Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck abruptly announced his retirement Friday at a crime statistics news conference.
"Serving the citizens of Los Angeles for over 40 years has been the honor of a lifetime. Leading the men and women of the [LAPD] - my family- has been a privilege I never thought I’d be worthy of. Today, I am announcing my retirement effective June 27th of this year," he said in a series of tweets.
The unexpected announcement came during a news conference on crime reporting with Mayor Eric Garcetti. It elicited shock and gasps in the crowd.
"One of the secrets of bull-riding is knowing when to get off the bull," Beck said, while getting teary-eyed.
Beck has been the LAPD chief for eight years. He is the son of a police officer, and two of his children serve.
"There is only the right chief for the right time," he said.
It wasn't immediately clear who would follow in his footsteps and replace him.
"Now is the right time. We have the right people to be selected chief," Beck said. "We have the right people in place to do the selecting."
Beck was in his ninth year of a 10-year term as chief when he announced his retirement plans.
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"It's a good time for me because I still have my health," he said. "The job hasn't killed me yet, although it has tried several times."
Beck said he plans to spend more time with his family.
Councilmember Mitch Englander reacted to Beck's announcement by saying:
"Chief Charlie Beck has given a lifetime of service to the City of Los Angeles. A sworn officer since 1977, he has served with distinction and honor, overseeing the department through some of the largest reductions in violent crime in the City's history. Chief Beck has implemented reforms that have modernized the department, built trust and enhanced relationships with diverse communities, and made the LAPD a model department for cities, worldwide. I wish to thank Charlie Beck for his all he has given to our City and congratulate him and his family on a well-deserved retirement."