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L-R Hermosa Beach police captian Milton McKinnon and Police Chief Sharon Papa are presented an award for his lifesaving efforts in the line of duty, from city manager Suja Lowenthal during the 45th Annual Southbay Medal of Valor Luncheon in Torrance on Thursday, May23, 2019. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Acting Hermosa Beach Police Chief Milton McKinnon is retiring Dec. 29, the city announced today.

McKinnon's retirement comes just two months after former Chief Sharon Papa announced she was stepping back from the position on Oct. 1 due to a diagnosis of ocular melanoma. Papa had been on medical leave since September 2018 when McKinnon took the reigns as acting chief.

Michael McCrary, a retired police chief who served as Hermosa Beach’s interim chief in 2013, will serve as interim chief while the City continues recruiting, said City Manager Suja Lowenthal in a statement.

McCrary, with the consulting firm McCrary and Associates, has performed organizational analysis for more than 200 public and private companies, including the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department in 2017.

McCrary served as police chief in Los Alamitos, Signal Hill and Wheatland and worked in Palm Springs.

In the statement, Hermosa's McKinnon said he was proud of the department's work, but that it's been challenging serving as both acting chief and captain.

“My family has had much less of me during this time," said McKinnon, "so retiring now will give me more time with them. I wish all with the department and the City the best as they move forward.”

McKinnon, a 28-year law enforcement veteran, began his career at the Culver City Police Department in 1992 and rose to the rank of lieutenant before joining the Hermosa Beach Police Department as the captain in 2015.

Since then, he has increased training in investigative approaches for detectives as well as internal affairs skills for supervisors and watch commanders, according to the statement.

In addition, McKinnon increased community outreach by expanding the Neighborhood Watch program, Coffee with a Cop and the department’s Safety Fair.

“He’s done a great job of building relationships with people in the community, and that is incredibly important in a City the size of Hermosa Beach," said Hermosa Beach Mayor Mary Campbell in the statement. "We will miss him but understand he needs to do what is best for him and his family.”

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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