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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | West County / OXNARD

LAPD Deputy Chief to Lead City Police

September 23, 1998|PAULA PISANI

A Los Angeles Police Department deputy chief has been named Oxnard's new police chief.

Art Lopez, who is commanding officer of the LAPD's Central Division, will take over the job Nov. 2, city officials announced Tuesday.

The 48-year-old Lopez will replace Harold Hurtt, who left in April to head up the Phoenix Police Department. Cmdr. John Crombach, who has been acting police chief since Hurtt's departure, will be assigned to investigative services when Lopez joins the force.

City Manager Ed Sotelo said Lopez was the unanimous choice by committees of community members and of city employees. The top three finalists were Lopez and Assistant Chiefs Stan Myers and Tom Cady of the Oxnard Police Department.

Lopez began his career with the LAPD in 1971 as a patrol officer. He has managerial experience in all areas of law enforcement, including patrol, narcotics, vice, gangs, detectives and labor relations.

A self-described "people person," Lopez said he became a police officer to help the community.

A strong supporter of community-oriented policing, Lopez said he looks forward to taking Oxnard's Police Department and programs a step further.

As commanding officer of the Hollenbeck area of Los Angeles, Lopez implemented a community-based policing program that became the model for the LAPD.

His community policing experience was a key factor in his selection as Oxnard's chief, Sotelo said.

"I believe it is absolutely essential that Oxnard's reputation as a national leader in community policing continues unimpeded," he said.

Mayor Manuel Lopez said Lopez comes across as someone interested in other people, a quality that will keep him in good standing with the community.

Lopez has been married to his wife, Betty, for 27 years. They have two daughters, Angela and Nicole, who are students at UC Davis.

Lopez will lead a staff of 200. His starting salary is $110,000 a year.

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