By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Los Angeles Police Department’s Brian Espin has been selected as Pacific Palisades’ Senior Lead Officer, taking over for former Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore, who announced his retirement in January.
A West Los Angeles native, Espin brings with him a passion for community and a range of experience.
Espin grew up in Venice and attended Venice High School; he was an active swimmer and member of the water polo team. He attended Santa Monica College and continued to pursue swimming.
He worked as a lifeguard with LA County before taking another job with the Santa Monica Harbor Patrol, which he said sparked his interest in law enforcement. He began testing for different police departments, and LAPD was the first to pick him up back in 2005.
Since then, Espin has served numerous roles, including LAPD’s bike patrol unit, special problems unit, vice unit, patrol and community relations office.
With his experience, he said he was able to fill in for a number of SLO positions, including Moore’s following his retirement.
Due to a previous hiring moratorium, it was unclear when the position was going to be permanently filled, and officers were cycled in and out of the SLO position for 28-day periods. During that time, Espin offered local updates at Pacific Palisades Community Council meetings, crime reports and more.
He said becoming SLO has been a longtime goal of his since joining LAPD.
“From being a lifeguard and working the Harbor Patrol, everything I’ve done has been community-oriented, and I have learned the value of community,” Espin said to the Palisadian-Post. “Once I was in LAPD and I started working in the community relations office, my goal has always been, since I’ve been there, to get to that senior lead position. In the [SLO] position, you’re the community liaison between the community and the department. The [SLO]’s main job is long-term issues, quality of life issues.
“Since 2012, 2013 … I’ve been interviewing when spots became available and trying to get one of the senior lead positions in West LA.”
He explained the SLO position is 50/50—half of his responsibilities are administrative, where he answers emails, phone calls, and speaks with councilmembers and field deputies to resolve local issues. The other half of his responsibilities are to be on-site, handling situations and addressing quality of life issues that are ongoing.
He said for him, the community engagement is the best part of the job.
“I meet different people every day, speak to different people every day and that I enjoy because, just like the old saying goes, ‘you learn something new every day,’” Espin said. “I learn something new from somebody I’m speaking to every day. Whether it’s their background, their history, their neighborhood, things going on in their community … it’s a constant evolution of information that you’re obtaining and passing on to other officers or community members.”
Espin said although he moved out of Venice and into the suburbs, he has been “spoiled” with the opportunity to stay on the Westside. He enjoys the weather and still enjoys swimming, he periodically lifeguards for the county at Will Rogers State Beach.
“My wife is a lifeguard at the beach, my kid does the Junior Lifeguard Program, so we’re very much oriented to the Will Rogers-Palisades area,” he said. “We consider it our second home. It’s beautiful, I enjoy the community … and that’s probably biased because I grew up out here, but I enjoy the beach community and the environment.”
Espin said he is most excited to be out and about in the Palisades, and to meet more of the community.
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