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Huntington Beach set to name Alhambra’s Eric Parra as new police chief

Eric Parra is set to become the next police chief in Huntington Beach.
(Courtesy of Huntington Beach Police Department)

Huntington Beach is on the verge of hiring a new police chief, Eric Parra, who currently holds the top law enforcement job in Alhambra.

The City Council plans to finalize the selection when it meets at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Parra has more than 33 years of experience, much of it with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where he reached the rank of division chief before leaving in 2019 to become an assistant chief in Alhambra and then police chief in March of this year.

“I am beyond grateful to have this opportunity to serve as chief of police here in my hometown of Huntington Beach,” Parra said in a statement. “I am looking forward to partnering with the mayor, City Council and staff as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of Surf City.”

He follows Julian Harvey, who became interim police chief in November 2020, when Robert Handy retired.

Parra holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach and a law degree from Western State. He is licensed by the State Bar of California.

Through his career he helped lead Los Angeles County jail system reforms, community policing programs and a variety of patrol initiatives.

Huntington Beach City Manager Oliver Chi said the recruiting process for the new police chief included deep assessments and multiple rounds of interviews with the management team, City Council and mayor.

“Eric was identified as having the best combination of experience and approach to lead the Huntington Beach Police Department into the future,” Chi said.

If approved by the City Council, Parra would start Dec. 20.

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