Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Deputy Chief Robert Luna was announced Tuesday as the new Long Beach police chief in Long Beach by Mayor Robert Garcia.

A 27-year law enforcement veteran, Luna becomes the 26th police chief in Long Beach.

Luna succeeds outgoing chief Jim McDonnell, who was just elected Los Angeles County sheriff and will be sworn in Dec. 1.

“I am humbled by this appointment and am ready to lead the excellent men and women of the Long Beach Police Department,” Luna said. “I am confident that my law enforcement experience and community focus will allow me to effectively serve the people of Long Beach as their Chief of Police.”

Luna assumes his new duties effective Nov. 22, according to the department.

Luna was one of four finalists interviewed for the top job, according to LBPD spokeswoman Marlene Arrona. The other three included Investigations Bureau Deputy Chief David Hendricks, Support Bureau Deputy Chief Laura Farinella, the former chief of staff to McDonnell and Commander Robert Luman, who oversees North Division, Arrona said.

West — who made the final selection — said Luna was the clear-cut choice.

“Chief Luna is without doubt the best person to lead our police department,” West daid. “Chief Luna has distinguished himself in law enforcement and will provide exemplary leadership, effective administration and continue to implement innovations that will lead Long Beach to become an even safer city.”

Garcia said he believes Luna will push the department forward.

“I have 100-percent confidence that Chief Luna will lead our department with integrity, strength and a commitment to community policing,” Garcia said. “He will ensure that we build a department for the 21st Century.”

Luna joined the Long Beach police in 1985 as a reserve officer and was hired full-time in 1987. His most recent post is deputy chief in charge of the five-division Patrol Bureau, the second-highest rank in the police department.

According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, Luna was a finalist in 2010, when McDonnell — who formerly served with the Los Angeles Police Department – – was selected chief.

During his tenure with the LBPD, Luna’s many assignments have included SWAT, homicide, drug and gang investigations, Metro, Detective Division, Field Support Division, Homicide, canine operations and communications.

Luna was promoted in 1997 to lieutenant, commander in 2001 and deputy chief in 2004.

Luna graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a Bachelor of Vocational Education. He also has a Masters of Public Administration, according to the LBPD.

His advanced education includes training from the FBI. He has extensive experience in disaster and emergency preparedness, terrorism investigations and critical incident investigations, according to the LBPD.

Staff and wire reports

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