Irvine Police Chief David L. Maggard Jr. will retire after a dozen years in the position, officials announced Thursday.
Maggard has been with the department for 13 years, serving as deputy chief for a year before being promoted to chief.
Deputy Chief Mike Hamel will succeed Maggard after he completes his duties over the next couple of months.
Maggard said his immediate plans include finishing up his doctorate degree in education at Pepperdine University and helping Hamel with the transition.
“I’ve still got two more months here so I’ll be working hard every day so Chief Hamel has the benefit of what I can share with him,” Maggard told City News Service.
During Maggard’s reign the city has boasted among the lowest crime rates in the nation.
Notable crimes during his tenure included Christopher Dorner’s rampage throughout Orange, Los Angeles and Riverside counties that started with the murders of 28-year-old Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old Keith Lawrence in Irvine.
“Here in Irvine we call that the Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence case, because those were the two people lost in our city,” Maggard said. “That was a significant case that we were a part of, but we think about those families as a department often.”
Maggard said he was proud of the work his officers did, but added, “it was a sad time at the same time… I’m so proud of the work our people did in a very difficult two weeks and I’ll always, of course, remember that.”
Another case of fine police work Maggard said he will remember is the quick unraveling of the conspiracy by two attorneys — Kent and Jill Easter — to frame a PTA mother with driving under the influence of narcotics in a revenge scheme. The officers who responded quickly figured out it was a frame.
Hamel said he was eager to take over.
“I feel humbled and I’m elated and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to pick up where Chief Maggard left off,” Hamel said.
Hamel started his career with the Los Angeles Police Department and has been with the Irvine Police Department for two decades.
Hamel graduated from UC Irvine and has a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State Long Beach.
— City News Service