Arcadia Appoints its First Police Chief of Japanese Descent

Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto has appointed Captain Roy Nakamura as the city’s 30th police chief. A 28-year veteran of the Arcadia Police Department, Nakamura is the current operations captain.

When Nakamura succeeds Chief Robert T. Guthrie — who is retiring from the Arcadia Police Department after a distinguished career of over 31 years — on Jan. 9, 2021, he will become the first police chief of Japanese and Asian descent in a city that once temporarily incarcerated Japanese and Japanese Americans at Santa Anita Park during World War II and is currently 60.8% Asian.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Nakamura says that while his appointment is a sign of progress, there are still lessons to learn from history. “Obviously, I wasn’t here during those times, and not everything in history has been positive, but we’re also here to learn from our mistakes, and I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in the city of Arcadia.”

“I am honored to be named the next Police Chief for the City of Arcadia,” said Nakamura in a statement released by the city. “The Arcadia Police Department is one of the finest law enforcement organizations in the country. I appreciate the support and confidence of the city manager, City Council, the men and women of the Arcadia Police Department, and the entire Arcadia community.”

“We appreciate all those who have risen to the call of service as Arcadia police chief,” said Mayor Roger Chandler. “Captain Nakamura continues in the long line of excellence in law enforcement leadership that this community has come to expect and enjoy from its Police Department.”

Nakamura began his career with the Arcadia Police Department in 1992 as a police officer. As an officer, he was assigned to patrol and worked as a field training officer, as well as being assigned to the Detective Bureau. As detective, he was assigned to the Forgery and Fraud Unit and completed his Detective Bureau assignment in the Crimes Against Persons Unit. He was promoted to sergeant in 2002 and worked as a field supervisor until he was transferred to Personnel and Training. In 2009, Nakamura was promoted to lieutenant, working various assignments under the Operations and Administration Divisions within the department, including watch commander, detective bureau commander, field training officers program commander, and force training unit commander. In 2019, he was promoted to captain. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cal Poly Pomona and is married with four grown children and a grandson.

“Roy is exceptionally qualified to lead the Arcadia Police Department,” said City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto. “Over the years I have known him, I have seen that Roy is conscientious, progressive, and dedicated to keeping Arcadia safe,” he added.

October 26, 2020

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