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Los Angeles Police Chiefs
Past to Present

Los Angeles Police, History

LAPD's first chief and its latest chief. Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Early Law Enforcement in Los Angeles & Commanders (1853-1870)

Los Angeles Rangers (Volunteer California State Militia Company) - 1853-1857
Alexander W. Hope, Captain, Commanding

Los Angeles Guards (Volunteer California State Militia Company) - 1853-1880
John O. Wheeler, Captain, Commanding

Los Angeles City Guards (Volunteer California State Militia Company) - 1855-1861
William W. Twist, Captain, Commanding, 1855
W.W. Moore, Captain, Commanding, 1856

Los Angeles City Marshal - William C. Warren (1), 1865-1870

Los Angeles Police Department (1876-Present)

Chief Period in Office
Jacob F. Gerkins (2) 1876-1877
Emil Harris (3) 1877-1878
Henry King 1878-1880
George E. Gard (4) 1880-1881
Henry King 1881-1883
Thomas J. Cuddy 1883-1885
Edward McCarthy 1885 (Jan-May)
John Horner 1885 (May-Dec)
James W. Davis 1885-1886
John K. Skinner 1886-1887
P. M. Darcy 1887-1888
Thomas J. Cuddy 1888 (Jan-Sep)
L. G. Loomis 1888 (Sep)
Hubert H. Benedict 1888-1889
Terrence Cooney 1889 (Jan-Apr)
James E. Burns 1889 (Apr-Jul)
John M . Glass 1889-1900
Charles Elton 1900-1904
William A. Hammell (5) 1904-1905
Walter H. Auble 1905-1906
Edward Kern 1906-1909
Thomas Broadhead 1909 (Jan-Apr)
Edward F. Dishman 1909-1910
Alexander Galloway 1910 (Feb-Dec)
Charles E. Sebastian 1911-1915
Clarence E. Snively 1915-1916
John L. Butler 1916-1919
George K. Home 1919-1920
Alexander W. Murray 1920 (Oct)
Lyle Pendegast 1920-1921
Charles A. Jones 1921-1922
James W. Everington 1922 (Jan-Apr)
Louis D. Oaks 1922-1923
August Vollmer (6) 1923-1924
R. Lee Heath 1924-1926
James E. Davis 1926-1929
Roy E. Steckel 1929-1933
James E. Davis 1933-1938
D. A. Davidson 1938-1939
Arthur C. Hohmann 1939-1941
Clarence B. Horrall 1941-1949
William A. Worton 1949-1950
William H. Parker (7) 1950-1966
Thad F. Brown 1966-1967
Thomas Reddin 1967-1969
Roger E. Murdock 1969 (May-Aug)
Edward M. Davis 1969-1978
Robert F. Rock 1978 (Jan-Mar)
Daryl F. Gates 1978-1992
Willie L. Williams (8) 1992-1997
Bayan Lewis 1997 (May-Aug)
Bernard C. Parks 1997-2002
Martin H. Pomeroy 2002 (May-Oct)
William J. Bratton 2002-2009
Michael Downing 2009 (Nov)
Charles L. Beck 2009-2018
Michael Moore 2018-2024
Dominic Choi (9) 2024 (March-Present)

Source: Los Angeles Police Department

(1) In 1869, William C. Warren (1865-1870), who had been serving as Los Angeles City Marshal since 1865, was authorized a small force of six paid officers, $50 to furnish a police office and $25 per month for rent. He was also expected to serve as city dog catcher and city tax collector. In return, he received 25 percent of all tax receipts collected. The following year, in 1870, Warren found himself in a dispute with one of his deputies, Joe Dye, over a $100 reward for returning a kidnapped Chinese woman who had been taken to San Diego. During a trial related to the kidnapping, Dye shot and killed Warren outside the courthouse at Spring and Temple. Dye went to trial over the death of Warren, but was later acquitted.
(2) Chief Jacob F. Gerkins (1876-1877) was appointed the first Police Chief of Los Angeles after the abolition of the office of the Los Angeles City Marshal. He had previously twice been elected to the LA City Council
(3) Chief Emil Harris (1877-1878) was the only Jewish Chief of Police to serve in Los Angeles. He was also credited with helping to form the city's first volunteer fire department.
(4) Chief George Gard (1880-1881) also served as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
(5) Chief William A. Hammel (1904-1905) also served twice as Sheriff of Los Angeles County.
(6) Chief August Vollmer (1923-1924) was a significant figure in the development of modern policing in the United States in the early 20th Century. Prior to serving as Chief of the LAPD, he served as the first Chief of the Berkeley Police Department from 1909-1923.
(7) Chief William H. Parker (1950-1966) served 16 years as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, the longest serving Chief of the LAPD.
(8) Chief Willie Williams (1992-1997) had previously served as Police Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department. Chief William Bratton (2002-2009) had served as Police Commissioner for the New York City and Boston Police Departments.
(9) Interim Chief Dominic Choi (2024-?) became the first Asian American chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. Choi, who had been serving as Assistant Chief since 2021, was the son of Korean immigrants to Los Angeles. He had earned an accounting degree from USC and joined the LAPD in 1995.