LAPD First Assistant Chief Michel R. Moore, who has called the Santa Clarita Valley his home for several years, was sworn in as the department’s 57th chief of police on Thursday in a ceremony that was live-streamed online by the Los Angeles Police Department.
The video feed showed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti kicking off the outdoor swearing-in ceremony at Elysian Park by referring to Moore as having the “hardest working ethic I have ever seen in my life.”
And to put the promotion into perspective, Garcetti added: “We need to define policing now more than ever, and now we have the right person for the job.”
After Garcetti administered Moore’s oath, promising to support the constitutions of the country and the state, as well as the charter of Los Angeles, Moore’s wife, Cindy, pinned the insignia of stars on Moore’s collar.
His daughter, Haley, with a smile, a hug and a fist bump, pinned the police chief badge on her father.
Moore, who remained flanked throughout the morning proceedings by his wife and daughter, reflected on the day years ago when he stood on the same field as a recruit, and talked of building trust through partnerships.
“I have an incredible opportunity, and I am honored to be entrusted to lead this department in pursuing the enormity of the task at hand,” he said.
“Our true strength is in partnerships and collaborations,” Moore told the seated attendees. “Today, there is much to be proud of and much to do.
“We must also learn to listen more if we’re going to improve that trust,” he said.
Moore promised to make sure sworn officers have the proper training and tools to make sure they stay safe.
“We have to reduce the use of force and, particularly, the use of deadly force,” he said.
He talked of “redefining the balance” in addressing the concerns of businesses and “those experiencing homelessness.”
Moore also spoke on striving for diversity in the department — not only in hiring, but in all ranks.
Moore thanked John Mack, the former police commissioner who died four days ago, for his guidance and wisdom, praying he hears his voice in his ear. “I miss him,” Moore said.
In welcoming Moore to the LAPD’s top cop position, several dignitaries described him in the context of a triumvirate, and as the third to assume the command following predecessors who transformed the LAPD, former chiefs William Bratton and Charlie Beck, both present at the ceremony.
Los Angeles Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff called Bratton the “right man at the right time” who handed the baton to Beck, of whom he said: “No one could have brought us this far, this fast.”
“Now, the circumstances are different,” Soboroff said. “Civility with our neighbors, our friends and co-workers is at risk. The task for the commissioners was to find three candidates and present them to the mayor — a task we took seriously.”
And, of Moore, he said: “We have the finest person in law enforcement in the world to take us forward.”
The same sentiments about finding a chief promising to bridge divides were echoed by Herb Wesson, Los Angeles City Council president.
“We find ourselves in very, very challenging times. Where people who seek to divide us are pitting one group against another group,” he said, adding optimism that Moore can “bind this city together.”