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La Palma Appoints New Police Chief

Staff Report

After a long vetting process, La Palma is pleased to announce the appointment of Terry Kim as La Palma’s next Police Chief, effective December 23.

Captain Kim was born in South Korea and moved to Anaheim when he was teenager where he attended Magnolia High School. He attended Cal State Long Beach for 3 years majoring in electrical engineering, but began to have a strong interest in a law enforcement career. In 1994 he joined the Fullerton College police academy, and was hired by the La Palma Police Department during the academy. Captain Kim has risen through the ranks in the La Palma Police Department during his 22-year career, and has held various assignments including Field Training Officer, K-9 Officer, Detective, field supervisor, and detective supervisor. He served 10 years as a Sergeant and was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2014. He is a graduate of the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management.

Additionally, with Captain Kim’s promotion to Police Chief, La Palma also announced the promotion of Sergeant Ron Wilkerson to Captain.

Sergeant Ron Wilkerson is a 20 year veteran of the La Palma Police Department and is currently assigned to the patrol division as a Watch Commander. Sergeant Wilkerson has held several special assignments including Administrative Sergeant, Corporal, Motor Officer, Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor and Rangemaster. He also spent over six years as a Team Leader and Supervisor for the North Orange County SWAT Team. Sergeant Wilkerson has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Management and is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute, the California Peace Officers Association Leadership Development Program and possesses an Advanced Certificate from the California Peace Officers Standards of Training (POST). Sergeant Wilkerson has received several commendations including the police department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor, and was named City of La Palma Supervisory Employee of the Year for 2015.

City Manager Murray concluded the announcement by stating “La Palma is truly fortunate to have two such dedicated and loyal employees who are qualified to step into these positions.”