LONG BEACH (CNS) - Long Beach's Assistant Chief of Police Wally Hebeish will become the city's new police chief on Jan. 1, following the retirement of current Chief Robert Luna, city officials announced today.
City Manager Tom Modica announced the promotion, saying, ``Chief Hebeish possesses a thorough understanding of critical issues and priorities currently affecting our Long Beach community. He ... has been instrumental in implementing programs and initiatives that increase public trust surrounding equity and constitutional policing, improve employee wellness and address crime in our community,'' Modica added.
Hebeish, 52, is a 27-year law enforcement veteran who has been with the Long Beach Police Department since 1995, serving as assistant chief since 2019.
He has also served as the LBPD's Patrol Bureau deputy chief, Support Bureau deputy chief and chief of staff. He began his law-enforcement career in 1994 with the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
``I am extremely grateful and honored for the opportunity to lead the employees of the Long Beach Police Department in serving our community,'' Hebeish said in a statement released by the city manager's office.
``I look forward to building on the many advancements we have made under the guidance of Chief Luna and continuing our efforts in modernizing our organization in a manner that strengthens public trust, improves employee wellness and demonstrates accountability and transparency.''
Hebeish's statement added that he will be ``a Chief of Police that will continue to align our organization with the principles of 21st century policing.''
Modica's office said that, during Hebeish's time in executive management, ``he has implemented strategies to reduce crime, address the nationwide increase in gun violence, enhance the Police Department's Quality of Life team to provide further resources and support for people experiencing homelessness, all while also focusing key initiatives on strengthening police- community relationships and improving public trust.''
According to the city manager, Hebeish also ``notably'' created the LBPD's Office of Constitutional Policing ``to rethink traditional policing, guide organizational progress and implement goals to support the city's Framework for Reconciliation.''
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia praised the selection.
``I've worked closely with Wally Hebeish since becoming mayor. He is absolutely the right person to lead our police department moving forward. He's a man of incredible integrity and has the respect of our officers,'' Garcia said. ``I'm grateful for his commitment to Long Beach and the historic barriers he's breaking for Muslim Americans.''
Hebeish holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach and a master's degree in communications with focuses in new media and marketing from Southern New Hampshire University.
He ascends to the chief's role after a process that included national recruiting and a public survey that asked residents what professional experience and characteristics they wanted in a new chief. It resulted in more than 1,200 responses, according to Modica's office.
The screening process included input from a city technical panel, community panel, department head panel and management panel.
Luna announced his retirement in September. He began as an LBPD reserve officer in 1985. He has been part of the LBPD command staff since 2001 and was sworn in as the department's 26th chief in November 2014.
Hebeish will make $278,585 per year, Long Beach officials told City News Service.
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