The Department

The City of Hermosa Beach was incorporated in 1907. The police department had a small and varied start with one employee first noted in city records as E.L. Ferriel the city Marshall in 1908. Marshall Ferriel was elected to the position with a total of 88 votes. Other dates recorded showed the following:

 
J.K. Mills was elected the town Marshall in 1910 with 66 votes.
Chester Palmer was listed as the town Marshall in 1911.
Arthur Marshall was paid $75.00 a month as a "Night Watchman" on April 15, 1918.
W.W. "Buck" Gipson was the City Marshall and paid $150 a month on April 18, 1922.
William A. Stiles was the City Marshall on March 20, 1923.
E.L. Messinger was listed as the City Marshall on April 19, 1926.
The population in 1926 was 6500.
Chiefs of Police: 
1937 D.L. Evans 
1942 Chief Evans enlists in Navy and Hollie Murray becomes Acting Chief of Police 
1947 F.L. "Jack" Harlow 
1957 to 1975 William H. Berlin 
1975 to 1981 Claude G. Stonier 
1982 to 1987 Frank Beeson 
1987 to 1992 Steve Wisniewski (Public Safety Director) 
1992 to 2001 Valentine Straser 
2001 to 2006 Michael Lavin 
2006 to 2012 Greg Savelli 
 
The police department is currently authorized 39 sworn personnel. Our department has a Chief of Police, one Captain, two Lieutenants, eight Sergeants, and twenty-seven officers. The department has assignments in detectives, traffic, patrol, backgrounds and training, internal affairs, Community Lead Program and Narcotics K-9.   We have volunteer programs, which include a Chaplain, Crisis Response Team, and Volunteers in Policing. 
 
The City of Hermosa Beach has a mile and a half of beach which brings thousands to our city to enjoy the  dining and entertainment areas downtown. Officers are assigned to events that include beach volleyball, concerts on the beach, surf festival, Hermosa Arts Fair, and the Hermosa Triathlon. The two biggest events are on the 4th of July and New Years. The entire department is deployed on these days. 
 
Medal of Valor recipients: 
William Cavenaugh 1979 
James Chizmar 1982 
Mark Wright 1986 
Thomas Eckert 1986 
John Kearin 1986 
Timothy Turek 1995 
Kurt Michel 1995 
Dana M. Reinhardt 1995 
 
Distinguished Service Award recipient: 
Thomas Thompson 2005
Dean Garkow 2013
Josh Droz 2013 

 

Contact Info

Hermosa Beach Police Officers' Association
PO Box 270
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Email: Contact Us

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