Vince Giampa, a 27-year veteran of the city's police force, has been appointed chief of the department, the city manager said Thursday.
Giampa, 49, has been second in command for the last five years. He succeeds David S. Barr, who announced his retirement plans in March.
Giampa joined La Palma's force in 1970 and climbed through the ranks, working as a patrol officer, detective and lieutenant.
"La Palma is truly fortunate to have someone as capable and dedicated as Vince Giampa to take the reins of our police department, particularly as we deal with the difficult fiscal challenges ahead," City Manager Daniel E. Keen said.
Keen credited Giampa with creating a highly effective juvenile offender diversion program and praised his role in other department accomplishments in recent years, such as setting up an automated records management system, a K-9 program and anti-drug youth education efforts.
A Fullerton resident, Giampa is also president of the La Palma Kiwanis Club, an amateur pilot and, for two decades, a teacher at both Golden West College and Fullerton College.