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:

  • D.L. Evans
    1937
  • Chief Evans enlists in Navy and Hollie Murray becomes Acting Chief of Police
    1942
  • F.L. "Jack" Harlow
    1947
  • William H. Berlin
    1957 to 1975
  • Claude G. Stonier
    1975 to 1981
  • Frank Beeson
    1982 to 1987
  • Steve Wisniewski (Public Safety Director)
    1987 to 1992
  • Valentine Straser
    1992 to 2001
  • Michael Lavin
    2001 to 2006
  • Greg Savelli
    2006 to 2012

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 Receipients:

  • William Cavenaugh
    1979
  • James Chizmar
    1982
  • Mark Wright
    1986
  • Thomas Eckert
    1986
  • John Kearin
    1986
  • Kurt Michel
    1995
  • Dana M. Reinhardt
    1995

Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

  • Thomas Thompson
    2005
  • Dean Garkow
    2013
  • Josh Droz
    2013

Contact Us

PO Box 270
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

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