Long Beach Police Deputy Chief Laura Farinella Named Chief of Laguna Beach Police

Laura Farinella, deputy chief of the support bureau of the Long Beach Police Department, is leaving to become chief of the Laguna Beach Police Department, according to a statement from the City of Laguna Beach.

Farinella has worked at the LBPD as deputy chief of the support bureau since 2011. She manages the jail division, communications and training division, the port police division and the security services division, according to the City of Long Beach’s website.

Farinella was the first female appointed to deputy chief by the Long Beach Police Department. She began her career with the LBPD in 1990, was promoted to corporal in 1996 then rose to the rank of sergeant in 1999, lieutenant in 2003 and was named commander in 2004.

When former LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell was elected Los Angeles County Sheriff, Farinella was one of three candidates in the running to become the new LBPD Chief, a title that was ultimately given to then-Deputy Chief Robert Luna.

Farinella is also the leader of the Chief’s LGBTQ Advisory Group, is on the board of the Central California Area Maritime Security Committee, is the Executive Director of the Long Beach Police Historical Society, and represents the City of Long Beach on the authority approval board for the Urban Area Security Initiative grant program, according to the City of Long Beach.

Farinella said in a statement that she is excited to lead the Laguna Beach Police Department, which she will join on March 16.

“I am honored and excited to have been chosen to lead the fine men and women of the Laguna Beach Police Department,” Farinella said in the statement. “I also look forward to bringing a fresh perspective to the law enforcement services of such a unique, charming and progressive city. I am eager to connect with the community and enhance our partnerships in the interest of working together to keep Laguna Beach safe for our residents, business owners and visitors.”

Farinella said in an interview with the Long Beach Post on Tuesday afternoon that while she is sad to leave the LBPD, she is excited to move on to her new position in Laguna Beach.

“Obviously, I’m very excited to go from one LBPD to another, and being with Long Beach for almost 25 years, I’ve had great mentors like Sheriff McDonnell,” she said. “I’ve been gearing up for the next step to be chief of police, and I applied to Laguna Beach because I love the city. I frequent there all the time for the restaurants, arts and beaches. I live in Orange County, so I thought it was a great opportunity to take all of my experience from Long Beach and apply it to a city like Laguna Beach. It was just a marriage between my history in law enforcement, where I live, work and play. The opportunity opened up, and it was just perfect. The city of Long Beach and the LBPD have been so wonderful to me. For almost 25 years, I’ve built great relationships with the community and professionals within the region and state. I owe all of my breadth of knowledge of what I know in law enforcement to the LBPD. As much as I’m sad to go, I’m excited for that next step.”

LBPD Chief Luna said Farinella will be missed at the department.

“Deputy Chief Farinella has been an integral part of our management team and will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new position in Laguna Beach,” he said in a statement to the Long Beach Post. “All of us here at the Long Beach Police Department wish Chief Farinella continued success in her career as a key leader in law enforcement.”

LBPD spokeswoman Megan Zabel said there is a process in place for the appointment of a new deputy chief, and that selection is up to Chief Luna. However, there is no timeline established as of yet for Farinella’s replacement.

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