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William H. Parker

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William H. Parker (June 21, 1902 – July 16, 1966) was a police chief of the Los Angeles, California Police Department. The headquarters for the LAPD, Parker Center, was named after him. He was the longest reigning police chief and served on the force 39 years (starting on August 8, 1927). Parker was originally born in South Dakota. He became police chief on August 9, 1950 and is credited with transforming the LAPD into a world renowned law enforcement agency.

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According to the History of the Los Angeles Police Department (lapdonline.org)

It may have been coincidence that the Department’s most distinguished Chief took office during the City’s centennial in 1950. William H. Parker was destined to remain Chief until his death 16 years later, longer than anyone before or since. His leadership, integrity, and zeal brought him international renown. He streamlined the entire Department, rigidly enforced Civil Service procedures, insisted that the public be kept informed of Department activities, demanded discipline, eliminated wasteful spending, and pioneered narcotics and civil rights enforcement. Congress and governments throughout the world sought his expertise, and his honors were legion. For many, he remains the prototype of the ideal Chief.

On the night of July 16, 1966, after receiving yet another commendation, Chief Parker was stricken with a fatal heart attack. Shortly thereafter, the Department’s administrative headquarters on North Los Angeles Street was officially named Parker Center.

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