From left: Tommy Ochi (Rose Ochi’s husband), Darlene Kuba, Marlene Matsui (Rose’s niece), former LAPD Commissioner Alan Skobin and Chief Michel Moore. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

On Oct. 6, LAPD Chief Michel Moore dedicated a plaque for Police Commissioner Rose Matsui Ochi at the Police Academy. 

Ochi was a trailblazer, civil rights advocate and a champion for the underserved.

Appointed to the Police Commission by Mayor James Hahn in 2001, she was the first Asian American commissioner and served until 2005. Her tenure focused on criminal justice reform, workforce diversification and implementing community policing.

Ochi brought a special vision to this position that provided the foundation for community programs that continue to this day.

Chief Michel Moore delivers remarks during the dedication to Rose Ochi, who was the first Asian American to serve on the Police Commission. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Serving the people of Los Angeles for more than 20 years, Ochi was instrumental in advising Mayors Hahn and Tom Bradley on issues related to criminal justice.

Rose Ochi

She was also an assistant U.S. attorney general who advised former President Bill Clinton.

Speaking in her honor were Moore, Police Commissioner Alan Skobin and a personal friend, Darlene Kuba. Members of her family also attended the dedication.

Ochi was born on Dec. 5, 1938, in East Los Angeles and was one of four children. She attended Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA in 1959. She earned her graduate degree in education at Cal State Los Angeles in 1967 and her law degree from Loyola Law School in 1972. Ochi passed away on Dec. 13, 2020.

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