CARL D. CHARLES, CHIEF OF POLICE
Police Chief Charles announces retirement effective December 5th.
Carl Charles, Downey’s Chief of Police since 2012, has announced his retirement after more than 28 years in law enforcement.
“For 28 years, it has been my pleasure to serve and protect the residents of Downey as a proud member of the Downey Police Department. I got into law enforcement with the goal of helping to bridge the perceived disconnect between police and the diverse community we serve, particularly the minority populations,” Charles said.
Chief Charles started his career in law enforcement with the Downey Police Department in October 1990. He was appointed chief of police in December 2012, becoming the department’s 10th police chief and first African American. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Corrections from California State University, Northridge, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
“On behalf of the citizens of Downey, I want to sincerely thank Chief Charles for his distinguished service to our community,” said Mayor Sean Ashton. “Through his hard work and dedication, Chief Charles has accomplished remarkable things for his department, including building strong community relationships, which has helped instill trust between our police officers and the residents we serve.”
Chief Charles leaves Downey with a considerable list of joint accomplishments: the hiring of 10 new police officer positions; formation of a homeless outreach team; improved communications with public and media, including a large social media presence; quarterly “coffee with a cop” community outreach events; citizen volunteer program; introduction of park rangers; equipping officers with body worn cameras; license plate readers citywide; reinstitution of K9 and mounted horse programs; partnership with Los Angeles County Mental Health that allows mental health professionals to ride with officers; and citywide active shooter training, among others.
“I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the years of service Chief Charles has given this community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Rick Rodriguez. “His outstanding leadership and his demonstrated ability to work effectively with his officers and the citizens of Downey, has taken the Downey Police Department to new levels in protecting and serving the community.”
“Within a six year period, we were able to accomplish a great deal. I believe those accomplishments have positioned the police department to be able to handle future challenges, as police work continues to adapt to the ever changing landscape,” Charles said.
“I am extremely grateful for the chance to collaborate with our Downey citizens, city departments, and the members of the Downey Police Department as we tirelessly worked to improve the condition of our city. While I’ll miss the daily interactions and accomplishments, I know that the police department is well prepared for this transition,” said Chief Charles.
City Manager Gilbert Livas added, “Chief Charles has led the Downey Police Department with honor, professionalism and respect. He will always be remembered as a respected figure in our community who has served this City well and has many accomplishments of which to be proud. We wish him the very best on his retirement.”