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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Dominic Choi appointed as LAPD’s first Korean-American interim chief

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Interim Chief of LAPD Dominic Choi, left, poses with LA Mayor Karen Bass at the press conference in the City Hall on February 7. [Sangjin Kim, The Korea Daily]

Assistant Chief Dominic Choi, 53, a Korean American, has been named interim chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

This is the first time a Korean-American has been appointed to lead the LAPD since its founding in 1869.

The LAPD Board of Commissions voted unanimously on February 7 to appoint Assistant Chief Dominic Choi as the LAPD’s interim chief.

“Choi will be the LAPD’s first Asian-American chief,” the Board said in a statement.

The commission cited Choi as a well-respected leader within the department and the community, known for his vast knowledge and measured decision-making, in the community as reasons for his appointment.

Choi will begin leading the LAPD on March 1.

“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 LA Mayor Karen Bass on February 7.

Interim Chief Choi has continued to make history within the LAPD. In 2019, he became the first Korean American to be promoted to deputy chief. In 2020, he was promoted to Assistant Chief, the second highest rank in the department, just below Chief, making him the highest ranked Korean-American officer in the LAPD’s 155-year history.

In response to being appointed as the Interim Chief of the LAPD, Choi expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to helm an organization comprising over 12,000 members. Choi said he is eager to leverage his 28-year tenure within the police to guide the organization with utmost dedication and serve the community effectively. Choi emphasizes his commitment to fortifying the LAPD and ensuring its steady operation as the City of Los Angeles embarks on finding a new Chief, highlighting this as his primary objective during his interim period.

Meanwhile, Choi, who was born in Los Angeles, graduated from USC in 1988 after high school and worked for two years at an accounting firm. He joined the LAPD on Nov. 27, 1995.

BY YEOL JANG, JUNHAN PARK    [jang.yeol@koreadaily.com]