James Butts, who headed the Inglewood Police Department's narcotics task force that helped halt drug trafficking in the Dixon-Darby and Lockhaven neighborhoods, has been sworn in as captain of operations, marking the first time a black officer has been appointed to that rank in Inglewood.
Butts, who at 33 is also the youngest officer to be named a captain in Inglewood, will head a 124-member staff that includes the patrol and traffic enforcement divisions. Police Chief Raymond L. Johnson chose Butts from 11 applicants.
A 12-year veteran on the Inglewood force, Butts emerged as the favorite candidate during a two-day selection process conducted by an outside consulting firm and police chiefs from neighboring cities.
His has been a patrol officer, robbery investigator, commander of the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team and an undercover officer. He was named sergeant in 1981 and promoted to lieutenant in 1984. Earlier this year, as commanding officer of the narcotics and special operations unit, he organized a team of 30 undercover officers who have made more than 1,000 arrests and seized about $275,000 worth of cocaine, police said.