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LMU Alumnus Takes Reins at LAPD's Pacific Area

It reads like a scene from an old movie: A career police official returns to the old neighborhood as a leader in law enforcement. He supervises police work in the area around his alma mater and the campus chapel where he was married; he oversees patrols among the neighborhoods he knew as a young man and on the street where he landed his first job after graduation.

Capt. Jon Peters of the Los Angeles Police Department is walking into just that scenario as the new head of the Pacific Area. The 1985 Loyola Marymount University graduate is excited to be back, too. “It is truly a neat experience coming back to the area,” said Peters, who earned his degree in biology. “This is a great place to be, especially [because of] the diversity of the communities we serve.” The Pacific Area patrols 26-square miles, with 218,000 residents in Venice, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Westchester and the LAX vicinity.  

Peters’ ties to the university and the area are strong.  When he was an undergraduate, Peters met his wife, Cathy, who was also studying at LMU. They were married in Sacred Heart Chapel. Peters and his wife have six children – five sons and a daughter – and one of the boys is an LMU sophomore. Cathy grew up in the Westchester area.

When Peters started his studies at LMU, he had the general notion of going into medicine. “I went for the education first and foremost, not really on a career track,” Peters said. “I enjoyed biology and looked at medical school as a way to be of service. Medicine wasn’t for me, but law enforcement, which was also an interest of mine, became the way for me to get into public service.”

 In his LAPD career, Peters has worked in many of the department’s regional areas and in a variety of capacities. He joined in 1987 as a patrol officer, became a detective in 1994 and was promoted to sergeant in 1996. Peters holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

Peters said he learned the value of an education and of service at LMU. “I knew I was lucky to be there — great teachers, great classmates and friends,” he added.

Posted Jan. 25, 2010