Irvine police chief celebrates retirement

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel will retire this month after 27 years of service with the department, the last six as chief. During his tenure, the city of Irvine was recognized as the safest city in America for 16 consecutive years. “If you look on the side of our police cars, it says ‘In partnership with the community,’” he liked to tell residents. “That’s been our motto in Irvine forever because we realize we can’t do our jobs without your help.” Hamel was a Los Angeles police officer for two years before joining the IPD in 1995. He served as a SWAT operator, training and recruitment lieutenant and deputy chief before becoming chief in 2015.

The department’s assistant chief, Michael Kent, has been appointed to succeed Hamel.