LAPD - The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has appointed Assistant Chief Dominic H. Choi as its interim chief, effective March 1, following the retirement of Chief Michel Moore. This decision comes less than a month after Moore announced his departure, citing a desire to spend more time with his family after 42 years of service.
Choi, the son of Korean immigrants, will be the first Asian-American to lead the department. With over 28 years of experience within the LAPD, Choi brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to the role. Born in Los Angeles and currently residing in Orange County, Choi has risen through the ranks since joining the force in 1995, following his graduation from the University of Southern California.
Mayor Karen Bass expressed confidence in Choi's ability to provide steady and stable leadership, emphasizing his extensive service to the city. "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," said Mayor Bass.
Choi, who was unanimously approved by the police commission, outlined his priorities, including focusing on training, employee mental wellness, and bolstering the LAPD's ranks. He emphasized the importance of preparing for public demonstrations and establishing a smooth transition for the next chief.
While Choi's tenure is expected to last around nine months, a nationwide search for a permanent replacement is underway. Choi himself stated that he would not be applying for the permanent role, respecting the rules established by the commissioners.
Outgoing Chief Moore praised Choi's leadership skills and commitment to the department, expressing his confidence in Choi's ability to lead during the transition period. Moore, known for his extensive career within the LAPD, will continue to support the department during the transition to new leadership.
Erroll Southers, president of the Board of Police Commissioners, commended Choi's appointment, citing his institutional knowledge and alignment with the department's vision. The Los Angeles Police Protective League also welcomed Choi's selection, highlighting his ability to instill confidence among the rank and file.
As the city prepares for major events like the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics, Choi's leadership will be crucial in ensuring the safety and security of Los Angeles residents. With his decades of experience and dedication to public service, Choi is poised to lead the LAPD through this period of transition and beyond.
(James Frederick is a regular contributor to CityWatchLA.com.)