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Hermosa Beach Police Acting Chief Milton McKinnon Announces Retirement

Post Date:12/12/2019 10:30 AM


City Manager Names Michael McCrary to Serve as Interim Chief while City Continues Search for New Chief  

HERMOSA BEACH – The City of Hermosa Beach announced today that Acting Police Chief Milton McKinnon, who took over the leadership of Hermosa Beach Police Department during former Chief Sharon Papa’s medical leave, is retiring Dec. 29.

“Hermosa Beach is a great City, and I have been proud of all that we have been able to accomplish at the Hermosa Beach Police Department to more effectively serve the community and improve public safety,” said Chief McKinnon. “I have been pleased to serve with the outstanding men and women who serve as sworn and civilian staff at the Hermosa Beach Police Department. I will miss the opportunities to work with them and the entire City team. But the past 15 months have been challenging as I’ve tried to effectively serve in two positions – as acting chief and as the captain. My family has had much less of me during this time, so retiring now will give me more time with them. I wish all with the department and the City the best as they move forward.”

City Manager Suja Lowenthal announced that Michael McCrary, a retired police chief who served as Hermosa Beach’s interim police chief in 2013, will return to the City to serve as interim chief while the City continues its search for a new chief of police. The police chief’s position became vacant when Chief Papa retired Oct. 1, saying that her diagnosis of ocular melanoma in 2018 forced her to reassess her ability to continue to serve as leader of the City’s police force.

“Chief McKinnon has worked closely with the community to help strengthen the trust our residents and business owners have in the Hermosa Beach Police Department,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell. “He’s done a great job of building relationships with people in the community, and that is incredibly important in a City the size of Hermosa Beach. We will miss him but understand he needs to do what is best for him and his family.”

“We are truly appreciative of Chief McKinnon’s dedication and his service to the community throughout his career with the City and his more than 28 years of work in law enforcement,” Lowenthal said. “We are especially grateful to him for his willingness to serve as acting chief for the past 15 months. Having him step into the acting chief’s position helped ensure our City’s public safety and a seamless transition for our police force.”

Chief McKinnon began his career in law enforcement at the Culver City Police Department in 1992 and rose to the rank of lieutenant before joining the Hermosa Beach Police Department as the captain in 2015.

Since then, he has worked to enhance the City’s public safety through increased training for sworn and professional staff at the Hermosa Beach Police Department, including training in investigative approaches for detectives as well as supervisorial and internal affairs skills for supervisors and watch commanders. He sought to increase the arrest and prosecution of criminals through pro-active investigations, which resulted in the issuance of search warrants and surveillance of suspects.

In addition, Chief McKinnon increased community outreach and engagement through expansion of the Neighborhood Watch program, Coffee with a Cop, the department’s Safety Fair and his own personal outreach to members of the community. Among his many initiatives, he held a Town Hall meeting to address the community’s increased concerns about homelessness last year.

About Hermosa Beach

Founded in 1907, Hermosa Beach is a thriving community of some 20,000 residents. Located on the southern end of the Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles County, with beaches ranked among the best in the world, Hermosa Beach has been recognized for its work to highlight Southern California beach culture, foster a vibrant local economy and protect coastal and environmental resources.

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