Terry Hara retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) after 35 years of distinguished public service to the City of Los Angeles. He achieved the rank of Deputy Police Chief and became the highest and the first-ever Asian American on the LAPD to hold such an office. He is a motivational speaker and has been invited to speak at numerous events.
Prior to retiring from the LAPD, Chief Hara joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in February 1980. He was first introduced to law enforcement as a Police Explorer Scout with the Long Beach Police Department. As a result of his continued interest in law enforcement, he applied and was accepted to the LAPD.
His previous commands include Personnel and Training Bureau, Training Group and Training Division, Southeast and Wilshire Divisions, where he commanded Detectives, Patrol, Vice, Gang Units, and Community Relations. Prior to Southeast Division, he commanded Detective Support Division where he was in charge of the Bomb Squad, Asian Crime Investigation Section, Fugitive Warrant Section, Special Investigation Section, Criminal Conspiracy Section, FBI task force on violent crime, Audit Section, Criminal Investigation Section on counter-terrorism, and Career Criminal Apprehension Section.
Chief Hara was previously the Department’s Employee Relations Administrator (ERA) for the Chief of Police. As the ERA, he was responsible for serving as the official liaison between Department management and employee labor organizations. Additionally, he was responsible for investigating and resolving grievance matters at the Chief of Police level of review.
Chief Hara has worked at numerous assignments within the Police Department that include Personnel Division, Wilshire, Southeast, Southwest, Newton, and Harbor Areas, South and Central Traffic Divisions, Detective Support Division, Internal Affairs Group, Training Division, Training Group, Human Resources Bureau, Personnel and Training Bureau, Employee Relations Group and the Office of the Chief of Police.
Chief Hara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from National University. He is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police Program from the Police Executive Research Forum at Boston University. He is also a graduate from the FBI Explosives Unit-Bomb Data Center Hazardous Devices School, Executive Management Course. Chief Hara is a graduate of the Department’s West Point Leadership and Command Program.
Chief Hara is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He is past chairman of the board for the Los Angeles Police Museum. He is also a past chairman of the board for the Japan America Society of Southern California, past president of the Japanese American Optimist Club of Los Angeles, a civic organization. He is also a member of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Southern California and twice past president of the Nisei Week Foundation. He is a board member for the Go For Broke National Education Center and the National Association of Asian American Law Enforcement Commanders. He is a member of the US-Japan Council and Former Advisor to Japan House-Los Angeles. He is also an advisor to Kizuna a leadership organization. He also serves on the Pardee RAND Community Advisory Group on homelessness.
Chief Hara received a decoration of “The Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Rosette” from the Emperor of Japan for promoting the status of the Japanese American community as well as friendly US-Japan relations.
He is married to his wife Gayle, a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles (Ret.), and has two children, a son Mark and a daughter Kimberly.