New Captain on the Westside

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LAPD Pacific Division’s new Captain, Area Commanding Officer Dominic Choi.

LAPD Pacific Division has a new Captain. Area Commanding Officer, Dominic Choi has taken the helm, after Captain Nicole Alberca was promoted to Commander and moved downtown on Christmas Day. Yo! Venice’s Melanie Camp sat down with Choi to ask a few questions and discovered he is no stranger to Venice, having worked the Beach Detail in the late-nineties. “If anyone says I don’t know the beach, they’re wrong,” he said. As far as Venice’s biggest challenge moving forward, Choi said, without a doubt, it’s the homeless crisis. Here’s what else he told Yo! Venice.

Who is this new Captain on the Westside? Born and raised in Southern California, I graduated from USC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.  After working two years in private industry for Coopers & Lybran, I joined the Department in November of 1995 and currently have 21 years with LAPD.  My background from Police Officer through Lieutenant includes specialized units, Field Training Officer, Sergeant, Detective, Watch Commander, Internal Affairs Group and Adjutant for the Director, Office of Special Operations.  Of additional note, I worked Pacific Division as a police officer between 6/1997-1/1999.  My assignments included the beach detail, patrol, and foot beat patrol in Mar Vista Gardens.  I promoted to Captain I in June of 2014 and was assigned to Foothill Division.  In February of 2015, I was upgraded to Captain II and assigned to the newly formed Risk Management Division.  Then in December of 2016, I was again upgraded to Captain III and assigned to Pacific Division.

How do you plan to grow on the work done by Captain Alberca? Captain Alberca, now Commander, has done an amazing job during her time at Pacific Area.  I will continue to grow her efforts in 2017.  To name a few; growing our youth programs, increased messaging to local communities about law enforcement efforts, increased collaboration with not only our residential community but also, our business community.

What are LAPD Pacific’s biggest challenges in Venice for 2017? For 2017, the biggest challenge in Venice will continue to be the reduction of violent crime.  We will continue to focus on increasing public safety by addressing criminal behavior and illegal activities.  The issues surrounding the homeless in Venice is also a top priority.  We will continue to work collaboratively with Hope, other outreach groups, and Councilman Bonin’s Office to address these issues to the best of our ability.

How can the community help LAPD work on these and make improvements in the community? The community is our “force multiplier.”  As you know, Police Officers cannot be everywhere all the time.  The community can multiply our eyes and ears.  I encourage all community members to report criminal activity.  Reports can be made by calling Pacific Station for non-emergencies, 911, visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org, or for possible terrorist activity, iWatchLA.  These are only some resources to report a crime.  Also, community involvement in neighborhood watch groups, keeping common areas lighted at night, keeping doors locked and valuables out of plain sight all will contribute to our crime reduction efforts.

How important is it for local police to have community support? Community support is vital to keeping our neighborhoods safe.  To truly have a lasting impact on crime reduction, we must build relationships with the community, while increasing trust and collaboration.  The police must work with the community to develop innovative solutions to local problems.  We can’t do it alone.