Robert Luna Named Next Long Beach Chief of Police

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Deputy Chief Robert Luna selected to succeed Jim McDonnell as LBPD Chief

Deputy Chief Robert Luna selected to succeed Jim McDonnell as LBPD Chief

City Manager Pat West announced today that Robert G. Luna will be the next Chief of Police for the City of Long Beach. Most recently serving as Deputy Chief of Police, Chief Luna has 29 years of experience with the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).

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

In his 29 years of service, Chief Luna has served in a variety of roles, including 13 years on the executive management team. Most recently Chief Luna served as Deputy Chief of Police. In that role he oversaw the Patrol Bureau and served as second in command to Chief McDonnell. He has led numerous innovative efforts at the department aimed at building positive relationships between the Police Department and the Long Beach community, managing staffing reductions, and ultimately decreasing crime in the City.

“Chief Luna is without a doubt the best person to lead our Police Department,” Mr. West said. “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.”

Chief Luna holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration, and a Bachelor of Science both from California State University Long Beach. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program and the Delinquency Control Institute (DCI) at the University of Southern California. He also graduated from the FBI’s National Executive Institute and National Academy.

“I am humbled by this appointment and am ready to lead the excellent men and women of the Long Beach Police Department,” said Chief Luna. “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.”

Chief Luna’s appointment is effective November 22, 2014. He is replacing Chief Jim McDonnell, who has been elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County. All Deputy Chiefs and Commanders currently serving the City of Long Beach were eligible to apply for the Chief position.

The Long Beach Police Department is the second largest municipal police agency in Los Angeles County and provides law enforcement services to the 7th largest city in the State of California. With more than 800 sworn officers and a total staffing of more than 1,200 personnel, the LBPD is dedicated to professional, proactive, and innovative policing.  LBPD is committed to building and maintaining positive relationships with the diverse community they serve.

With an annual operating budget of more than $211 million, the Police Department also provides contracted law enforcement services to the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach Airport, Long Beach Transit, and Long Beach City College.  In 2013, the LBPD recorded a 41-year low in the number of reported violent crimes, with a decrease of 13.3 percent when compared to the previous year.

Deputy Chief Robert Luna currently manages the comprehensive daily operations of the Patrol Bureau, an executive position he has held since 2006. He joined the Long Beach Police Department in 1985 and has worked a variety of assignments during his 29-year career. His distinct work history includes a number of operational, investigatory, and administrative assignments, including Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), homicide, drug, and gang investigations, canine operations, and communications. As a police manager primarily charged with budgetary responsibility and oversight, he has developed and implemented a number of innovative fiscal disciplines that have realized significant cost savings.

Deputy Chief Luna’s advanced education, including Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Executive Institute. FBI National Academy training and Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Bachelor of Vocational Education (BVE) degrees from California State University, Long Beach, have enhanced the logic, perspective, and critical thinking skills required of contemporary police administrators. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program and the Delinquency Control Institute (DCI) at the University of Southern California. Deputy Chief Luna has extensive experience in disaster and emergency preparedness, terrorism considerations, critical incident management, and the development of effective problem solving strategies in accordance with proven Community Oriented Public Safety and Governance philosophies.

Deputy Chief Luna is immersed in the diverse ethnic, educational, recreational, and business communities that distinguish the City of Long Beach. He especially enjoys those opportunities where he is able to volunteer his services or mentor youth in the importance of education, a strong work ethic, and personal responsibility. His crime prevention and reduction ideas, coupled with his bilingual abilities and dedication to public service have given him the opportunity to effectively interact and participate with a uniquely engaged population. Deputy Chief Luna has been instrumental in helping to build and maintain productive and trustworthy relationships between the police department and the community it proudly serves. Renowned community groups, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Community Hispanic Association, and the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ) have formally recognized Deputy Chief Luna’s accomplishments.


One Response to “Robert Luna Named Next Long Beach Chief of Police”
  1. Mike Ruehle says:

    While president of the Belmont Shore Residents Association, myself and another resident met downtown with Robert Luna, Anthony Batts (then Chief) and City Manager Pat West in Mr. West’s office concerning police staffing in my Belmont Shore community. Mr. Luna did most of the talking and shared verbally the information I requested. I wrote it down and repeated it back to the group to make sure I had it correct because Mr Luna wouldn’t give us a written copy of the paper he was reciting from.

    Soon afterwards, I shared this information with another city employee who assured me the information provided to me by Mr. Luna was not correct. I subsequently submitted a California Public Records Act (PRA) request seeking the same information. For six months the city refused to honor my PRA request claiming it was a security issue. That was until I spoke before city council about how my PRA was being stonewalled by the police department. Then City Mayor Foster publicly directed the police department to provide the information I requested in my PRA.

    Upon receipt of my PRA requested information, I learned that what Chief Luna had told me verbally about police staffing in my community was untrue. Chief Luna lied to our faces.

    I have spoken publicly before city council about this falsification of information in the presence of City Manager Pat West. As far as I know, there has been no disputing that I was lied to by Chief Luna. Apparently, dishonesty is a valued quality within Long Beach city government and the Council who heard my story. Hence, Chief Luna.