of accountability.
Beck’s tenure took place during the same time that racial tensions became predominant in news coverage; a time when police across the country, and in Los Angeles in particular, were seen maligned as the media took one side against the other. He spoke to the tremendous pressure that officers feel as they try to do their job in such a climate:
It is somewhat of a difficult conversation, because I think a lot of it is concealed in rhetoric and misinformation and an inability to understand what police use of force is really about. It is a difficult conversation to have because people have such black and white opinions about how this works. And I use “black and white” on purpose because some of this is racially charged, some of it is about disdain for authority, some of it is about not understanding the difficulties of policing in a society that has far too many guns and far too much violence.
He spoke about difficult times, describing how he became chief at the same time that the LAPD lost $80 million in it annual budget. He also referenced ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who went on shooting spree which left four dead and numerous others wounded in 2013. But he ultimately measured his performance by considering whether he was leaving the LAPD better than it was when he took command, saying, “What I look to is, is the organization better than when I came here? And I don’t think anybody, even my harshest critics, would disagree with that.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.