Sharon Papa is a Candidate for Los Angeles Police Chief

A University of Redlands alumna has been identified as one of the leading candidates to replace outgoing Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton.

Sharon Papa, who graduated from the University of Redlands in 1985 with a bachelor of arts in business management, is one of about five law enforcement officials that have been identified as leading contenders for the job, according to an Aug. 6 article in the Los Angeles Times.

Papa currently serves as an assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department, heading the office of support services. In that role, she oversees budget, recruitment, planning and facilities operations. Papa worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s police department for 17 years before the authority merged with the LAPD in 1997.

Papa frequently appears before city council committees, serving as the department’s representative. She was Bratton’s first chief of staff, and in 2003 made department history by becoming the first female to hold the rank of assistant chief.

Papa is one of three assistant chiefs that may be vying for the post, according to the Los Angeles Times article.

Bratton is leaving for a new job as head of a private security firm – a move that reportedly took many within city circles by surprise.

Under terms of the city’s charter, the city’s personnel department must conduct a search for candidates and pass along at least six names to the Police Commission. The commission then selects and ranks three finalists. From those finalists, the mayor must then pick a new chief or reject them all and request more choices. The city council must ratify the mayor’s choice.

If Papa is selected to head the department, which is one of the nation’s largest police forces, she will inevitably face dramatic challenges, including pressure to sustain or improve upon Bratton’s legacy of curbing crime rates.

That pressure will come during a time when the LAPD is being forced to trim $130 million in spending – a result of cuts imposed by the city council and mayor to close the city’s overall $530 million budget shortfall.

Thurber, an English bulldog, is the University's mascot.

He is named after Clarence Howe Thurber, University president from 1933-37.

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