Downey's Very Own:
Police Chief Leslie Murray 
Greg Welch, Chief Leslie Murray, and President Jesse.                         (Getty Images)
This Past Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Last week, Downey Rotary had the pleasure of having Downey's very own Police Chief Leslie Murray as our guest speaker.
The author of this publication was unable to attend the meeting, so thankfully, we have a wonderfully written recap by Lorine Parks below. 
Please enjoy these photos courtesy of David Minishian.
Next Tuesday, May 10, 2022
After some time away, we are back at Rio Hondo Event Center on May 10th. Join u as we welcome our guest speaker Sharon Lavery from the Downey Symphonic Society. Lunch begins at noon.
Proposed for Membership
Randy J. Davis
Retired So. Gate City
Former Rotarian
SnapShot: May 3, 2022
By Lorine Parks
Gathering n’Stuff was the setting for our meeting, and host Ebie Ghahanian arranged the room with tables for 6, a welcome and cozy way to visit with each other.
Confidence in public meetings seems to be growing, as we had the largest turnout yet.  Approximately 35 members enjoyed the arroz and linguini with the pollo, accompanied by a delicious mango and corn relish.
Barbara Lamberth was back and in good form after her hip replacement surgery and rehab. Pit Boss Larry Garces announced that the Poker Tournament at the home of host Larry McGrew was such a success that they are planning another one in October.
Fine Master Greg Welch conducted a Fractured History Quiz, with such questions as, which of these happened in 1860: Rotary was founded; John Lacey was born, or the Pony Express made its first run?
Greg then introduced Leslie Murray, Downey’s newest Chief of Police.  It turns out that Chief Leslie went to Downey High with John Garcia in 1986. John was in attendance. 
“I went to schools here, I had amazing teachers at Downey High School,” Chief Leslie said.  After graduating from California State University, Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 1990, and then the LA County Sheriff’s Academy, she was hired by the Downey PD in 1990, and now she’s a 32-year veteran of the Downey Police Department.
Being first in achieving isn’t new to Chief Leslie. In 2000, she was promoted to Sergeant and was the first female Sergeant in Downey PD’s 43-year history.  In 2008, she was promoted to Lieutenant and worked as a Field Operations Watch Commander, and in 2018, she was promoted to Captain.  First woman in each post.
Chief Leslie graciously acknowledged the work of her predecessors in the Department.  “The people who went before me set the stage,” she said. 
“When I started here, we had three or four women, and now I think we have 19. It’s becoming more the norm.”
Former police chief John Finch, after promoting Leslie to sergeant, took her aside and said, “Listen, it’s not just about you. It’s about getting your face out there for other women; we want more women to be involved in the department. 
It brings more balance to the agency, it’s good for the department.”
Youthful looking in spite of her many responsibilities, Chief Leslie’s husband is a retired Downey Police Sergeant, and they have four children and two grandchildren. 
Reviewing the work of the Police Department, Chief Leslie said, “We’ve had all these different changes over the years, but the core job is the same: we’re always going to be first responders, we’re always going to be the agency that people look to. When bad things are happening, they want to be able to call the police and we show up. We’re always going to do that.”
“We’ve seen the expansion of our role into mental health situations, into the homeless; drug addiction has been a problem for years. We have all those different hats that we wear, and I think we’re moving towards more specialized policing and bringing other partners in,” said Chief Leslie.
“Here at the police department in Downey, we brought in mental health clinicians from LA County. We’ve been doing that for years, and they ride in partnership with a police officer, and we’re open to that. I think we provide a better service that way.”
Below:   Rain feeling safe between Fire Department Chief Dan and Police Chief Leslie 
Upcoming Events
District Conference
Lake Arrowhead
May 12, 2022 - May 15, 2022
Keep Downey Beautiful
May 14, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Warren High School Shark Tank
May 19, 2022
12:40 PM - 1:35 PM
Warren High School Shark Tank
May 20, 2022
8:45 AM - 9:45 AM
10-20 Club Bowling Tournament hosted by Downey Rotary
Del Rio Lanes
Jun 16, 2022
Keep Downey Beautiful
Jun 18, 2022
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
View entire list