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Event Public Safety Policing, Crime Control

The Future of Policing: Fireside Chat with Charlie Beck

Thursday February 2021


Charlie Beck Retired Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
Rafael A. Mangual Nick Ohnell Fellow | Contributing Editor, City Journal @Rafa_Mangual

Chief Charlie Beck served as Los Angeles Police Department Chief from 2009 to 2018 and as Chicago Police Department Acting Superintendent from 2019 to April 2020. In 2011, Chief Beck’s LAPD along with the LA Housing Authority forged the Community Safety Partnership (CSP), a new model for police–community engagement, seeking to build relationships of trust between police and the citizens they protect and serve. CSP aims to make LA public housing developments safer while fostering positive relationships between the LAPD and development residents. Given the program’s success, in July 2020, LAPD created an entire CSP Bureau, led by the popular Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides. Our discussion will feature comparisons to similar programs such as NYPD’s Neighborhood Policing, and it will address the challenges of building trust amid current tensions, disorder, and unrest.

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Charlie Beck is a retired Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. He served in that capacity from 2009 to 2018 and was a member of the LAPD for forty-three years. Following his retirement, he was appointed as the Interim Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department and served in that role from November of 2019 to April of 2020.

During his long career, Chief Beck has worked almost every assignment within the police department. As Chief of Detectives, he was recognized for clearing the Cities stubborn and historic rape kit backlog as well as using emerging DNA technology and techniques to solve murders and rapes that went back decades in the Cities history. He was the first Chief of Police in generations to achieve less than 300 homicides annually in Los Angeles and did so in every year of his tenure.  This was achieved by community partnerships that included gang intervention and prevention programs that have become national models for reducing gang violence.  Chief Beck also implemented city-wide in-car-video and body cameras as well as policies for their use that are nationally recognized standards.  The LAPD also exited with full compliance from a Federal Consent Decree under his leadership.

Post-retirement from the LAPD, Chief Beck was selected to lead the Chicago Police Department through a time of tremendous organizational crisis after the unexpected firing of their Superintendent. In his brief tenure, he completely reorganized the department and was responsible for replacing and promoting nearly half of the command staff.