New LAPD chief’s command staff takes shape with few surprises; Robert Arcos to lead patrol operations

Robert Arcos was promoted by new LAPD Chief Michel Moore to lead the department's patrol operations.
Robert Arcos was promoted by new LAPD Chief Michel Moore to lead the department’s patrol operations.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Just over a week after becoming chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Michel Moore has appointed his new command staff, opting for stability over major change.

Robert Arcos, one of three finalists for chief, will head the department’s patrol operations, taking over Moore’s old job, in a slate of assignments announced to LAPD personnel on Thursday.

Arcos, who had been deputy chief of Central Bureau, was promoted to assistant chief — a rank below chief.


The department’s two other assistant chiefs will remain in their positions. Beatrice Girmala is head of special operations, which includes counter-terrorism, detectives and SWAT. Jorge Villegas leads the office of administrative services, which includes training, recruitment, personnel and fiscal operations.

Girmala had been considered a front-runner to be the LAPD’s first female chief, but she did not apply for the job.

With Arcos’ promotion, the LAPD has two Latinos and one woman serving as assistant chiefs, increasing diversity at its highest ranks.

Moore had hinted that he would promote Arcos, saying that he would like Arcos to be involved at an “even greater level.”

“We’ve shared much of the challenges of Los Angeles in policing it and providing for it and learned from each other the leadership of this great department,” Moore, a 36-year LAPD veteran, said at a press conference last month announcing his appointment as chief.

At Central Bureau, Arcos was at the forefront of dealing with the city’s growing homelessness crisis, establishing trust with immigrant residents and coordinating the LAPD’s response to large street protests.

Arcos grew up in Atwater Village and is a 29-year veteran of the department.

Regina Scott will take Arcos’ job as head of Central Bureau, becoming the first African American woman to hold the rank of deputy chief.

When Moore’s predecessor, Charlie Beck, became chief in 2009, he shook up his command staff, promoting Moore and Sandy Jo MacArthur to assistant chief while demoting Jim McDonnell and Sharon Papa.

McDonnell and Papa eventually left the LAPD. McDonnell became Long Beach police chief and is now L.A. County sheriff, while Papa heads the Hermosa Beach Police Department.

Moore has assigned Beck’s chief of staff, Sean Malinowski, to be chief of detectives. Robert Green, who was deputy chief of the Transit Services Bureau, will be Moore’s chief of staff.

In other changes, Kris Pitcher was promoted to deputy chief of Valley Bureau. Moore’s other new deputy chief assignments are Justin Eisenberg over West Bureau, Dennis Kato over South Bureau and Phil Tingirides over Transit Services.

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