Charlie Beck celebrated on his last day as Chief of the LAPD

- The motorcycle led procession from City Hall to the LAPD Academy had an interesting vehicle in it.  A gleaming black 1964 Pontiac GTO. 

Behind the wheel, outgoing LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, saying goodbye on his 65th birthday after more than 40 years with the department. 

Then it was on to the bagpipers, then speeches and gifts and food. Elaborate ceremonies serve a purpose Beck said, it 'signifies change.'

Change has come in the form of a new Chief Michel Moore, similar philosophically to Beck but certainly his own man. He will no doubt be tested in the weeks and months to come, but today was a day to reflect on Beck. 

He has famously said '' I'm not a member of the LAPD, I AM  the LAPD , it's in my DNA''.  His father, his kids, his wife all cops or ex cops.  Colleagues praised him as a ''cop's cop'', but  not everyone loved him, particularly after  high profile  controversial shootings of people of color. 

Black Lives Matter people had very critical things to say, which he never seemed to let bother him, backing his people, though he did recommend one of his own be prosecuted after a shooting of a homeless man in Venice.  (the DA declined ) 

Beck understood he'd have his critics, that but felt that the majority of the public appreciated him and the men and women of his department, a department known and scrutinized worldwide.  

I can say as a member of the media, he answered tough questions, he was always available and never backed down from controversy or avoided stories that were less than flattering to him or the department.

That's a good starting place for his successor .

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