Los Angeles Police Department veteran Margaret A. “Peggy” York, has been named the first female deputy chief in the department’s history, Chief Bernard C. Parks announced.
York, 58, joined the department in 1968 and becomes one of seven deputy chiefs on the 9,300-member force.
Four of the deputy chiefs, now including York, serve as bureau commanders.
York’s assignment as commanding officer for operations of the Central Bureau will mean overseeing five of the department’s 18 divisions, including the troubled Rampart area, the center of a corruption probe.
A central challenge for her will be to repair the division’s image, tarnished by allegations that officers planted evidence, lied under oath, issued false reports and shot unarmed suspects. York is optimistic that public confidence in the division can be restored.
“If you look at the community members who rely on the police to keep their streets safe, you’ll find there is a great deal of support for officers in Rampart,” said York, whose promotion was effective at the beginning of July.
When York began her career, female officers were relegated to desk jobs or the jails. They were assigned the lowest-level detective work and could rise only to the rank of sergeant and could supervise only other women.
“In talking about the past, I like to also acknowledge the tremendous commitment of women who had no opportunities for advancement,” she said.
She is married to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance A. Ito, who presided over the O.J. Simpson criminal trial.