LAPD appoints its first Asian American chief


Dominic Choi was sworn in as the interim chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), making him the first Asian American to hold the position.

Appointment: Choi, who was unanimously appointed by the civilian Board of Police Commissioners, was sworn in by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in a ceremony at the LAPD headquarters last week. Choi, who serves as the department’s 58th chief, became the first Asian American to head the agency on March 1 following the retirement of former Chief Michel Moore.

About Choi: Choi, the son of Korean immigrants and now father of three children, joined the LAPD in 1995 and has steadily risen through the ranks, serving in various roles, such as detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, commander, deputy chief, assistant chief and director of the Office of Operations. During the ceremony, his father pinned the new badge on his uniform as a gesture of honor.

“For me, today marks more than just a personal achievement — it symbolizes the progress that we’re making towards a more inclusive and representative law enforcement agency,” Choi said. “And it speaks volumes about the diversity that this city has — the vibrance and the dynamics that we all know it to be. And as we celebrate this milestone, let us recognize that our differences are our strength.”

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Choi’s commitment: In accepting the position, Choi is prohibited from seeking the permanent chief position. Choi has confirmed his adherence to the rules set by the commissioners, highlighting his priority as the interim chief to ensure stability during the city's ongoing search for a new permanent replacement over the next six to nine months.

Search for the permanent chief: This search includes candidates from within the LAPD's ranks and nationwide, with the goal of selecting a leader for the department's approximately 9,000 officers, particularly through major events like the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Olympics.

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