Hundreds gathered in the Garden Grove Community Center to witness the swearing in of the Garden Grove Police Department’s 14th police chief, Amir El-Farra.
Dozens of police officers, public officials, members of the community and relatives looked on as El-Farra’s wife pinned the badge on the city’s new chief.
“It is my honor and privilege to be serving as your chief,” El-Farra said from the podium, moments after reciting the Oath of Office delivered by his brother, Johan El-Farra.
A 27-year law enforcement veteran, Chief El-Farra praised the men and women, both sworn and professional, he will be leading.
“What profound respect I have for you, and my heartfelt gratitude that you go out every day and wear that badge and that uniform,” El-Farra said to Garden Grove police officers. “I sit behind a desk now but for the first 20 years of my job, I worked those streets and I promise you this: I will never forget where I came from. I know every night when you step on those streets you are risking it all and you sacrifice so much.”
The new chief’s goals include the recruitment of younger members of the community for all positions, Mayor Steve Jones said. El-Farra also plans to recruit more qualified female and Asian officers, Jones said.
“His mission as chief is calculated and forward thinking,” Jones said. “His goals reflect the community that he serves and he demonstrates his vision of looking to secure the future of his department right here in the present. Chief El-Farra was selected not only because he epitomizes the hometown spirit of Garden Grove but also embodies law enforcement’s role to serve and protect this community.”
El-Farra is taking the helm of the department from former Chief Tom DaRé, who retired at the end of 2022. El-Farra began his career in law enforcement with the Los Angeles Police Department before lateralling to Garden Grove Police Department in 2008. He became a sergeant in 2014 and earned Sergeant of the Year honors in 2015. In 2016, El-Farra was promoted to lieutenant, and then to captain in 2019.
As captain, El-Farra oversaw the agency’s largest bureau, including SWAT, K9, Patrol, Gang, Special Investigations, Special Resources Team and the Traffic Unit. El-Farra was named deputy chief in 2021 and one of his key roles was managing the Emergency Operations Centers during the COVID-19 pandemic. His other duties have included serving on the Community Policing Committee, Citizens’ Academy and the Chief’s Advisory Council.
El-Farra said his role as chief represents “my final chapter of my law enforcement days.”
“And I am going to love every one of them,” El-Farra said. “l look forward to working with all of you and let’s have a good time, take care of our community, and take care of each other, and let’s take care of business the Garden Grove way.”
City Manager Scott Stiles said El-Farra is embracing his new position, profoundly aware of the responsibilities his role as chief entails.
“His commitment to the men and women he will be leading, and to the families, businesses and organizations in this great city is unwavering,” Stiles said. “I know he will deliver many years of innovative leadership and trusted partnership throughout our community and beyond.”