- Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified Names New School Police Chief (11-20-19)
Los Angeles Unified Names New School Police Chief
Retired Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Commander Todd Chamberlain, a 33-year law-enforcement veteran, was selected on Tuesday by the Board of Education as chief of the Los Angeles School Police Department.
He will begin work on December 2 as chief of the nation’s largest independent school police force, overseeing 380 sworn officers, 100 school safety officers and 34 civilian support staff as they serve over 1300 campuses in the 710-square-miles district.
Commander Chamberlain will succeed Steven K. Zipperman, a 32-year LAPD veteran who has served as School Police chief since January 2011.
“We want to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all students, their families and all who work in our schools,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “I look forward to working with Chief Chamberlain to build on the great work Chief Zipperman has been leading in this area of Los Angeles Unified.”
Commander Chamberlain joined the LAPD in November 1984, and rose through the ranks, supervising several patrol commands, as well as the Emergency Operations Division. As commander, he oversaw six divisions of approximately 1,800 personnel and served close to 1 million Los Angeles residents.
During his decades of law enforcement service, he built meaningful and innovative relationships with city, state and federal partners, as well as private- and public-sector organizations, to reduce crime and gang activity. He also established collaboration among the LAPD, School Police and Los Angeles Unified to help maintain safer schools.
“I’m honored to pass the badge to such a well-respected leader and police professional,” Chief Zipperman said. “Todd Chamberlain will continue to guide the School Police Department on a continued trajectory of excellence in K-12 school policing, safety and security.”
After retiring from the LAPD, Commander Chamberlain worked as a consultant for a metropolitan police department, utilizing technology and system management on crime-reduction efforts. Since January 2018, he has been a lecturer in criminal justice at California State University Los Angeles.
Commander Chamberlain holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Union Institute and University in Los Angeles.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve and lead an organization that truly serves the needs of Los Angeles most prized community, our children,” Commander Chamberlain said. “Ensuring that they have a safe and healthy environment to learn is my primary goal. I look forward to achieving that goal with the combined efforts of everyone within Los Angeles Unified, as well as with city, public and, most importantly, community partnerships.”
"I am proud to welcome Commander Todd Chamberlain, his expertise and his leadership,” Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “His 33 years of experience in law enforcement will help us better serve and protect our students and our schools."
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to Commander Chamberlain as he becomes the new chief of the Los Angeles School Police,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “As a longtime educator, I recognize the importance of collaboration with our officers to keep our school communities safe.”
"We welcome Todd Chamberlain to our efforts to lead in creating conditions for learning, community building and student success," Board Member Mónica García said. "I am certain Chief Chamberlain’s experience as a father and officer will guide him in creating a police force that is leading on restorative justice, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and responsible adult leadership."
“I’m very happy to welcome aboard new School Police Chief Chamberlain,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “He is someone who has risen through the ranks and, in light of recent national events, it is important to note that he has taken many sensitivity-training courses which is very important in the daily interaction with our young students.”
“I’m glad to welcome Commander Chamberlain and look forward to his partnership in our work leading on restorative justice and ensuring the safety of our students, staff, and school communities,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said.
"I'm looking forward to welcoming Commander Chamberlain and working with him in keeping our students, staff, and families safe and supported on campus,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “It's the first priority not just of our School Police chief, but all of us in Los Angeles Unified, to ensure our campuses are safe places to learn."