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Huntington Park : Police Chief Ranks First Among Job Applicants

Huntington Park Police Chief Patrick M. Connolly is the top-ranked finalist for the police chief’s job in Torrance.

A review panel established by Torrance officials chose seven finalists for the post and ranked them according to their performance in interviews earlier this month. Connolly ranked first, but that does not assure his being offered the job.

Torrance City Manager LeRoy J. Jackson will name the new chief, and he has said that several factors will influence his decision. Some Torrance City Council members have been urging that the job be filled from within the department. Two Torrance police officers are among the seven finalists, although neither of them was ranked higher than fourth in the interviews.

Connolly, a former chief of UCLA’s campus police force, was hired by Huntington Park in January, 1988, to clean up and restore morale to the Police Department that Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner once called “embarrassing” to all of law enforcement. The department had been hit with various lawsuits alleging police brutality, and two former officers had just been convicted of torturing a teen-age burglary suspect with an electric stun gun. Huntington Park officials say Connolly has done a good job heading the 67-officer force.

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Torrance will pay its new chief between $78,252 and $95,112 annually. With 238 officers, Torrance has the fourth-largest police force in Los Angeles County. Connolly, who now earns $82,000, was out of town and unavailable for comment Wednesday.


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