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Derrick Abell Named New Manhattan Beach Police Chief

Nov 30, 2017 10:23AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
Following the departure of Police Chief Eve Irvine, the City of Manhattan Beach has announced the promotion and appointment of Police Captain Derrick Abell to police chief. Police Captain Derrick Abell has served the City of Manhattan Beach’s Police Department for 27 years, starting as a patrol officer in 1991 and most recently as field operations division captain since 2015.

“I am honored to lead the men and women of the Manhattan Beach Police Department and serve the residents of Manhattan Beach," said Abell in a statement. "As police chief, I will be committed to leading by example, establishing thriving community relationships, and maintaining a priority on performance excellence.”

Abell has been responsible for implementing goals of the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s Strategic Plan by improving customer service, promoting career development and training, increasing personal accountability, developing city youth, and recognizing underrepresented portions of the community. Additionally, Abell has developed the less lethal flexible baton round shotgun policy and managed public safety for large-scale special events such as the Hometown Fair and the AVP Manhattan Beach Volleyball Tournament.

“Captain Abell is not only a 27-year veteran of the Manhattan Beach Police Department, he is also football coach at Mira Costa High School and is dedicated to our community. I know that his calm, intelligent leadership style will benefit the men and women of our police department, as well as every resident in Manhattan Beach. I am so proud of him and happy that we had a terrific succession plan in place, for which I thank outgoing Chief Eve Irvine,” said Mayor Amy Howorth in a statement.

In his time at the city, Captain Abell has held numerous positions with the Manhattan Beach Police Department including acting police chief, acting human resources director, administrative division commander, police lieutenant, police sergeant, SWAT team commander, and narcotics detective - earning him 16 commendations with the Police Department.

“I appoint Captain Derrick Abell without any hesitation. Throughout his career, he has consistently showcased himself as a proven leader amongst his peers in law enforcement and within the community,” said City Manager Mark Danaj. “I am confident Captain Abell will continue the high level of service the Manhattan Beach Police Department provides and uphold the high standards our community expects as police chief.”

Abell has proven to be a community leader by mentoring and developing youth as a high school football coach at Torrance and Mira Costa High School during the last decade. Abell is a graduate of Leadership Manhattan Beach Class 2010 and regularly conducts physical fitness training classes for city staff members.

Abell was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a single-parent household with his mother in Inglewood, California. During an early period of his youth, Abell was relocated to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia with his family for two years. He earned an athletic football scholarship to attend Montana State University, and went on to earn a B.A. in speech communications, with an emphasis in public relations, and serve as a member of the school’s 1984 National Championship Football Team. He earned a master's degree in emergency services management from Trident International University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Abell began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in December of 1988, and after completion of training worked the Inmate Reception Center at Men’s Central Jail, and eventually was assigned to train new deputies. He was selected by his peers and subordinates as the “Officer of the Year” in 1999 for his hard work, dedication and accomplishments. He currently serves as a member of the California Police Chiefs Association Executive Board and Training Committee.

Earlier this month, Irvine was named chief of the Torrance Police Department. Irvine has been credited with a legacy of effective, progressive leadership. She supported the police department’s many highly successful programs, such as Neighborhood Watch and the Community Police Academy, while leading officers and staff to protect and serve the community in new and creative ways.

“Police Chief Irvine has been a leader in the field of public safety and community-based policing,” said City Councilman (and outgoing Mayor) David Lesser in a statement.  “She has ably led the men and women of our city’s police department with professionalism and vision.  During her tenure the department has excelled with deep organizational values, creative initiatives, and strong public safety programs.  She developed a highly respected organization with deep community relationships where “no call was too small.”

Irvine had served as chief since 2011.

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